Lagos State government has awarded grants to tech start-ups and science research initiatives from various universities within the state.
The total grant of N100 million is part of the six pillars of the development agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration, which includes fuelling technology-driven innovations to transform Lagos into a 21st-century digital economy and Smart City.
During the maiden edition of Art of Technology (AOT Lagos 1.0) on December 5, 2019, the governor had announced a N250 million grant for science and technology-related ideas and initiatives.
The beneficiaries of the grant are innovating and solving problems in the area of food security, manufacturing, health management and COVID-19 alleviation, and they are the first set to be picked to benefit from the N250 million seed fund earmarked, last year, as research and innovation fund by the state government.
The fund is under the care of the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council, LASRIC, the agency established with the mandate to facilitate and encourage the development of innovative solutions to solve local problems, using cutting-edge technology.
Congratulating the recipients of the grant, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the initiative aligns with his administration’s vision in turning the state into a technology hub and, therefore, urged the recipients to use the grant judiciously.
He said: “In December 2019, seven months into the tenure of this administration, we inaugurated the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council, LASRIC, with a seed fund of 250 million naira, in demonstration of our commitment to developing Lagos into a 21st-century digital economy and Smart City.
“You are all aware of the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of our administration, which sets out the vision for the work that this administration has been elected to do on behalf of the people of Lagos State.
“The first ‘E’ and the ‘M’ represent ‘Education and Technology’, and ‘Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy’, the twin elements that underpin the work of the Lagos State Research and Innovation Council.”
He added that science and technology remain key enablers to transform the socio-economic and his administration is on course to delivering good governance and bettering live of Lagosians.
Meanwhile, he urged unsuccessful applicants not to lose hope, charging them to re-apply for the grant in the next round of selection.
He said the state government would be increasing the grant to accommodate more innovators in the subsequent application.
Explaining how transparent the judging process was, Olatunbosun Alake, Special Adviser to the Governor on Innovation and Technology said it was highly competitive and out of hundreds of applications, 23 were selected to advance the cause of innovation and science research.
Some of the notable innovation beneficiaries were “PricePally”, a food aggregating platform, “DoCi-HealthCare”, “GiVo”, a circular economy company that offers recycling solutions on IOT devices.
Research initiatives included Bioprospecting for anti-COVID-19 remedies from indigenous medicinal plants, led by Abimbola Sowemimo at The African Centreof Excellence for Drug Research; Development of Hydrogen Peroxide Biosensors for Detecting Post-Harvest Deterioration and Preparation of Chitosan-Derived Materials for Cassava Shelf-life Elongation, led by Wesley Okiel at the University of Lagos, and The Production of Fortified Municipal Solid Waste Derived Compost (MSW-C) for Amending Soil to Improve Nutrient Release and Plant Growth, led by Akeem Abayomi at UNILAG, among others.
Similarly, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, LASRIC Chairman noted that the event is a testimony of Mr. Governor’s commitment to the development of innovative thinking to solve our everyday problems
He added that the event also shows that there is ingenuity among Lagosians when provided the opportunity.
The high point of the event was the presentation of cheques to the awardees by the governor.