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EU urges Nigerian scientists to tap into €100b science, tech research initiative

By Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
17 March 2022   |   4:05 am
The European Union has urged Nigerian researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to take advantage of its €100 billion research programme for development of the science, technology and innovation sector in the country.

The European Union has urged Nigerian researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to take advantage of its €100 billion research programme for development of the science, technology and innovation sector in the country.

Head of EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Samuela Isopi, made the call while speaking at the 2022 Technology Expo tagged “Sustaining National Economic Growth through Science and Innovation”, in Abuja.

Operating under the EU programme Horizon Europe — Africa Initiative, Isopi noted that the programme running from 2021-2027 was the most ambitious research and innovation programme in the world.

She stressed the need to empower researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to develop solutions to societal challenges, adding that creating an enabling ecosystem in which ideas can travel from a scientist, innovator or an entrepreneur to the society, and transform into innovative solutions, commercial products and services.

She said: “We all know how important Science and Technology is in building a society of knowledge. And we all know why it is important to empower researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to develop solutions to societal challenges.

“The 2022 Science Technology and Innovation Expo is part of this ecosystem – it is an avenue for the innovators to meet with investors, showcase and commercialise their research findings.

While declaring the Expo open, President Muhammadu Buhari, said deliberate investment in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is a key element for Nigeria to attain greatness.

Buhari, who was represented by Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, also unveiled the 2022 Revised National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation (NSTIP) and the Nigeria Science, Technology and Innovation Television (STI tv@NG).

Buhari expressed confidence that the revised policy would not only serve as a principal document for the full diversification of the Nigerian economy but be a lasting legacy to both present and future generations of Nigerians for the promotion of a knowledge economy.

He maintained that the STI television would be used for extensive advocacy to inculcate as part of our everyday life in the country.

On his part, Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Mohammed Abdullahi said it was important for the country to challenge the World Intellectual Property Organisation classification of Nigeria outside the first 100 most innovative countries under the 2021 Global Innovative Index.

Abdullahi noted that Nigeria must scale up inventions and innovators to be globally competitive, adding that in the next three to five years, Nigeria must be amongst the first hundred most innovative countries as a starting point.