The University of Lagos Design Studio has graduated its second cohort of Rice360 Summer Interns. The graduation ceremony took place on Friday, December 2, 2022 at the studio.
A total of twelve (12) interns were selected from a pool of one hundred and sixty-seven (167) applicants from ten (10) different institutions across the country, cutting across fifteen (15) disciplines.
The successful applicants (six males and 6 females) were grouped into four different teams of three members each. For six weeks, they were taken through workshops on different areas of Design Thinking and Innovation. They also went on visitations to relevant sites to identify problems for which they could develop solutions.
The four teams – Stark, Targaryen, Valyrian, and Jaeger – then set to work; and after weeks of diligent research and applied thinking, they were ready to present their respective projects designed to solve different problems associated with infant healthcare.
Team Stark presented the IncuBed, a fully integrated incubator kit, which they designed as a solution to neonatal mortality in Nigeria. Their solar-powered incubator was proposed as a cost-effective solution to Hypothermia in new born babies in Nigeria, especially in the rural areas.
Team Targaryen brought forward the Natal Monitor, a smart baby-weighing scale, in order to address the challenge of low birth weight and premature birth.
Valcare, an all-in-one health software that incorporates health insurance and pay-as-you-go, among other options, was the project of Team Valyrian. It also presented the ValBra, a censor-fitted brassiere designed to detect tumours early in the female breast.
Team Jaeger sought to solve a problem similar to that of Team Stark, but in a different way. They presented NeoBlankey, a neonatal heating swaddle blanket which they designed to address the challenge of pre-term infant mortality.
The Design Studio Manager, Engr. William Baah, described the rationale for the summer internship.
“Everything that is a problem is what we tackle here, and we place a lot of emphasis on health. NEST actually means Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies, and their partnership with Rice University to support this initiative is the reason why the focus of our innovations at the summer school is newborn care.”
A Co-Investigator of the project and Mentor to the interns, Professor Akinniyi Osuntoki, congratulated the teams and charged them to make the society better with their newly developed proficiencies.
“You, ladies and gentlemen, are the future of Nigeria. With the abilities that you have developed here, our country’s health sector should be better for it. Go out there and prove us right”, he said.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, FAS, was also at the event in her capacity as Principal Investigator of the project.
A visibly delighted Professor Ogunsola commended the officials of the Design Laboratory and the interns for the beautiful display of talent and discipline. She assured them of the university’s continued support and active encouragement.
Her words: “It has been an amazing evening for me, listening to all your brilliant propositions. What you have done here is what a university is really about: learning, thinking, and application of knowledge to problem solving. Another thing that gives me joy is the inter-university composition of the four teams. That is the pattern that our universities in Nigeria should follow. It is time for our universities to collaborate with each other and not be in constant competition. That way, we can all grow together and make greater impact. Here at the University of Lagos, we will continue to create the environment for you to thrive.”
She charged the interns to remain undaunted in their journey with innovation.
“Don’t stop! I am glad that you are already thinking outside the box. You can solve our problem. You can do better than we did. Again, I say to you, “Don’t stop!””
The UNILAG Design Studio is a product of collaboration between the University of Lagos and Rice360 Institute for Global Health Technologies, USA. The central goal of the studio is to provide easy access to state-of-art specialised equipment and other relevant resources that promote innovation.