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Nigeria: Lagos Empowers Innovators, Tech Start-ups with N100m Innovation Grant

Ola Olaoluwa
Ola Olaoluwa

The Lagos State Government has awarded grants to start-ups and science research initiatives from various universities within the state.

The total grant of N100 million is part of the six pillars of the development agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration which includes fuelling technology-driven innovations to transform Lagos into a 21st century digital economy and Smart City.

During the maiden edition of Art of Technology (AOT Lagos 1.0) on 5th December 2019, Mr. Governor announced a N250 million grant for science and technology-related ideas and initiatives; and yesterday, it became a reality. The beneficiaries of LASRIC Grant are innovating and solving problems in the area of food security, manufacturing, health management and COVID-19 alleviation, and they are the first set to be picked to benefit from the N250 million seed fund earmarked, last year, as Research and Innovation Fund by the state government.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu (3rd right); Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat (2nd left); Special Adviser to the Governor on SDG & Lagos Global, Mrs. Solape Hammond (left); Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Science and Technology, Hakeem Fahm (2nd right) and Special Adviser to the Governor on Innovation and Technology, Olatubosun Alake (right) in a group photograph with grant beneficiaries at the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) Grant Award Ceremony held recently.

The fund is under the care of the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), an agency established with the mandate to facilitate and encourage the development of innovative solutions to solve local problems, using cutting-edge technology. The fund is specifically set up to resource innovation, science and technology ecosystem.

Congratulating the recipients of the grant, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State said the initiative aligns with his administration’s vision in turning the state into a technology hub and therefore urged the recipients to use the grant judiciously.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. BabajideSanwo-Olu (3rd right); Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat (2nd left); Special Adviser to the Governor on SDG & Lagos Global, Mrs. Solape Hammond (left); Honorable Commissioner, Ministry of Science and Technology, Hakeem Fahm (2nd right) and Special Adviser to the Governor on Innovation and Technology, Olatubosun Alake (right) at the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) Grant Award Ceremony held recently

He added that science and technology remain key enablers to transform the socio-economic and his administration is on course to delivering good governance and bettering live of Lagosians.

Cross section of guests and grant beneficiaries at the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) Grant Award Ceremony held recently

Meanwhile, he urged unsuccessful applicants not to lose hope, charging them to re-apply for the grant in the next round of selection. He said the state government would be increasing the grant to accommodate more innovators in the subsequent application.

Explaining how transparent the judging process was, Olatunbosun Alake, Special Adviser to the Governor on Innovation and Technology said it was highly competitive and out of hundreds of applications, 23 were selected to advance the cause of innovation and science research. Some of the notable innovation beneficiaries were “PricePally” a food aggregating platform, “DoCi-HealthCare”, “GiVo”, a circular economy company that offers recycling solutions on IOT devices.

Research initiatives included; “Bioprospecting for anti COVID-19 remedies from indigenous medicinal plants” led by Abimbola Sowemimo at The African Centreof Excellence for Drug Research;“Development of Hydrogen Peroxide Biosensors for Detecting Post Harvest Deterioration and Preparation of Chitosan-Derived Materials for Cassava Shelf-life Elongation” led by Wesley Okiel at the University of Lagos and “The Production of Fortified Municipal Solid Waste Derived Compost (MSW-C) for Amending Soil to Improve Nutrient Release and Plant Growth” led by Akeem Abayomi at UNILAG. (Full list of beneficiaries available here).

Similarly, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, LASRIC Chairman noted that the event is a testimony of Mr. Governor’s commitment to the development of innovative thinking to solve our everyday problems. He added that the event also shows that there is ingenuity among Lagosians when provided the opportunity.

The high point of the event was the presentation of cheques to the awardees by the governor. The beneficiaries could not hide their joy, as they were full of praises to the government.

Financial inclusion

Ola Olaoluwa

Writer | Economist | Actor | Fashion Entrepreneur