Opolo Global has advocated for research commercialization in Nigerian universities to drive the country’s development. This was made known during the presentation made by the Head of Special Project of the innovation company, Mr. Deji Ajani at the inaugural Quadruple Helix Meeting Series of Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, Nigeria.
The meeting, convened on October 19, 2023, at the Mini Convocation Arena of the university, brought together thought leaders, innovators, and stakeholders from academia, government, industry, and civil society. The gathering, tagged KWASU Quadruple Helix Series 1.0, had in attendance the Ag. Vice Chancellor, Prof. Shayk-Luqman Jimoh, the University Registrar, Dr. Kikelomo Sallee; the University Librarian, Prof. Salman Abdulsalam and representatives from various government ministries and civil society.
In his presentation titled Commercialization of Research Output: Key to National Development, Ajani lamented that despite the fact that R&D is essential for economic growth and development, Nigeria invested 0.14% of its GDP in the sector. He said this was against what happened in other African countries like Kenya (0.82%), South Africa (0.78%), as well as developed countries like the United States (2.80%), United Kingdom (1.70%), and Germany (3.10%).
He further highlighted the importance of research and development in building a virile economy as it is a critical component of national systems of innovation in achieving improved economic sustainability. He acknowledged the fact that commercialisation of research outputs from universities across the globe has continued to serve as a source of revolutionary innovations and drivers of sustainable development.
Ajani then charged the Nigerian University System to be more intentional about research commercialization for improved funding, job creation, creation and growth of spinoffs and economic sustainability of the universities. He therefore called for a revision of the functions of the university from teaching, research and community service to include business. He said this was the only way to bring shared prosperity to all stakeholders in the Nigerian University System. He then called for the revision of promotion criteria to include intellectual property and venture creation.
In his opening remarks, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Shayk-Luqman Jimoh emphasized the event’s role in fostering a harmonious and productive relationship between academia, industry, government, and the community. He underscored the importance of such interactions with industry experts to promote innovative, industry-aligned research, ensuring sustainable economic development.
The Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Dr. Sunday Ojo, commended the support from the university’s leadership, particularly Prof. Shayk-Luqman Jimoh, in making the Quadruple Helix Meeting a reality. He expressed gratitude to Opolo Global Innovation for its valuable contributions and encouraged all attendees to actively participate in the roundtable discussions.