Lagos State Government, through the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), has funded over 50 Researches, Innovations and STEM Projects in the past 12 months as part of its commitment to developing Lagos into a 21st-century Digital Economy and Smart City.
The Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Hakeem Popoola Fahm, made this known at the Y2021 Ministerial Press Briefing held on Tuesday at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Secretariat, Alausa, in commemoration of the second anniversary of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration in Lagos State.
He disclosed that some of the projects funded by the State government include startups on COVID-19 intervention projects; startups on patent-pending research initiatives; startups in sectors such as Agric-Tech, Health-Tech, Construction and Manufacturing among others.
According to Fahm, one of the major achievements of the Ministry in the period under review was the collaboration with the University of Lagos on the development of a low cost rapidly deployable ventilator (Ambuvent Ventilator) for the management of COVID-19 pandemic cases.
He disclosed that seven months into the tenure of the present administration, the Governor had announced a N250 Million seed fund to boost technological innovation and initiatives, in demonstration of the government’s commitment to developing Lagos into a 21st-century Digital Economy and Smart City.
“Grants were awarded to successful applicants. The first set of beneficiaries selected to benefit from the Lagos State Seed Fund in the fields of Innovation, Research and STEM in August 2020, were Innovators and tech start-ups, who were empowered with N100M innovation grants, which was part of the N250M for Science and Technology related ideas and initiatives”, Fahm added.
He said that the initiative was in line with the ideals of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration, which includes fuelling technology-driven innovations to transform Lagos into a 21st-century smart city.
On the LASG Network Infrastructure project, Fahm said the LASG Campus Network upgrade was implemented with a State of the Art Wifi Network (Wifi-6 devices) and an FTTP end to end network, adding that the network upgrade connects thousands of computers from all MDAs within and around the Secretariat for e-government operations.
“This was designed to increase efficiencies within the MDAs; make online meetings and deliberations a reality; enable flexible working patterns; enhance e-learning across campus; implementation of online staff audit and stabilising ICT environments for improved online collaborative solutions”, he said.
On his part, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Innovation and Technology, Mr. Tunbosun Alake, revealed that the State also sponsored the participation of students to the Y2021Young Nigerian Scientist Presidential Award (774-YONSPA) among Secondary School Students across the country in the year under review.
“This is to boost the interest of students in Science and Technology (STEM Education) as well as to encourage and involve young children in designing Projects and Programmes that can resolve challenges in Infrastructure, Environment and Waste Management among others”, he stated.
Alake averred that the 2nd Edition of the ‘Art of Technology’ forum organised by the State Government with the theme “Smart Data, Smarter Lagos”, brought together the best of tech minds from across the globe physically and virtually on the 3rd and 4th of December 2020, with a conversation that centred on the fundamental role data plays in connecting the city with its citizens.
He said the State also unveiled the Startup Lagos at the Conference, which is an initiative meant to empower Lagosians and encourage ITpreneurs as well as others to take advantage of the opportunities the State is offering to help businesses and entrepreneurs.