From Enugu State University of Science and Technology

When I was nominated by my Institution for the R4i program, I was curious: why should it be a ten-day program? What is there in research that academics like me don’t know? As I stepped into Innov8 Hub and toured through the labs, it dawned on me that it was time to unlearn and relearn.

Through engaging sessions by top-notch facilitators, my narrative of research and development changed into creativity, innovation, societal impact and commercialization. The sessions presented a sense of discovery, whereby innovation should be from problem exploration to concept development, assumption testing, business modeling and rapid prototyping. It also encompassed emotional intelligence, operating model, agile concepts, prototype development, commercialization, intellectual property protection and public speaking. 

I was immersed in a world of possibilities, challenged to love problems without being attached to a solution and explore ideas with an open heart. I was further challenged to identify a societal problem in Nigeria that is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. Through creative exploration, we generated a myriad of societal problems and solutions that have the potential to make a difference. It made me understand that there is no problem that we cannot solve in Nigeria and the era of working alone is gone.

Innovation became an emotional process for me; and it must be driven by the 3H (Head, Heart and Hands) model. Innovation is of the people, by the people and for the people. The economic situation in the country should not overwhelm us, rather we should generate ideas that can SCAMPER (Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, Replace) and make things valuable and beneficial to the society.

The knowledge gained, skills acquired, and relationships forged through the R4i initiative has helped me to understand that my research and development should not end up in publishing papers that get piled up in my shelves without value addition to society, venture creation, sustainability, patenting and generating income. The power to change Nigeria’s future lies within us. I will always cherish the moments spent at Innov8 Hub, the bond shared by all the participants, the facilitators and staff members for their hospitality, technical skills and expertise, love, care, time management skills and photo sessions. They all have left an indelible mark on my academic and professional journey.

As I return to my Institution, I carry with me the conviction that my research in collaboration with colleagues, students, industry and target users will have the power to catalyze positive societal transformation and meaningful impact on the world.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top