By Emma Okonji
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has concluded arrangements to award research grants to the tune of N9 million to three deserving Nigerian startups with proposals for adaptable digital solutions for containing the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The selection of the three companies followed a careful and painstaking evaluation of 282 entries in the NCC COVID-19 Virtual Hackathon from digital innovation Startups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by an evaluation committee set up by the commission.
The Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, presented the research grants to the beneficiaries during a virtual grant/prize award ceremony, which held in Abuja recently.
The health and economic crisis triggered by the novel COVID-19 Pandemic had challenged the global ICT community to search for digital solutions to address and contain the spread of the virus. Such solutions would allow citizens and businesses to rein in the virus and continue their activities with limited disruptions
As a response, the NCC instituted a programme to award research grants to support Startups and Digital SME’s with adaptable innovative digital solutions that could address present and future impacts of pandemic and epidemic prone diseases in Nigeria.
Under the programme, the commission awarded N9 million research grants to three Nigerian startups with the most innovative digital solutions for containing pandemics and epidemics in the country in the thematic areas of health, community, productivity, economy and transportation. The highlights of the ceremony include pitching/demonstration of the top three solutions by the startups, announcement of the winners and presentation of research prizes.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, supported by the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the NCC, Professor Adeolu Akande and the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Office, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta with other members of the Board of Commissioners of NCC in attendance, presented prizes to the top three startups with the most promising solutions.