UNILAG Launches Groundbreaking Innovation to Market (I2M) Project

In a bid to revolutionize Nigeria's innovation landscape, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) is introducing its groundbreaking Innovation to Market (I2M) project. This transformative initiative, supported by UKAID's Research and Innovation System for Africa (RISA), aims to empower innovators and researchers by providing them with the necessary resources and support to bring their groundbreaking research solutions to the market. The ultimate objective is to address societal challenges and drive economic growth in Nigeria.

The I2M project takes a comprehensive approach to nurturing innovations at various stages of development. It offers a wide range of services, including training, incubation, mentorship, advisory support, funding opportunities, patenting assistance, company and tax registration, as well as industry connections. These vital elements are crucial for the successful commercialization of research breakthroughs. Notably, the project places a special emphasis on the inclusion of Nigerian youths, women, and Persons With Disabilities (PWD), aiming to create pathways and channels for their innovations to reach the market.

Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, emphasized the critical role that innovation plays in today's rapidly evolving world. She highlighted that innovation drives growth, and job creation, and enhances the overall quality of life on a global scale. However, she acknowledged the challenges faced by many innovators in transforming their concepts into viable commercial ventures.

The I2M project encourages participants to develop solutions that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and address Nigeria's specific challenges. This strategic focus ensures that innovations not only contribute to economic growth but also foster a more equitable and sustainable future for the country.

Prof. Ogunsola expressed optimism that the I2M project would act as a catalyst for change, unlocking the immense potential of countless innovators and revolutionizing industries. Furthermore, she believes that the project will propel Nigeria towards becoming a net-producing economy.

Stakeholders, including universities, policymakers, and RISA, have united to support the I2M project. This collaborative effort demonstrates their unwavering commitment to promoting innovation and creating ample opportunities within Nigeria's research and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The launch of the University of Lagos' Innovation to Market (I2M) project marks a monumental stride forward in Nigeria's innovation landscape. With its focus on empowering Nigerian innovators and researchers, this initiative is poised to stimulate economic growth, foster opportunities, and pave the way for transformative innovations that will shape Nigeria's entrepreneurial ecosystem for years to come. Through comprehensive support and strategic partnerships, the I2M project aims to unlock the full potential of Nigerian innovators and contribute to a more equitable and sustainable future for the nation.

Article by Jed Mwangi