By Sola Ogundipe
NIGERIA is set to take on the rest of the world with the “9jaBOLT” Eaglemobile, a state-of-the-art prototype, and solar-powered racing automobile that is designed and built in Nigeria by Nigerians. History was made recently when Nigeria secured Africa’s sole entry to compete with its revolutionary prototype in the next edition of the prestigious World Solar Challenge, coming up in October 2015 in Adelaide, Australia.
Although locally designed, the 9jaBOLT Solar Car is as advanced as any global brand and manufactured product in the world. The feat which is a tremendous boost to the nation’s efforts to join the ranks of global technological innovation and industrial revolution is brainchild of Ebisike Ebube George, the vibrant and multiple-talented Creative Director of Team Nigeria, the group that is building the car from scratch.
Ebisike, who is Managing Partner, Heureka Enterprises Ltd., Lagos, and currently working on a research-based project to establish a Nigerian Colony on the Moon by 2050, has written President Jonathan on the need to finalise and actualise a blueprint to achieve this for the technological profitability of Africa and the humanity.
Lately, the 9jaBOLT Eaglemobile concept has caught the fancy of giants in the technological arena even as highbrow global entrepreneurs have not failed to take note. Interest and admiration by technologists, governments, foreign media and scientists across the global community has been colossal, particularly since Vanguard broke the story in May 2014.
Already, President Goodluck Jonathan and Corporate Nigeria’s top brass led by business mogul and Africa’s richest man, Mr. Aliko Dangote, are being lined up to provide the much-needed sponsorship to commence actualization of the 9jaBOLT prototype and host the “Africa Design Medal & Festival 2015”, ADMF, in Lagos where the solar car will officially be unveiled to the world and global scientists will gather to see it and also discuss the future of technology and mankind.
Now in the final stages of signing up a sponsorship partnership with a Fortune 500 American Engineering Powerhouse to build the 9jaBOLT Solar Car, “Team Nigeria”, a group of young, enterprising Nigerians, led by its Ebisike, Creative Director, has signed up Flying Antlers as its Marketing Consultants on its World Solar Challenge bid and also for the successful planning and hosting of the proposed ADMF in August 2015.
With all the trappings of success, the World Solar Challenge is Renewable Energy based, and can so easily be scaled up to become sustainable, viable and a hub to create over 700,000 specialised/ professional skillsets and jobs in the next 5-10 years within the Nigeria economy.
The Team hopes to maintain a low carbon footprint in the manufacturing process. The project possesses 100 percent technology transfer opportunity for the Nigerian technology workforce, is media friendly and has potential to expand the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan, NIRP, and NEDEP programmes of the President’s “Transformation Agenda.”
Said Ebisike: “As a CSR project worthy of partnership and investment the 9aijaBOLT stands to make a deafening globalised technology statement. This project is about sparking and re-awakening the pursuit of our lost or rather moribund ancient Nubian scientific and technological capability and culture. It is further about making groundbreaking investments in long-term thinking such as the 10,000-year clock or ‘Clock of the Long Now’ project, and funding of exploration as the ‘Apollo 11 landing on the Moon’.
“I am privileged to lead Team Nigeria as Creative Director to the “World Solar Challenge” in Oct.2015 holding in Adelaide, Australia. We have designed and are working on the building the State-of-the-art Eaglemobile “9jaBOLT” Solar Car and look forward to its possible successes whilst attracting the prospects of commercial adoption and mass manufacturing as a product to serve the African continent transportation needs and by extension phase out the existence of fossil fuel driven cars, thereby curbing climate change,” he remarked.
The car requires a minimum of US$650,000 not including other research “We are in touch with the prestigious Wolfram Research Europe Limited whom indicated interest to work closely with Team Nigeria’s engineers and technologists to build the advanced Eaglemobile “9jaBOLT” Solar Car’s intelligence capability.
The World Solar Challenge covers 3,021 km through the Australian Outback, from Darwin, Northern Territory to Adelaide, South Australia. It has a 20-year history spanning nine races, with the inaugural event taking place in 1987, attracting teams from around the world, most of which are fielded by universities or corporations although some are fielded by high schools.
The objective, said Ebisike, is to promote research on solar-powered cars. In 2013, 40 teams from 23 countries completed the race. Describing the ADMF event as “Africa’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize” he said it will honour remarkable ventures and personalities in economics, space technology, art, peace, medicine & biotech and other categories.
With the theme, The convergence of design elements and the energy challenges that will berth and sustain the future of mankind within the climate change equation and in our quest to thrive in deep space, the ADMF 2015 holds promise of one of a kind, he noted.
Among confirmed speakers for the historic event is Bas Lansdorp, eccentric Dutch billionaire , inventor, entrepreneur, and CEO of the globally renown “MARS One Project” a $6billion venture, amidst personalities including Ambassador Roland Jansen, Managing Director, BIOMASS Partners (Worldwide), and American Economist and Best selling Author Jim Roger, Ahmed Shaaban of the Khaleej Times in the UAE, Esam Wshah, CEO, SLC Petroleum Canada, Dr. Philip Emeagwali, and Prof. Steven Hawking among others.
“ We, Team Nigeria, the ‘Special Ones’, intend to use Wolfram-Alpha & Mathematica programming language. It is the most recently developed programming language in the world after 25years in research and testing and also is the only one known to possess “knowledge”. Wolfram-Alpha will manage device(s), machine learning and other capabilities of our proposed prototype, the 9jaBOLT Solar car, all run on the Raspberry Pi platform to intelligently integrate the car with the Nigerian satellite in orbit- NIGCOMSAT, with a wearable device (watch) and tablet,” Ebisike affirmed.