The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated its commitment to supporting innovation across the country through regulatory interventions. The Commission’s Director, Research and Development, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, stated this today at the presentation of cheques to the NCC’s virtual Hackathon winners in Abuja.
The startups presented with a cheque of N3 million each include Prime E-Health, Cyberfleet, and Elizade University team.
Beyond the N9 million presented to the three winning start-ups Nkemadu said: “The Commission through the Research and Development Department will continue to support flourishing innovations by creating the right regulatory interventions to give a fillip to the sustenance of startups and tech-hubs in Nigeria.”
According to him, the Commission initiated the NCC Virtual Hackathon 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to challenge Nigerian startups, Technology Hubs, and Innovation Digital SMEs to come up with adaptable digital solutions for addressing the present and future impacts of Pandemic and Epidemic diseases in Nigeria. He added that the Hackathon was designed to engage the startups to compete in a healthy manner in such a way as to improve our innovativeness.
Explaining the process that led to the emergence of the winners, the NCC Director said: “When we advertised and called for entries to the Hackathon, a total of 298 submissions were received from Startups. After the first and second level preliminary assessments based on the pre-established selection criteria, 56 of the startups qualified for the final stage of the Evaluation Processes.
“A very competent team of Evaluators drawn from relevant Departments in the Commission worked assiduously to recognize excellence and select groundbreaking innovative solutions from Startups and Tech Hubs capable of mitigating the challenges posed by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and beyond.”
He added that out of the fifty-six (56) Solutions from different startups that participated in the Virtual Hackathon, three (3) winning solutions were identified through a painstaking evaluation process that threw up the overall first, second, and third bests startups with the most promising and adaptable solutions.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the COVID-19 Hackathon was just one out of many ways the Commission has been promoting innovation in the country. “We have encouraged ICT innovations among the Nigerian youths whom we have regularly sponsored to the various competitions organised by the International Telecommunications Union.
“The Commission has in the past two years managed similar ICT-based innovations and research competitions among the tertiary institutions in the country, with potentials to improving on our local content solutions in the industry.
“In this regard, the Honorable Minister, distinguished stakeholders, ladies and gentlemen, we are pleased to reiterate our commitment to the promotion of Nigeria’s digital economy by the establishment of the Department of Digital Economy in the Commission to coordinate all aspects of our responsibilities and mandate towards realizing the objectives of this very important programme initiated and driven by the Honorable Minister for the benefit of our dear nation,” Danbatta stated.