The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) on Wednesday unveiled its Smart Innovation Hub with the aim to foster productivity, networking and commercialisation of research works by members and stakeholders.
The President of the society Mr Tasiu Gidari-Wudil coordinated the unveiling with the theme ‘Embracing the Digital Future: Unveiling the NSE Smart Innovation Hub’ in Abuja.
He said that the hub was conceived in 2016, with the aim to see how to empower the Nigerian engineer on the expectations of the country.
According to him, innovation hub is where the ideas will come, be developed and commercialised. Most of the research work in our universities are not commercialised.
‘What we want is from the conception of the idea to the product so that Nigeria can take its rightful position in technology.
”This building has been built and we need to make sure that inside the building is show of technology.
“Today we are launching this hub we have all the components, we are going to have virtual offices,” he said.
He said that members were finding it difficult to have offices due to lack of office space.
”Our young engineers with little amount they can come and take the virtual office here.
“Do their business and with all the conditions we attach to it and it will show the acceptance of the Nigerian public and the world.
”They can be contacted here and have physical meeting here but it has to be well coordinated and planed,” he said
Gidari-Wudil said because it was virtual, the offices could be as much as one million offices and all members could had their office spaces.
He said that it was a very good place for business because all security measures would be put in place to ensure that no one is defrauded.
Speaking on NSE’s agenda setting for the Bola Tinubu administration, the NSE president said was happy the President had come with his agenda and two of the agenda were digital skills and technical vocational education.
“This hub is already designed to do that. We have training week where skills can be acquired in engineering practice and of course we have digital skills to be harnessed by our members, AI, Internet of Things and all of that.
“One of our members has developed a kit for training in schools which was usually bought from outside we have developed it here we will see to the deployment of those kits to our universities and polytechnics.
” And this hub will not work alone we have signed agreement MoU with other hubs if we don’t have a particular research item we go to other hubs and do it and come and aggregate it here that is why we have aggregator.
“The aggregator means that all the intellectual properties will be aggregated there, all those copy rights and people will be given the chance to go through them and sharpen their ideas.”Gidari-Wudil said.
The Keynote Speaker of the occasion, the Managing Director, Wema Bank Plc. Mr Moruf Oseni, said the initiative of the hub was crucial as it was timely.
“The programme is aimed at empowering young entrepreneurs with the relevant digital skills and knowledge to thrive in the digital space will cut across software engineering, user experience design.
“Product development, cyber security, data analytic, machine learning, financial management and leadership training.
“I hold unwavering confidence that the NSE SMART Innovation Hub Project will play a pivotal role in helping Nigeria embrace the digital future, serve as sanctuary for engineers and professionals to collaborate and innovate.
“It shall also offer training and resources to facilitate the adoption of digital technologies within businesses and organizations, ” he said.
Oseni, therefore, pledged his bank’s support for the establishment of the hub.
Also speaking at the unveiling, the Guest Speaker,Dr Kola Adeshina, Group Managing Director, Sahara Group, said the hub signified a remarkable leap forward in the country’s pursuit of progress and innovation.
Adeshina said the digital revolution had transformed nearly every facet of our lives adding that the hub would further propel the country towards the power of connectivity, leverage on data, be more exposed to Artificial intelligence among other benefits.
“The digital future is not just about technology; it’s about using technology to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.
“Together, we can shape a world where innovation knows no bounds and where engineering is at the heart of progress,” Adeshina said.
NSE Hub which is expected to be valued at N600 millionwill among other benefits provide Mentorship/Student Assistance Programme, Smart Offices, E-ibrary and Localised Content Aggregator.