R4i is the greatest collaboration I have ever seen or being involved with in my academic pursuit. This capacity-building initiative aims to reorient the Nigerian academia towards carrying out value-added research that will solve societal problems directly and practically by transforming research findings from paper work into innovative and finished products.
Having been in the academic pathway for a decade and counting, going for workshops and seminars across the nation, I thought that I had seen all there is to see regarding innovation in Nigeria. But stepping into Innov8 Hub for the Research for Impact (R4i) initiative, I was blown away. I never believed that such a world class center for birthing ideas into innovations really existed in Nigeria.
My experience at Innov8 Hub is the most fantastic New Year’s gift I have ever had. The program exemplifies a dream come true for me as an adventurous and young creative educator with a passion to become an astute scholar, with nation-building in mind. For over a decade, I have observed the use of several styles and pedagogies in classroom learning, but I have never witnessed any such pattern as is demonstrated here at Innov8 Hub.
Nigerian Polytechnics have long been recognized for their contributions to creativity and technical expertise, playing a vital role as hubs for innovation
and skill development. However, a notable gap has persisted, characterized by the absence of a commercialization-oriented approach within these institutions. This realization became clearly apparent to me during my active participation at R4i, an initiative that proved to be an eye-opener regarding the untapped potential inherent in transforming innovations into commercially viable solutions.
My journey to Innov8 Hub has been so transformative that, going through the R4i initiative, you can never remain your old self. Going through the courses from the seasoned facilitators will not only leave you angry about your old self but also spur you to turn a new leaf, which will make you leave a mark in the hearts of the people around you. The sessions made me shed tears because of how beautiful ideas from the academia are just lying wasted on the shelves, accumulating dust over a period before they are finally burnt into ashes for lack of space.
My R4i experience was impactful, educative, informative, innovative and interesting. It has taught me something new about the essence of research and made me to understand that this capacity-building initiative is aimed at re-orientating the Nigerian academia towards carrying out value-added research that will solve societal problems directly and practically, by translating their research findings from paper work into innovative and finished products
The drive to the Hub was a bit longer than I thought. As the fully air-conditioned bus gracefully glided into Innov8 Hub, the palpable aura of suspense and anticipation among the participants chosen for the Research for Impact workshop—marking the sixteenth cohort—was evident. I was beaming with expectation, particularly following the abrupt trip from the South-South region of Nigeria.
I am most grateful to TETFund and Innov8 Hub for providing this incredible opportunity, which would be a transformative force upon return to my institution. After my R4i experience, I eagerly anticipate witnessing what the future holds for younger Nigerians, confident that with government support and technology, Nigerian youths can showcase to the world that they have the potential to achieve greatness.