By Emmanuel Elebeke
THE Federal Government has presented cheques worth N24 million to 16 beneficiaries of the 2013 Presidential Standing Committee on Inventions and Innovations, PSCII grant.
The cheque presentation to beneficiaries was a continuation of nine years support by the Presidential Standing Committee on Invention and Innovation, PSCII.
Presenting the cheques, the Supervising Minister of Science and Technology Ministry, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, while congratulating the beneficiaries on their achievements, described innovation as the lifeblood of any business, any country regardless of social, demographic or economic standing.
She encouraged them to apply the grant towards the next step to their ultimate goal, which is patenting and writing a business plan.
‘‘While the grants that are given to you today are far cry from what you require to take your innovation forward to the next stage which is commercialisation and industrialisation, I want to encourage you to apply this grant towards that potentially small but important next step to this ultimate goal-patenting, writing a business plan to present to institute that can make substantial funds available to you, making an application to one of our many Technology Incubation Centres in different parts of the country’s capacity building,’’ she said.
‘‘This is how businesses are created and how they thrive and grow. From one innovation or invention, from one bright young mind, a viable business is born, jobs are created, people are employed and wealth for nation and for individuals is created.
‘‘Let me congratulate each and everyone of you on this achievement. By receiving this grant, you have in a sense received both an endorsement and a validation of all your efforts. We look forward to hearing about your transition from an innovation to a business.
‘‘For those of you whose innovations and inventions are still in the preliminary or middle stage, we urge you to put in additional effort towards completion in order to provide opportunities to other Nigerians to commercialise and reap the desired benefits from your products,’’ said the minister.
According to her, vigorous efforts are on-going to improve the Federal Government’s funding of the PSCII, but added that collaborations with relevant stakeholders such as Education Trust Fund, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, National Universities Commission, National Board for Technical Education, Raw Material Research and Development Council and the National Planning Commission, are underway to facilitate the achievement of the ultimate goal of the PSCII Programme, which is to provide a solid foundation for a technological break-through in Nigeria.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Rabi Jimetta, said right from creation, man has always searched for better ways of doing things in order to ease and improve his standard of living and socio-economic well-being by using things that are available at his disposal.
According to her, the desire to encourage Nigerians, particularly those in the informal sector of the economy that have outstanding indigenous technologies was based on their inventions that could impact positively on Nigerians and the economy.
She listed some of the objectives of the scheme as encouraging invention and innovation in technology, to examining research claims and assessing what could be done to take such claims to prototype and commercial level and to suggest how funds could be sourced to finance the various stages of development from inception to prototype and commercialisation.
On his part, Secretary, PSCII and Director of Technology Acquisition and Assessment, Dr. Adeyemi Talabi, commended the inventors for their relentless ingenuity, tenacity and commitment to industrialising the country through various researches in science and technology.
He urged them to take advantage of the research outcome to advance the country technologically, through commercialisation drive, wealth creation and employment generation.
Speaking on behalf of other beneficiaries, Mr. Momodu Shaka, who invented an auto fire extinguisher expressed gratitude to the Federal Government and promised to use the fund to translate their inventions into commercial scale.