Engr. Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner Technical Services, NCC in his key note address said that the occasion is of paramount importance as it aligns perfectly with one of the core objectives embedded within our new Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) for the years 2023-2025, adding “Our primary aim is to foster the development of cutting- edge technologies through rigorous research, thereby catalyzing sustainable economic growth and overall development within Nigeria.”
Maska stated that in a world where innovation is paramount, we often witness the remarkable potential of Hackathons to showcase, fresh perspectives on existing challenges.
These events, he said, serve as instrumental tools in sustaining innovation and mobilizing the collective intelligence of the innovators to tackle pressing real-world issues, both in the business realm and within our social fabric.
“Throughout the years, the Commission has actively promoted hackathon competitions, each with a thematic focus aimed at addressing significant challenges within our industries and society as a whole. Some noteworthy examples include hackathons that yielded innovative solutions for issues such as kidnapping and banditry, E-waste management, and strategies to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
This year’s event focuses on three pivotal thematic areas, those that not only pertain to our great nation but also resonate with global concerns. These themes are:1. Blockchain-enabled Data Protection Solutions for Enhancing Regulatory Compliance,
2. Assistive Technology Solutions for the Elderly and People with Disabilities,
3. Technology Solutions for Renewable Energy in Rural Areas.
“Consequently, I am happy to announce that this Talent Hunt Research through Hackathon is just the inception of the Commission’s unwavering commitment to nurturing innovation and nascent ideas. The culmination of this competition is not confined to the grand prize of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000.00) awarded to each winner from these three thematic areas for the development of their solutions, but goes beyond this, as the Commission takes a holistic approach to support these promising innovations. We closely monitor the progress of these solutions as they evolve into full-fledged prototypes.
“The Hackathon will be preceded by an Incubation and Mentorship Programme, which will be designed to equip startups, innovators and tech entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to refine their ideas. This phase encompasses critical aspects such as determining product-market fit, navigating intellectual property challenges, and constructing robust business plans. Additionally, it offers us the opportunity to gauge the impact that these grants and prizes have had on the beneficiaries and the industry.
“The journey does not end here. The next stage involves the Adoption of Digital Innovative Services and Products stemming from the Hackathons. In this initiative, our Commission takes the lead in sponsoring the deployment of the finalized products within select government agencies and institutions. It is with great pride that I inform you that, thus far, we have successfully adopted all three winning solutions from the 2020 Hackathon. These solutions were meticulously crafted to combat pandemics and epidemics that threatened our nation,” he emphasized.
According to him, “The first solution, Klasconnect, is an e-learning marvel that fortifies the interaction between instructors and students. Our Commission has spearheaded its implementation in six government schools, strategically located across the six geopolitical zones of our nation.
“The second solution, an Automated Temperature Scanner with Contact Tracing Capability, now graces the Commission’s library, serving as a beacon of advanced technology in our institution.
“Lastly, we have the SmartClinic, a versatile mobile and web solution that seamlessly connects patients through a mobile health app with a Hospital Information Management System (HIMS). This innovation boasts an array of features, including COVID-19 self-assessment, hospital registration through the app, instant consultation options encompassing chat, voice, and video, and comprehensive documentation by doctors. In another remarkable achievement, our Commission has facilitated the deployment of this solution to four teaching hospitals and two state- owned hospitals across the six geopolitical zones of our nation.”
He affirmed that the NCC’s commitment to fostering innovation and driving positive change through hackathons and related initiatives remains unwavering.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director Research and Development Department, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Alh Ismail Adedigba congratulated the young innovators who have been selected to participate in this highly competitive project, the Hackathon, adding “We have every confidence that you have brought forth a plethora of creative solutions, and we eagerly anticipate the outstanding commercializable prototypes that will emerge from your endeavours.”
Adedigba highlighted that “he was deeply convinced that events like this innovative Hackathon, if held regularly, offers us invaluable opportunities to unearth and adapt to new technologies. These adaptations will equip us to effectively navigate the ever-evolving landscape and surmount the current and future challenges facing not only our industries but also our broader societal spheres.
“It is imperative to acknowledge that our young innovators have a pivotal role to play in addressing existing industrial challenges and formulating technology-driven solutions that yield tangible social impact.
It is essential, he said, that the vision of the Commission for this Competition resonates profoundly with all stakeholders in general and accelerating our collective prosperity through technical efficiency agenda of the Honorable Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy.
“I would like to conclude this welcome address by reiterating our unwavering commitment to building and strengthening the bridge between Tech Hubs and the Telecom industry. We will persistently encourage innovative research that not only mirrors global innovations but also tailors them to local contexts,” Adedigba added.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) 2023 Talent Hunt Research Through Hackathon had 81 entries, from which 12 were shortlisted to participate in the tech innovation contest.
The Chairman, Panel of Judges for the Hackathon, Prof. Mohammed Hajiya, commended the Commission for promoting technology innovation, applauded the winners and other innovators who participated and encouraged them to contribute to leveraging their solutions to develop Nigerian economy.
Hajiya, announced the winners at the event and out of the 12 shortlisted, three emerged as winners from three thematic focus bellows: In the Blockchain Solution category, Know-Now Limited emerged winner with N10m prize.
In the Renewable Energy Solutions category, Solaris GreenTech Hub, emerged the winner with N10m prize.
In the Assistive Technology Solutions category, Spex Care Limited emerged winner with N10m prize.
The remaining nine innovators from the 12 were given N500,000 consolation prize each with certificate of commendation for their participation in the annual contest hosted by the Commission.