From Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State

I had the privilege of participating in the 14th Cohort of the Research for Impact (R4i) initiative; a capacity-building initiative that took place at Innov8 Hub Abuja, from the 13th to the 23rd of November, 2023.

The Research for Impact initiative provided vivid insights into problem-solving, innovative research and development processes. Over the course of 10 days, we engaged in series of activities that centred around research, innovation management, commercialisation, value addition, and venture creation.

My R4i experience was highly informative, providing quality content that if sustained, will revolutionise our approach as Nigerian academics and instill new value in impacting our young graduates with requisite knowledge and skills to compete practically and innovatively within and outside Nigeria.

The 14th Cohort of R4i featured quality resource persons, well-versed in Innovative Technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Information & Communication Technology, as well as Business Modelling & Strategies. The facilitators, internationally acknowledged, certified, tested, and multi-talented fellows, delivered sessions that were both qualitative and insightful.

R4i offered a platform for innovative integration, cross-fertilisation of ideas, and networking among inquisitive academics, intelligent researchers, and hands-on technologists from different backgrounds and tertiary institutions across the country. The experience was wow! At R4i 14, harmonious and cordial relationships existed among the facilitators, organisers and the participants, as team spirit was the hallmark. Innov8 Hub was hospitable, providing comfortable accommodation and a good, timely transportation system to the venue and back to the hotel daily.

I am of the opinion that this programme should be extended to the Committee of Vice Chancellors (CVCs) of Nigerian universities and the Rectors of polytechnics, to find a way of adjusting the existing academic curriculum to incorporate the Innov8 Hub’s template of researching for solution, innovation and development.

My unreserved appreciation goes to TETFund, as well as the management and staff of Innov8 Hub, for such a wonderful experience. Special appreciation also goes to Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Abia State under the leadership of Prof. M.O Iwe, for nominating me to participate.

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