By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has revealed that the maiden Nigerian/Portuguese Scientists’ Summit will begin on December 4, 2017.
The minister dropped the hint on Thursday at a world press conference held in Abuja, where he stressed that the summit with the theme: “Science, Technology and Nigeria/Portugal Collaborative Framework”, is aimed at strengthening science, technology and innovation of both countries.
Onu said that the visit from the Portuguese delegation earlier in February this year, stemmed from his visit to Portugal in November 2016 where issues of common interest to the scientific communities of the two countries were discussed.
According to him, “I’m glad to inform you that those visits have today blossomed to the point of now convening a science summit involving scientists, engineers and allied professionals from the two countries. Indeed, this is the first time in the history of our science and technology development in Nigeria to have a dialogue of this nature.”
Onu said: “The collaboration will in the short term, expose Nigerian scientists to international contacts, facilitate sharing of ideas, identify who is doing what research and where, improve access to international funding; while in the long term, it is expected that these collaborations will fast-track commercialisation of research and development results and exposed our scientists to the best scientific approach.”
The minister also disclosed that the summit will feature six technical sessions in core areas which include: Space science and technologies for socioeconomic development; Biotechnology and Natural products for health marine and industrialisation; Process and manufacturing technology/skills development; Research and development/industry linkages among others.
Onu stressed that the collaboration between Nigeria and Portugal has already placed the country as a founding member of a world group to study the Atlantic Ocean using science and technology tools, particularly the application of space science and technology.
He also revealed that during the conference starting on Monday 4th December, that Nigeria’s office of the Atlantic International Research (AIR) Centre would be commissioned.