The MTN- Academic Research Development and Innovation Challenge (ARDIC) is the MTN Nigeria initiative to support academic research. ARDIC 2019 is the first edition providing promising young researchers in Nigeria with an opportunity of commercializing their research output.
Applications were drawn from various institutions/universities across the nation, leading to the selection of 15 finalist of both Master and PhD Students who were invited to pitch their ideas. The pitching event took place at Nile University, Abuja on Thursday November 28, 2019.
The goal of MTN is to provide the top 6 well-motivated Masters/PhD researchers who want to translate their research ideas into high-impact innovations, with enabling platforms, APIs, data, training, mentorship and experimental sandbox for six months following their selection to further develop the ideas towards commercialization.
Two (2) out of the 6 winners are students of the University of Lagos.
Toyin Oshaniwa, a post-graduate student from the Department of Geography (Agricultural Geography), competed under the “Innovation for High Social Impact (AgriTech with emphasis on use of technology for agricultural yield optimization, storage and preservation)” research focus area. Oshaniwa’s research /project pitch focuses on ‘’Organic Farming for Healthy City’’. The project aimed at addressing the challenges of improper organic waste disposal within the university ecosystem and conversion to compost to support organic farming. Toyin Oshaniwa received the sum of N1, 000,000 as one of the six winners. Toyin Oshaniwa is also the founder of Nature Cares Resource Centre (NCRC), a knowledge based environmental non-governmental organization.
Taiwo Amoo, a PhD student from the Department of Computer Sciences competed under “Customer complaints modelling using new media data and Natural Language Processing (NLP)” research focus area. Amoo’s research/project pitch focuses on “Learning from Past Failures to anticipate Intending Problems”. The project proposed a data-driven approach to predict failures in advance before a final breakdown in devices/equipment in telecommunication networks using a multi instance learning approach. The goal is to help reduce customer complaints by anticipating equipment failures before final breakdown of devices in order to give ample repair time to technicians before customers’ services are hampered. This will ultimately increase satisfaction and effective service delivery to customers of telecommunication networks/ISPs. Taiwo Amoo also received the sum of N1, 000,000 as one of the six winners.
All the winners will be provided with enabling platforms, APIs, data, training, and mentorship to further develop their ideas towards commercialization. MTN-ARDIC also planned a 6 Months Acceleration program for the six winners.