By Onche Odeh
Experts working on researches and innovations in Nigeria’s manufacturing companies and innovative institutions are to benefit from a Research and Development (R&D) project worth $16.2 million to be co-funded by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Czech Republic.
The programme, christened Delta-2 Programme is the cooperation model of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR) which focuses on supporting cooperation in applied researches, including industrial research, experimental development or a combination of the two.
The current partnership with Nigeria is intended to run for the period from 2020-2025, through which TA CR will sponsor applied research and innovation of manufacturing companies and innovative institutions.
Nigeria, represented by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI)and the Czech Republic signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2014 at Prague on some critical areas of technology transfer and innovations which had resulted in the Co-Funding of the Czech-Nigeria Bilateral R&D Project on Delta-2 Programme.
The Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Engr. Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna said the Call for Public Proposal for the Delta-2 programme is one of the projects to be implemented under the Agreement between the two countries.
According to Haruna, the priority areas of the MoU which include Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Research, Agricultural and Food Technology, Mining and Industrial Development among others were unable to take off earlier due to bureaucracy until the Presidential Implementation Committee (PICTT) on Technology Transfer/Information Exchange between Nigeria and the Czech Republic, PICTT was inaugurated by President Muhammed Buhari in November 2020.
“The PICTT would be sourcing technologies from the Czech Republic’s manufacturing companies; tertiary; research; and development institutions. The sum of CZK 250 million (250 million Czech Koruna, approximately US$10.5 million) has been allocated as a research fund by the government of the Czech Republic, through the TA CR and will be supplemented by NASENI on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the sum of 2,000,000,000 or US5.7 million,” Haruna said.
According to him, technology acquisition and domestication through this collaboration will help in bridging the technology gap between Nigeria and the advanced countries of the West and facilitate Nigeria’s transition to a manufacturing economy.
“The Delta-2 Programme is uniquely designed to catalyze technology transfer and mobilize positive interventions and investments among private sectors and relevant stakeholders in Nigeria and the Czech Republic for technology advancement. The project seeks to mobilize investments to help developing countries like Nigeria meet their needs for environmentally sound technology”, he disclosed during the inauguration of the programme in Abuja.
He disclosed that the projects is expected to yield patents, pilot plants, development of proven technologies, industrial designs, prototypes, functional samples, software, certified methodologies processes and specialized maps, databases, and commercialization among others.
Chairman Presidential Implementation Committee on Technology Transfer/Information Exchange between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Czech Republic, Dr Muhammed Dahiru said the Launch of the Call for Public Proposals which is simultaneously being hosted by the TA CR and at least eight (8) other participating countries is the first part of the project procedure/schedule on TA CR Delta-2 programme for Bilateral cooperation in Applied Research and Technology Transfer for Agriculture, Mining and General Manufacturing.