By Emma Okonji
Lagos State has awarded grants to start-ups and science research initiatives from various universities within the state.
The total amount of N100 million is part of the six pillars of the development agenda of the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, which includes fuelling technology-driven innovations to transform Lagos into a 21st Century digital economy and smart city.
Last year, during the maiden edition of Art of Technology (AOT Lagos 1.0), Sanwo-Olu had announced a N250 million grant for science and technology-related ideas and initiatives, which have become a reality.
The beneficiaries of Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) grant, are innovating and solving problems in the area of food security, manufacturing, health management and COVID-19 alleviation, and they were the first set to be picked to benefit from the N250 million seed fund earmarked last year, as Research and Innovation Fund by the state government.
The fund is under the care of LASRIC, an agency established with the mandate to facilitate and encourage the development of innovative solutions to solve local problems, using cutting-edge technology. The fund is specifically set up for resource innovation, science and technology ecosystem.
Congratulating the recipients of the grant, Governor Sanwo-Olu, said the initiative would always align with his administration’s vision in turning the state into a technology hub and therefore urged the recipients to use the grant judiciously.
According to the governor, “In December 2019, seven months into the tenure of this administration, we inaugurated the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) with a seed fund of N250 million, in demonstration of our commitment to develop Lagos into a 21st Century digital economy and Smart City.
“You are all aware of the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of our administration, which sets out the vision for the work that this administration has been elected to do on behalf of the people of Lagos State.
“The first ‘E’, and the ‘M’ represent ‘Education and Technology’, and ‘Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy’, the twin elements that underpin the work of the Lagos State Research and Innovation Council.”
He added that science and technology remained key enablers that would transform the socio-economic development of the state and that his administration was on course in delivering good governance and bettering the lives of Lagosians.
“Here in Lagos State, we are on the journey of properly identifying, resourcing, enabling and building the great human potential of Lagos State. Flagship projects such as the Metro Fibre and the Smart City initiatives are key enablers for achieving this.
“We are also working to transforming our Civil Service by encouraging innovative thinking and deploying technology tools and processes. LASRIC and all of its beneficiaries are positioned to be a vital part of this important journey,” Sanwo-Olu added.