For evolving innovative and technological solutions towards ensuring sustainable development of Africa, nine students of the University of Ibadan have received cash awards ranging from N25,000 to N100,000.
The winners emerged at the finals of the Geo-Hackathon competition held at the University of Ibadan for their innovations on monitoring consumption patterns on LDPE packaged products and LDPE waste, developed by Abigail Anaza-Mark; smart pump which prevents wastage of water once storage tanks are full by David Idajili; and a kidnap alert mechanism invented by Chukwuemeka John.
Emmanuel Aniala was winner in the industrial research category for carrying out vulnerability analysis of catchment of River Ona, on the Moniya-Eleyele axis, Ibadan; followed by Nwaezuoke Anastasia, for his solutions to addressing the nation’s challenges of plastic pollution, and Fatayo Opeyemi who gave recommendations on effectively fighting flood.
In the ‘Tell Your Story’ category, Alawode Lawrence’s investigation on water pollution in Oyo State was adjudged the best, while an innovation on LPDE waste proposed by the trio of Abigail Anaza-Mark, Favour Oyesina and Demilade Adesulure was in the second position, while Tomisin Babalola’s narration of the experience with Iddo-Ijoko railway transport was third.
Other tech solutions espoused by the 22 university students who made the finals included a geo-app for road accident management, presented by Olawuyi Dorcas; a sports wear that once charged with sweat serves as source of electric supply, developed by Olutosoye Taiwo and ‘healthAfriqueai’ developed by Abegunde Nathaniel which predicts disease prevalence using artificial intelligence and geographical information system.
Asked what plans are in place to ensure that the students’ ideas come to fruition, Geo-Hackathon Implementation Partner, David Afolayan, gave the assurance that the student innovators would be supported until their innovations become marketable.
Citing assurances of support from industry partners, Afolayan said the student innovators would subsequently go through an incubation process featuring training, patents, 3D prototyping, developing products, entering markets.
“Through the Geohackathon, we are promoting Geo-Literacy and Geographic Information System as enabling technology to stimulate innovation across all disciplines. We believe this will revolutionise the education system to produce solution-oriented graduates,” Afolayan said.
In her welcome address, the deputy vice chancellor, Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships (RISP), University of Ibadan, Professor Olanike Adeyemo, said the university was in sync with Geo-Hackathon initiative because of its intent to promote research, innovation and develop environmental and industry-viable solutions for sustainable development.
Professor Adeyemo said over 4,500 members of staff and students of the university had been impacted by the initiative.
She particularly, identified the uniqueness of GIS as a platform for leveraging advanced methodologies, innovative tools and configurable applications to solve complex spatial problems.
Partners present at the event included Regional Managing Director West Africa, Hitachi Vantara, Wale Awosokanre; Chief Executive Officer, CHET Innov8xions; Oluwagbamila Oyekanmi; Project Manager, Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project, Mr Dayo Ayorinde; Jack Dangermond of the Environmental Systems Research Institute, San Diego, California, USA; and former Head of Department, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Ibadan, Professor T. K. Hamzat.