The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it has concluded arrangements to award research grants to the tune of N9 million to three deserving Nigerian start-ups with proposals for adaptable digital solutions for containing the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The Commission in a statement released today said the selection of the three winners followed a careful and painstaking evaluation of 282 entries in the NCC COVID-19 Virtual Hackathon from digital innovation Start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by an evaluation committee set up by the telecom regulator.
“The Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has since extended invitations to operators and other industry stakeholders to participate virtually in the Grant/Prize Award ceremony, which holds in the Conference Room of the Commission at 11:00 am prompt on Tuesday, September 1, 2020,” the statement read.
NCC noted that 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. It added that such solutions would allow citizens and businesses to rein in the virus and continue their activities with limited disruptions.
“As a response, the Nigerian Communications Commission (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 will award N9 Million research grants to three Nigerian start-ups 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 Commission stated.
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, is expected to give a keynote address and present prizes to the top three startups with the most promising solutions. He will be supported by the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the NCC, Professor Adeolu Akande and the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta with other members of the Board of Commissioners of NCC in attendance.