From Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja

As a lecturer in the Nigerian tertiary education system with many years of teaching, research and supervision of students’ projects, my nomination to participate in the Research for Impact initiative was not a big deal. Yes, that was how I felt.

When I arrived at Innov8 Hub as part of the R4i 22 team members from my institution, it immediately dawned on me to encapsulate my ivory tower knowledge. My priority at R4i was to co-learn and co-create with other professionals who believe in venture creation and research commercialisation. This I did by readjusting my research antenna to suit the obvious reality before me. My first lecture on Introduction to Research Commercialisation by Dr Obichi Obiajunwa confirmed my fears; it was laid bare before me only an hour after my arrival at Innov8 Hub. This session reminded me that all l had been doing in my institution was churning out data for journal publications, decorating my academic shelves with students’ projects and feeling on top of the world without necessarily solving any tangible problem with them.

The sessions came in droves and at every turn, they shaped my ignorance of the need to remodel my Intellectual Property into a viable commodity for solving societal problems at a profit. Even though I had been exposed to high-level research and innovation workshops in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, parts of the European Union, as part of my research adventures and I have even enjoyed the privilege of using world class equipment abroad for analysis, the immediate impact and satisfaction you get from doing these things all over again at Innov8 Hub is not comparable. The difference for me is that Innov8 Hub is result-driven and value-oriented, built around the conviction that knowledge-based Intellectual Property is a sustainable Gold-Mine worthy of preservation.

I am aware that research commercialisation and venture creation which are part of the key objectives of the R4i initiative is not a light switch which can be turned on and off at a simple request, but with concerted effort, dedication, and personal resolve to do things differently, l can now explore the entrepreneurship of the technology-based knowledge route to make a meaningful difference.

As l draw down my R4i experience, l leave Innov8 Hub with a clear focus of becoming a more efficient researcher guided by the principle of solving problems after taking a more critical look at the problem statement. From now onward, my research output is for value addition and venture creation. This R4i experience provides me a second chance to revisit all the idle research on my shelves because l am now built with a new optimism of adding value to research by henceforth solving problems that only benefit communities and humanity.

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