The Director, Research and Development at the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr Henry Nkemadu has said that the telecommunications ecosystem is very dynamic such that technology plays a key role in economic growth and sustainability of modern world economy especially with the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Nkemadu stated this during the presentation of grants to winners of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)’s Digital Solutions Hackathon for COVID -19 and other Infectious Diseases held at the NCC’s Corporate Headquarters, Maitama, Abuja on Tuesday.
He said the need to harness the potentials of these technologies to address the country’s societal challenges and meet her unique needs, becomes very important, adding that it is also a national aspiration to spice some of these technologies with local content as a way of improving availability of local manpower, and advancing ICT skills.
“It is for this reason that the Commission initiated the NCC Virtual Hackathon 2020, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, to challenge Nigerian Startups, Technology Hubs and Innovation Digital SMEs to come up with adaptable digital solutions for addressing the present and future impacts of Pandemic and Epidemic diseases in Nigeria.
“The Hackathon was designed to engage the Startups to compete in a healthy manner in such a way as to improve our innovativeness. Innovators should think laterally about challenges and identify resilient, fit-for-purpose and scalable solutions to real societal problems,” Nkemadu said.
He said that when the NCC advertised and called for entries to the Hackathon, a total of 298 submissions were received from Startups. After the first and second level preliminary assessments based on the pre-established selection criteria, 56 of the Startups qualified for the final stage of the Evaluation Processes.
“A very competent team of Evaluators drawn from relevant Departments in the Commission worked assiduously to recognize excellence and select groundbreaking innovative solutions from Startups and Tech Hubs capable of mitigating the challenges posed by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and beyond.
“Out of the 56 Solutions from different Startups that participated in the Virtual Hackathon, three winning solutions were identified through a painstaking evaluation process that threw up the overall first, second and third best Startups with the most promising and adaptable solutions,” the director said.
He said the NCC through the Research and Development Department will continue to support flourishing innovations by creating the right regulatory interventions to give a fillip to the sustenance of Startups and tech-hubs in Nigeria, and added that the experience gained during the Hackathon will provide everybody with the opportunity to retool and re-engineer their innovative skills for a better future for their businesses and the nation.
A short profile of the Hackathon winners showed that KlasConnect provides educational institutions with a web portal that amongst other things, enables students to work remotely by registering for courses, receiving lectures, delivering assignments, creating and executing tasks.
SmartClinic is a leading Health IT company involved in providing and implementing the latest trends in Health technology. It is developing a mobile and web solution that links a patient based mobile health App (Smartclinic Mobile) with a Hospital-based Hospital information management system (Smartclinic Hospital)
Automated Temperature Scanner with Contact Tracing Capability by Elizade University Team is a device that assists in automatic temperature screening and contact tracing of persons with a body temperature above the normal for human beings.