Universities must go and work with the Industry, as convergence between research output and industry input is critical for national development and shared prosperity.
That was the kernel of the presentation made by the Director of the D.K. Olukoya Central Research Laboratories, Professor Wellington Oyibo at the 5th Quarterly Online Research Seminar organised by Directorate of Research Management and Innovation, Lagos State University (LASU). The online event was held on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.
A respected voice in the field of Research and Innovation, Professor Oyibo underscored the important role that universities play as “central institutions of the 21st Century knowledge economies”, and key facilitators to moving the African continent frominvention and production economies into innovation and competitive economies.
He also urged Nigerian academics to move from Translational Research to Transactional Research.
His words: “National and global challenges require innovative ideas for solutions and policy development. Research and Development (R&D) is the major pathway that companies take to secure and expand their competitiveness. It is what drives innovation on a regular basis. It is what drives faster growth and more profitability for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs)”.
He identified some of the challenges to Research and Innovation as: poor funding, poor implementation of Science and Tech Policies, poor infrastructure, foreign exchange drains on the economy due to excessive importation, and non-alignment of university research to industry needs
“The main aim of research is gaining knowledge to build our nation. We have to connect research with industry in order to attain nation development and build our society, polity, and economy for the removal of poverty, unemployment, inequality.”, he said.
The Consultant Medical Parasitologist espoused on the ideal University Ecosystem for Research & Innovation to include: Education, Research, Innovation, and Industry.
“Research in the Academia must connect with the needs and aspiration of Industry. Life is a business. There is no time to waste. The Industry, in the pursuit of its objectives, understand this. The Academia must embrace that too if we are to remain relevant to our society”.
The virtual event had Academics and Researchers from the University of Lagos and Lagos State University (LASU) in attendance.