BusinessDay

NCC boost telecom innovation research with N233m grant in Nigerian universities

The Nigerian Telecommunications Commission (NCC) has awarded N233 million in research grants to selected universities whose proposals met the criteria advertised by the commission recently.

In a statement, the NCC said it awarded N172.5 million to support 13 proposals found to have met the stipulated criteria in the advertised 2021 Request for Proposal (RfP) for Telecommunications-Based Research Innovations from Nigerian Tertiary Institutions (research grant) Programme. The commission also awarded three universities the sum of N20 million each for endowments of professorial chair by the Commission.

Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, said at the award ceremony in Abuja that the event was in demonstration of NCC’s resolve in advancing the impact of digital technologies on the national economy, using indigenous products and solutions.

“Indeed, this is a clear testimony to the objectivity and painstaking approach to the evaluation process aimed at ensuring that the best quality is achieved and only researches that could produce prototypes with the potential of providing solutions to both local and global challenges were selected,” Danbatta said.

He described the beneficiaries of the 13 research grants as having submitted detailed and well thought-out research proposals on specific thematic areas provided by the Commission. The proposal are expected to result in the development of commercially-viable prototypes as concrete harvests

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The commission had received a total of 55 research proposals that focused on five emerging technology areas namely: Fifth Generation (5G) deployment; Innovative Clean Energy; Advanced Method of Quality of Service (QoS)/Quality of Experience Management and Test Mechanism; Internet of Things (IoT); Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) Technology; and Monitoring and Localising of Drones.

Danbatta said the NCC has a tradition of fostering technology-based research in Nigerian universities. So far the commission has committed over N660 million to Nigerian tertiary institutions for ICT-focused research innovation. This aligns with the goals of the Federal Government’s agenda on digital economy, as captured in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030.

The recipient of the N20 million NCC’s Professorial Chair Endowments include the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto; and Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, who are the beneficiaries of the NCC’s Professorial Chair Endowments.

The fresh endowment in the three universities brings to seven, the number of universities that the Commission has endowed professorial chairs. Earlier, the NCC had instituted professorial chairs in Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State; Bayero University, Kano, Kano State; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi State; and University of Ibadan, Oyo State.

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