February 22, 2019

Nigerian wins British Council first global innovation challenge

Nigerian wins British Council first global innovation challenge

By Elizabeth Uwandu

A Nigerian, Job Oyebisi virtual 3D lab for science learning has won the British Council first global “IdeasChangeLives innovation challenge. The competition sought for hyper-innovative ideas that can help find a solution to one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“IdeasChangeLives,” a part of a series of initiatives led by the British Council was a competition that ran from 15 October to 23 November 2018. It invited solutions for six of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 4 – Quality education; SDG 5 – Gender equality; Decent work and economic growth; Reduced inequalities; Sustainable cities and communities and Peace, justice and strong institutions.

The competition will see also see two winners get support to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). If the MVP is successful the British Council will work with the winner to seek partnerships to help scale the MVP across its network in more than 100 countries.

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It was, therefore, a thing of pride that three Africans proposals came tops from entries from over 2000 people and organisations.

Oyebisi alongside Malawi’s mHub, each is set to receive NGN 9,412,100.00 (20,000 GBP) and mentoring to take their products to live. While a proposal from Ghana, DigiCop, highly commended, will receive LOCAL NGN 4,706,550.00 (10,000 GBP) to develop a business plan to use AI technology to improve access to police assistance for Ghana’s 19 million mobile phone users. Ghana’s police to citizen ratio is 1:848 compared to the UN’s recommendation of 1:500.

For  Oyebisi StanLab in Nigeria, an innovation that use 3D technology hope to address poor performance in STEM subjects across Nigeria and the rest of Africa through. The innovation allows students to do experiments in a 3D virtual laboratory that teaches practical science through a computer or mobile device. This addresses the low quality of hands-on science education and facilities at many schools across Nigeria and aims to improve results and career prospects. The goal is to reach more than half of Nigeria’s 12 million students, contributing towards SDG 4: Quality Education;

While Malawi’s MHub application seek to report for sexual assault, reproductive health rights, early marriage, and human trafficking, adding to its function as Malawi’s first community-based human rights platform.

Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive, British Council in his congratulatory message said, “Technology, and the rapid increase in connected devices worldwide, offers new opportunities to tackle world problems. This competition has highlighted both the resourcefulness of digitally-capable people around the globe and their desire to solve the issues in their regions. The British Council is proud to enable the development of these winning ideas, and their potential to improve lives.”

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on his part, Vikas Shah, Judge, and Chief Executive, Swiscot Group said added that “Science education is essential but often costly.  StanLab bring a unique, powerfully intuitive and highly engaging deployment of VR, allowing those in even the most remote and underfunded to get the benefits of high-class science education.”