NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship (NITTF) Launched
The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has formerly launched the NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship (NITTF)
Performing the Launch of the scheme at the Reiz Continental Hotel in Abuja recently, the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Science and Technology Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita said over the 35 year existence of NOTAP, the agency through its monitoring exercise of the implementation of technology transfer agreements, has observed that there are many inadequacies and disconnect between industries and the National Innovation System which resulted in the absence of value creation and inability to acquire and adapt imported technologies beneficial to the national economy.
Mrs.Oyo-Ita said in order to address the weaknesses and huge gaps in the process of acquiring and adapting imported technologies into Nigeria, NOTAP came up with the NOTAP-Industry Partnership Initiative with a number of schemes in 2009 including the NITTF which is aimed at providing an efficient process for the acquisition and domestication of foreign technologies as enshrined in section 4(c) of the NOTAP Act.
She commended NOTAP for the brilliant initiative and expressed appreciation to the companies that have fulfilled their pledges to sponsor the fellowships and appealed to those who have not to key into the scheme.
The Permanent Secretary promised the full support of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology towards the implementation of the scheme.
Presenting the concept and content of the NITTF scheme, immediate past Director General of NOTAP and current Secretary to Adamawa State Government Engr Umar Buba Bindir, said the scheme was borne out of the dire need to bridge the wide gap that exists between research and industry.
He said that the scheme is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) platform designed to create indigenous critical technological competencies of elite applied knowledge workers in Nigeria through special PhD programmes tenable in Nigerian Universities. The support, he stressed , is for a maximum period of 4 years to be jointly implemented by NOTAP and Industry and the fellows will eventually be academic workers in Universities and Research Institutes and will be required to enter into clear contracts and agreements with NOTAP, Industry, University and Research Institute such that close relationship will be developed during the study period and after completing their studies will return as lecturers or researchers in the universities or research institutes which will ensure speedy technology transfer.
Engr. Bindir pointed out that it became necessary to initiate the scheme due to several factors like the unsuccessful acquisition of foreign technology over the years thereby leading to capital flight, the modernization of production facilities that are dependent on imported technology with little effort to upgrade using local technology and the very weak linkages and interactions between manufacturing firms and the National Innovation System amongst others.
Engr. Bindir emphasized that the scheme will encourage the setting up of joint ventures and partnerships to sufficiently promote and profit from research and development results thereby improving the economy of the country.
He said lack of indigenous technology is responsible for the huge poverty level in the country and that the nation cannot industrialize without technology emphasizing that the nation has to domesticate technology in order to make any impact in industrailisation.
Earlier in a welcome address, acting Director General of NOTAP Dr. Dan-Azumi Ibrahim, said the key objectives of the NITTF are to create a pool of knowledgeable and skilled manpower that will facilitate technology acquisition, assimilation and diffusion, stimulate and translate research results to the private sector to develop a sustainable technology-based economy, establish appropriate linkages between universities, research institutions and industrial sectors and encourage the use of spin out and spin off companies as vehicles for promoting technology transfer and commercialization.
The scheme he emphasized will serve as a platform through which industries will voluntarily support the process of building the needed critical mass of highly skilled knowledge workers and the development of specialized personnel, strategic managerial skills and provision of key technology acquisition process.
He disclosed that the fellowship from the Industries will support training of selected candidates to acquire PhD with industrial content in Nigerian Universities who will ultimately become lecturers and researchers in tertiary institutions with access to funds and laboratories in Nigeria and overseas.
Dr. Ibrahim said the scheme is a tripartite arrangement where industry will provide fund and laboratory facilities, the university will train and employ the fellows while the government through NOTAP initiates and manages the interface to produce pool of critical mass of manpower needed for speedy economic development of the country.
He commended the immediate past Director General of NOTAP Engr. Umar Bindir for initiating the scheme and expressed optimism that the scheme would be sustained to create the much needed impact for the rapid development of the country.
Goodwill messages were presented on the occasion by the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Education Dr. Macjohn Nwaobiala represented by Mr. F.F Olie, Secretary General Committee of Vice Chancellors Prof. Micheal Faborude, Director General National Research Institute for Chemical Technology(NARICT) Zaria Prof.Idris Bugaje, former Director of NOTAP Mrs. Funke Lashmann and representatives of Julius Berger Plc.Mr. Abdulaziz Isa Kaita, Nestle Nig.Plc Marie Owoniyi, Friesland Campina WAMCO Nig.Plc Ayinde Oyebamiji., PZ Cussons Nig.Ltd Mr. Abba Amin, Prima-Dufil Nig.Ltd Olubusayo Adeyemo and Airtel Networks Nig.Ltd. Sanusi Kehinde.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita presented the awards to five beneficiaries of the first batch. They Include Adamu Zubairu, PhD Animal Science, Moddibbo Adama University of Technology Yola sponsored by Friestland Campina WAMCO Nig. Plc, Ajike C.Ogbu, PhD Mechanical Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Akwa sponsored by Julius Berger Nig. Plc, Ikegwu T. Maduabuchukwu, PhD Food Science, University of Nigeria Nsukka sponsored by Prima-Dufil (Indomie), Omah E.Chinelo (Mrs.), PhD Food Science, University of Nigeria Nsukka sponsored by Nestle Nig.Plc and Salau T.Tosin (Mrs.) PhD Computer Science, University of Ilorin sponsored by Airtel Networks Nig.Ltd.
Following the formal launch of the NITTF and the presentation of the fellowship package to the first batch of beneficiaries by NOTAP, it is expected that more Nigerians will benefit from the scheme in the near future with the support of other Industry players.