The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) said it has concluded plans to launch a $50 Million Research and Development Fund aimed at achieving a target of 70 per cent of Nigeria’s local content involved in the development of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria by 2027.
Speaking during a press conference ahead of its 2nd edition of the Nigerian Content Research and Development Fair, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, said the board has also signed an MoU with the Federal Universities of Technology in Minna, Akure and Owerri, Niger Delta University Amasoma and Modibbo Adama University of Technology Yola to establish R&D Centers of Excellence.
He further explained that the concept was created out of the realisation that no country develops industriously and sustainably without focussing on research and development.
He explained that the board placed a high premium on research and development as a critical enabler in achieving the target of 70 per cent local content by 2027, adding that the theme of this year’s event is “Creating Sustainable Collaboration in Research and Development for the Energy Sector.”
He informed that the event would feature presentations of research breakthroughs, panel discussions on R&D pillars of success and a special feature on how Nigeria can adopt a sustainable acceleration program for launching innovative ideas into the market.
The highlights of the fair would include the launching of the NCDMB 10-Year R&D Roadmap by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, commissioning of the Technology Innovation and Incubation centre established by the NCDMB to facilitate innovation and incubation of ideas for market adoption and launching of the $50 Million R&D Fund utilization protocol.
The Executive Secretary recalled that the maiden edition of the R&D Fair was organised in 2017, where Research breakthroughs were exhibited, and linkages were facilitated between Researchers and end-users in the Oil and Gas Industry.
He remarked that the Board had recorded significant progress in elevating the industry collaboration on R&D since the last edition. Some of the accomplishments included the establishment of the Nigerian Content Research and Development Council to advise the Board on matters relating to research and development in the oil and gas industry and the Development of the R&D 10 Year Strategic Road Map, which will be launched during the 2021 R&D Fair.
Other achievements included the development of frameworks for supporting research breakthroughs to products for industry application, adding that over 20 Researchers are benefiting from the Board’s intervention.
Speaking further, the Executive Secretary confirmed that the Board would use the $50million Research and Development Fund to support research findings that have practical utilisation and have the capability of being commercialised and applied to solve teething problems in the economy.
He noted that for any researcher to benefit from the fund, he would have to go through a rigorous process of proving the relevance of the research and the commercial viability, hinting that the fund did not require any collateral or guarantee.
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