• Friday, March 01, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

How industries can leverage academia to drive productivity, growth – Olugbodi

How industries can leverage academia to drive productivity, growth – Olugbodi

For industries in Nigeria to boost productivity and drive growth, particularly at this time that businesses are bearing the brunt of economic headwinds, there is a need to work effectively with the academia, Tunji Olugbodi, executive vice chairman of Verdant Zeal Group, has said.

Read also: The rise of ESG investing: A closer look across industries and global jurisdictions

Olugbodi said that working closely with academia will enable industries to leverage research work carried out by educational institutions to produce marketable products that can lead to business growth.

Speaking at the Open Lecture of the Faculty of Social Science at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye in Ogun State recently, themed ‘Collaborative innovation: Bridging the Knowledge and Research Gap Between Industry and Academia,’ Olugbodi that academia and industries need to collaborate and partner in order to address societal problems and shape the nation’s future.

Olugbodi, an alumnus of the institution, said the partnership between industry, academia and government is essential for innovation development, sustainable progress and prosperity.

According to him, industry and academia relations would effectively tackle real-world problems with fresh perspectives, rigorous research and cutting-edge technology.

The business mogul further said that it was vital to address challenges facing academia to boost its relevance and growth.

“The pharmaceutical industry frequently collaborates with universities to develop new drugs and treatments. Similarly, the renewable energy sector relies on academic research to advance sustainable technologies. These partnerships not only benefit industries by solving critical problems but also contribute to the well-being of society,” he said.

Olugbodi said that investing in beneficial partnerships results in a win-win situation for both academia and industry such that the academia trains individuals with foundational knowledge, while the industry has the practical experience and real-world insights to absorb them.

This, he said can ensure alignment with labour market needs.

He said industries are crucial to innovation and development through job creation, adding that they stimulate economic stability leading to an enabling environment for innovation and investment in research.

He urged the country to tap into the productive capacity of its youths for economic advancement.

“The most important weapon for Nigeria’s growth remains its population mined positively. Nigeria has the highest population of youths in the world, with a median age of 18. About 70 percent of the population is under 30 and 42 percent is under 15. Imagine the productive capacity that can be unleashed if well tapped,” he said.

Read also: Web 3.0 will drive innovation, reshape industries, empower African businesses Ebanehita

He said through entertainment the nation had earned better global recognition through the combined exploits of hip-hop artistes including Davido, Burna Boy, and Tiwa Savage, among others, than it had received from political leaders since 1999.

Olugbodi pointed out the need to nurture and promote academia-industry relationships to ensure a better and more prosperous future for the nation.