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NCC okays N9m for research grants

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it has set aside N9 million to three deserving startups with proposals for adaptable digital solutions for containing the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The selection of the three companies came after careful and painstaking evaluation of282 entries in the NCC COVID-19 Virtual Hackathon from digital innovation startups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by an evaluation committee set up by the Commission.

Its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the Commission has since extended invitations to operators and other industry stakeholders to participate virtually in the Grant/Prize Awards, which holds in the Conference Room of the Commission today.

Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, in a statement, said the health and economic crisis triggered by the novel COVID-19 pandemic had challenged the global ICT community to search for digital solutions to address and contain the spread of the virus. Such solutions would allow citizens and businesses to rein in the virus and continue their activities with limited disruptions

As a response, the NCC instituted a programme to award research grants to support startups and digital SME’s with adaptable innovative digital solutions that could address present and future impacts of pandemic and epidemic prone diseases in Nigeria.

Under the programme, the Commission will award N9 million research grants to three startups with the most innovative digital solutions for containing pandemics and epidemics in the country in the thematic areas of health, community, productivity, economy and transportation. The highlights of the ceremony include pitching/demonstration of the top three solutions by the startups, announcement of the winners and presentation of research prizes.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ibrahim Pantami, will give a keynote address and present prizes to the top three startups with the most promising solutions.

He will be supported by the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the NCC, Prof Adeolu Akande and the Prof Danbatta with other members of the Board of Commissioners.

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