FIIRO, UNIDO plan to translate local research innovations into major commercial entities
As part of efforts to strengthen its institutional capacity to drive sustainable and inclusive industrial development in Nigeria, the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) has formed a stronger partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
This was disclosed by the Director General of FIIRO, Dr. Gloria Elemo, after a meeting, last week, at the institute with the UNIDO Country Representative and Director Regional Office, Dr. David Tommy.
Tommy advocated that the importance of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in driving economic growth in Nigeria can no longer be taken for granted. “There is no better time to practice the maxim. Consume what you produce – Produce what you consume,” Tommy said.
He further observed that there is a mis-match between demand and supply in the labour market and as such there must be a conscious effort to relate University/Tertiary education curriculum with the required technical skills acquisition to make the graduates employable and reduce the importation of technical labour from Asia and neighboring African countries. He also advocated for a stronger linkage between the STI community, investment centres and the informal sector where a lot of innovative ideas have been seen to be springing up.
Elemo called for a stronger partnership with UNIDO to address the challenges inherent in being able to translate local research and development outcomes and innovations into major commercial entities.
She noted that a lot has been achieved by FIIRO in the area of finding utilization for all the agro-raw materials in Nigeria and over 250 commercializable products and technologies have been developed. She also noted that a change in mind set to believing in certified Nigerian-made products would go a long way to develop the economy.
Elemo shared the various ways in which the Institute is addressing the skills-gap in the labour market by collaborating with various Science and Technology (S&T) based tertiary institutions to expose their students to technical knowledge acquisition.
Both organizations agreed to partner together to provide capacity building, scientific data and strengthen the knowledge base of technology providers to bring about an inclusive industrial development in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, FIIRO has called on the Federal Government to develop modern industrial catalytic centres across the six geo-political zones of the country, for the production and packaging of consumables that can compete globally.
In addition, it should also ensure that capacity in entrepreneurship and packaging is strengthened, by reviewing the training curriculum, to be all-inclusive, effective and justifiable through the instrumentality of the Federal Ministry of Education.