The top echelon of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) were in Lagos on Wednesday to parley ICT professional on visiting the school and train students on the practical aspect of the study.
Discussions dwelt mostly on the Africa Centre of Excellence (ACE); the OAU-ICT Driven Knowledge Park built by the school through World Bank’s support.
The Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, speaking at the event backed by the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and the Computer Professionals (Registration Council of Nigeria), said that the gathering was converged to strengthen the School’s relationship with the industry players, primarily, for the benefits of the students.
He noted that the OAK-Park will be an ICT training hub in software engineering for Nigeria and other countries in the sub-region.
Prof. Ogunbodede, added that the park will produce the next generation of scientists, researchers, teachers, entrepreneurs and product developers in the area of ICT through appropriate practice-anchored capacity building measures and enrolling new postgraduate students from Nigeria and the sub-region.
Also, Pro-chancellor of OAU, Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi, said that the centre is actively providing launch pad platform for new tech companies.
He added that the one day Academia – Industry Interface Conference is the beginning of a series of engagement between OAU and their industry partners.
The Pro-chancellor reiterated the need for more ICT companies to take advantage of the OAU technology driven park, by building capacity in Park.
The Nigeria Computer Society and Obafemi Awolowo University have implored ICT stakeholders to take advantage of the World Bank sponsored OAU technology driven park, by building capacity in Park.
Already, Chams Plc and Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited, have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the tertiary institution to invest on the ICT Park project.
Speaking at theme of the one-day Academia – Industry Interface Conference, ‘Rethinking Academia-Industry Engagement’, President of the Nigeria Computer Society, Professor Adesola Aderoumu, said that, the park will provide the launch pad for start-up companies borne out of university research activities, and collaboration with partnering ICT companies, who will have the competitive advantage of proximity and direct access to the intellectual infrastructure and output of the university.
“The Park will also ensure systematic incubation of research ideas and products from OAU and other partner HEIs such that the creative/innovative energy of the teeming youths in Nigeria and the sub-region is harnessed into ICT entrepreneurial endeavours using appropriate skill-enhancing training and mentoring.
Prof. Aderounmu who doubles as the ACE Co-Centre Leader, said the hub will provide excellent training for national and regional students for Masters and PhD degree programmes in ICT and related disciplines.
He stressed that World Bank earmarked eight million usd for the setting up of the park, which is 75% completed.
He noted that the park aims to create a regionally-recognized and acknowledged model that is driven by high quality postgraduate education for uptake and commercialization of research and technology to advance the growth of ICT industry.
Aderoumu stated that the park will ensure systematic incubation of research ideas and products from Obafemi Awolowo University and other partner HEIs such that the creative/innovative energy of the teeming youths in Nigeria and the sub-region is harnessed into ICT entrepreneurial endeavors using appropriate skill enhancing training and mentoring.