• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Ekiti, Innovate UK unveil second edition of £7,000 Young Innovators Programme

Ekiti, Innovate UK unveil second edition of £7,000 Young Innovators Programme

The Innovate UK Global Alliance Africa in partnership with the Ekiti state government has launched the second edition of the Young Innovators Programme.

The second edition will focus on sustainable innovation and practical solutions to local challenges. This year’s programme, designed to inspire and support the next generation of innovators, will also see the winner take home £7,000 to help provide access to innovation support including mentorship, training and startup capital.

The initiative aligns with the Ekiti’s Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Digital Economy (MISDE) and Innovate UK’s broader strategy to drive economic development and technological advancement in the state.

“We are thrilled to announce the return of the Young Innovators Programme which builds on the success of last year’s edition. We are looking forward to an even better programme this year,” said Joshua Adedeji, Innovate UK country lead.

“Our commitment remains resolute: to empower young innovators in Ekiti State by providing them with the essential resources and support needed to turn their groundbreaking ideas into reality,” he added

According to him, the collaborative effort demonstrates the commitment on both sides to nurture a culture of innovation that not only transcends competition but inspires continuous growth and development in our local communities.

The programme will be co-designed to ensure it meets the unique needs of young innovators in Ekiti State and will include key elements such as a comprehensive selection process, interactive workshops, and mentoring sessions.

By involving industry experts, educational institutions, and past participants, the programme aims to create a dynamic and supportive environment for innovation development.

Seun Fakuade, commissioner for Innovation, Science, and Digital Economy, recently visited the Innovate UK Global Alliance Africa office in Nigeria to finalise plans for the programme.

The visit underscored the commitment of both organisations to foster a robust innovation ecosystem in Ekiti State through the Innovate UK Place-Based Innovation (PBI) initiative.

PBI leverages UK and pan-African expertise, networks and resources in order to build capacity for local innovation ecosystem players to drive forwards stronger, more sustainable and more inclusive local ecosystems.

“The first edition of the Young Innovators Programme was a tremendous success, with 10 innovators in the cohort,” Fakuade said.

“The top three innovators Odunola Olabintan of Health City, Yomi Adetunji of RISE (Rice Inventory Storage Exchange), and Mayowa Olajide of Motivar took home a total of £5,000 in prizes.”

“This year, we are raising the stakes with a £7,000 prize to further encourage and reward the innovative spirit among our youth.” Applications are now open and interested participants can visit https://yip.innovateekiti.com/ to apply.