Posted by Sunday Agha, Nsukka | 22 February 2018 | 1,550 times
In its determination to help Nigeria migrate from commodity-based to knowledge-based economy, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) recently collaborated with Ideon Science Park, Sweden, and Lunda Vision AB to sensitise stakeholders on the viability of Science Park and Innovation Ecosystem in Nigeria.
The workshop holding from February 20-23, 2018, had in attendance experts in the development of Science Park from Sweden, South Africa and Kenya. Also in attendance were representatives of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry for Trade and Investment, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Customs and other national institutions with interest in technology and innovations.
News Express reports that UNN had in 2016 launched a pilot version of the Science Park named “Roar Nigeria Hub” the first university-embedded Science and Technology Incubator Hub in Nigeria. The university administration has already mapped out 45.9 hectares of land for the construction of full-fledged Science Park, which is expected to attract over 400 companies scouting for research and innovations from the university.
UNN Vice-Chancellor, Prof Benjamin Ozumba, in his address described the workshop as another move by the premier university to “restore the dignity of man”. He stated that the University of Nigeria had already taken steps towards building a knowledge economy for the country.
Prof Ozumba said the workshop was aimed at sensitising the academia, researchers, entrepreneurs government ministries and agencies on the need to acquire skills and training required to build a competitive 21st century economy.
The Vice-Chancellor explained that the conference was an offshoot of his initial trips to Sweden to understudy the operations of science parks in the country.
“This international workshop is our modest effort to domesticate what we learnt in Sweden and help in creating the needed culture of innovation in our country, Nigeria,” the Vice-Chancellor said.
Detailing the benefits of establishing a vibrant science park in the university, founder of Ideon science Park Sweden and CEO of Lunda Vision Sweden, Dr Sven Thore Holm, said the venture would help in the industrial training of students and enhance linkage between researchers and the industry.
Dr Holm added that the science park project would help in the diversification of Nigerian economy as they would be many companies working on different aspects of economic growth.
The project, according to him, would also help in employment creation leading to the growth of entrepreneurial spirit and the consequent production of sophisticated products and services.
Prof Per Erikson of Lund University, Sweden, in his keynote address challenged Nigerian universities to lead innovation revolution in the country.
He stated that the task of universities is not only education and research but includes innovation and provision of leadership to the private sector. “Universities should begin to think of what to do to help the government,” Prof Erikson said, while insisting that universities have crucial role to play in the transition of Nigeria to a knowledge-based economy.
•Photo shows UNN VC, Prof Ozumba (4th from right); Founder of Ideon Science Park, Sweden Dr Thore Holm (5th from right); Major Gen. Ude of the Nigerian Army (3rd from left); representative of the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Emeka Ifezuruike (4th from left); and other participants at the Int’l Workshop for Science Park and Innovation at the University of Nigeria.
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