My R4i Experience: AKINSOLA JIDE EBENEZER TAIWO (PhD)

From First Technical university, Ibadan

The mixed feelings usually associated with any training or workshops organized across the nation have been bothering me since I was nominated to attend the Research for Impact initiative. I thought it was the normal practice of business as usual. But I was totally dumbfounded when I stepped into Innov8 Hub. With my over 20 years of experience in the industry as a trainer and facilitator, I thought I had seen it all. But I was totally wrong. I have never seen the kind of facilities with well-structured ergonomics that are second to none, as what I witnessed at Innov8 hub.

Going by the outward aesthetics of the Hub, it is a total divergence from the notion that nothing good comes out of Nigeria. Right from the reception, the feeling of a new world comes into being. Then, I perceived a life-transforming opportunity through the R4i initiative.  After the tour of the facilities at the Hub, I told my colleagues that we have no excuse whatsoever; this is a place to be.  In all ramifications, I was totally overwhelmed. That is why I visited the incubation laboratory every day to conceive ideas about new approaches to invention.

Every moment I was at the Hub, I kept wondering, can there be such a transformative and impactful opportunity like this in Nigeria? This is a place where you meet eggheads with outstanding delivery and a high level of pedagogy; people who are ready to take one by the hand and shape him to the destination of innovation and value creation. I have never seen the practicality in my over ten years as a researcher, the succinct approach to how problems were turned into ideation; and the eventual birth of innovative solutions for commercialization. I was totally amazed. The hybrid teaching approach, coupled with seasoned facilitators made the learning so thought-provoking,  interactive, impactful and highly educational. I am so glad I came. The different activities like building a problem gallery,  evaluation matrix and business model canvas are so transformative that our students’ projects will no longer be lying fallow on the bookshelf, but rather turned into value-generation, market-driven and problem-solving inventions.

I am convinced beyond any reasonable doubt in my mind that, with all that I have learned from the R4i initiative in 10 days, the world will hear about me. Bespoke innovative solutions will be given birth to. The narrative will change concerning academia.  I will indeed be a good ambassador of R4i and a transformative agent of research, innovations, inventions and an acadapreneur in Nigeria and across the world.

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