Inaugural Akinkugbe Prize Award 2023: Opolo Global Partners UNILORIN to Celebrate Student Innovators

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The University of Ilorin witnessed a historic event on Thursday, August 10th, 2023, as the first Akinkugbe Prize Award celebrated the remarkable achievements of student innovators. Co-organized by Opolo Global Innovation and the university, the award aimed to recognize and honor the brightest minds shaping the future through innovation.

The event, held at the prestigious Multipurpose Hall of the University, drew attention from academics, industry professionals, and students. Distinguished guests included Prof. Rotimi  Arise, who represented the Vice Chancellor of the University, and Prof. Sam Ugbomoiko, Chairman of the Akinkugbe Best Student Innovator Award Committee. Hajia Abibat Salman Seidu, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Business Innovation & Technology, Kwara State, also graced the occasion.

Prof. Sam Ugbomoiko, in his welcome speech, lauded the University’s commitment to fostering innovation and expressed gratitude for the unwavering support from the University’s leadership. He acknowledged Opolo Global Innovation as a pivotal technical partner that had exceeded expectations, turning the event into a resounding success. Ugbomoiko encouraged participants to view the award as a stepping stone for further refining their ideas and contributing to the growth of innovation.

Hajia Abibat Salman Seidu praised the University’s initiative in advancing technology and innovation. She commended the students for their dedication to pushing boundaries and urged them to seize the opportunity to showcase their research ideas.

Representing Opolo Global, Deji Ajani, Head of Special Projects, highlighted the mutually beneficial collaboration between Opolo Global and the University. According to him, the collaboration aimed to provide fertile ground for budding innovators to nurture their ideas, fostering an environment of growth and discovery. Ajani revealed exciting plans for an innovation hub and a series of programs designed to enrich the University’s ecosystem.

Ajani announced the commencement of the Opolo Incubation Programme, where the 11 remarkable innovations showcased during the event would find support and resources worth millions of Naira. The top three performers were also rewarded with the opportunity to join the prestigious 1st tier Opolo-UNILORIN Startup Ecosystem, an incredible launchpad for their groundbreaking ideas.

The highlight of the programme was the presentations of eleven exceptional innovations spanning various disciplines. Notable among them were Learn Academia, a virtual teaching and learning platform; Agromobile App for aiding Agricultural Extension Officers, and Edv8, a platform offering researchers and students access to data management tools.

The top three solutions that claimed the spotlight were Agromobile App, securing the winner’s title, followed by IoT-based Smart Water Management System as the 1st runner-up, and Edv8, which claimed the 2nd runner-up position.

The 2023 Akinkugbe Prize Award stands as a testament to the University of Ilorin’s dedication to fostering innovation and Opolo Global’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of groundbreaking thinkers.

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