The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board ( NCDMB) has launched Brentplus, a series of initiatives that will stimulate innovations in the oil and gas industry and ancillary sectors and create a platform for local creation of digital technologies.
Simbi Wabote, executive secretary of NCDMB, unveiled Brentplus during a webinar titled “Innovating for the future of Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Industry and its Linkage Sectors.” He added that one of the strategic initiatives under the Nigerian Content 10-year roadmap is to promote the development of innovative in-country solutions in the oil and gas industry.
The webinar was the first by the Board since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic and according to Wabote, it will form part of the new channels and technologies NCDMB will be using henceforth to engage stakeholders of the oil and gas industry.
He listed the processes of Brentplus to include Problems Definition, Call for Innovation, Nigerian Oil and Gas Technology Hackathon, Incubation and Scale-up.
Providing details of the Problems Definition stage, the executive secretary said the Board will administer surveys to focus groups and stakeholders to understand the biggest challenges facing the sector. He promised that the Board will soon hold a Webinar to get feedback on the opportunities for digital innovation.
“The problems must not be related to the oil and gas sector. It can be daily life problems,” he clarified.
Subsequently, NCDMB will pick out the biggest challenges and call for innovations from interested teams with ideas, prototypes, solutions and relevant experiences, after which, the applications will be reviewed by judges and shortlisted, with a few selected.
He stated that the third stage of the Brentplus process will be a Hackathon- a threeday residential camp where “participating teams will meet with industry stakeholders and further understand the challenges. Teams will revalidate their solutions and pitch at the end of bootcamp. Five winning teams will be selected.”
Wabote explained further that Hackathon enables crowd sourcing of digital innovations that will solve challenges. The idea is to provide a platform for individuals to get together for a short period of time to collaborate on a project, he added.
He hinted that during the incubation, which is the fourth stage of the process, ”five winning teams will get $10,000 equity-free grant each. They will also get work-space, expert mentors, global partners and unprecedented market access over three-months, ensuring they become commercial and investor-ready.”
He added that “at the end of the incubation, the teams will participate in a showcase day to demonstrate their progress. This showcase will aim to connect them with investors and industry stakeholders where they can further amplify their market access.”
Specifying the criteria for eligibility, the Executive Secretary said participants ”must be a team/company of at least two or more members with at least 75 percent of the founding team as Nigerians. The team/ company must be a registered, or intending to register as a profit/business entity. The solution described in response to the challenge must be driven by digital technology- Software, Hardware or both.”