NOTAP Officials Attend Collaborative Research Initiative Conference, Organised By Kwara State University, Malete, Kwara State On 9th – 13th June, 2015

The First Collaborative Research Initiative Conference, organised by the Kwara State University, Malete, Kwara State was held on 9th – 13th June, 2015.

The theme of the conference was “To Search is to Find: Building Research capacity in Nigerian Universities and other research institutions”.

The specific objectives of the conference include among others the followings:
(i) Promote collaborative that addresses developmental challenges in Nigeria;
(ii) Support sustainable research linkages among universities, research institutions, government and industry;
(iii) Strengthen the capacity of research institutions to conduct and deliver more applied research;
(iv) Encourage partnerships for effective collaborative research and funding;
(v) Recommend world-class and uniform research standards for Nigerian universities and other research institutions;
(vi) Create a directory of experts and research supervisors/advisors accessible to prospective researchers and postgraduate students;
(vii) Work towards achieving world-class research, oriented postgraduate education for training and nurturing future research leaders; and
(viii) Promote undergraduate research programmes in social entrepreneurship.

The conference was attended by the Kwara State University research community and postgraduate students, researchers from other universities and research institutions, invited special guests from other organisations both private land public, including the Director General of NOTAP, Engr. Umar Buba Bindir, who was ably represented by Engr. J.U.L Nwosa, Director (TARC) accompanied by Mr. S. O. Eneanya, DD (TARC) and Mr. E. Orji, DD (SA-DG). The Director General of NOTAP was specifically invited to the occasion as a “Special Guest” to present the “Keynote Address”. However, due to some other official engagements the Director General could not attend the occasion, but the keynote address was ably presented by Engr. J.U.L Nwosa, D (TARC) on 11th June, 2015.

During the technical sessions of the conference, a number of technical papers on topical issues including the following were presented:
(i) Research in Humanities and Sciences: Similarities And Differences;
(ii) Collaborative Research: Challenges and Benefits
(iii) Research and Entrepreneurship: Scope And Interrelationships
(iv) Government: Research Focus and Nigeria’s Development Timetable
(v) Industry: Role of Industry in Research
(vi) Academic/Research Institutions: Our Needs and Responsibilities
(vii) Research in progress by Kwara State University Researchers.

Each of the technical sessions was followed by interactive panel discussions/deliberations to drive home the focus and direction of each paper presentation.

In conclusion, the conference noted that the value of basic research to the socio-economic vitality of a community or nation cannot be over emphasised. Notwithstanding this importance, available data reveal that basic research is underfunded by industry because it is performed with no specific commercial application in mind. Instead, industries concentrate their R&D spending on the development of products or processes with direct commercial value.

As world economies marsh and global race towards being first to introduce products to the marketplace intensify, industry is seeking more opportunities to partner with universities in order to gain competitive advantage. To become recognised in today’s cyber economy, Nigerian industries must look introspectively by partnering with the government and her universities to anticipate world needs, formulate basic and applied research strategies, along with efficient product development and marketing processes. Engaging government, industry and academia collaboratively through research, funding, knowledge and technology transfers will undoubtedly place Nigeria, her people and economy firmly on the doorsteps of world power.

For the office, the conference offered a good opportunity for interaction with the Nigerian researchers and to be able to track the trends of research activities in the country, with a view towards providing the much needed R&D support services and enabling infrastructure for demand-driven research agenda for sustainable development in Nigeria.