The commercialisation of research ideas has been described as capable of promoting economic growth for accelerated national development.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, Prof. Shaykh-Luqman Jimoh, stressed this during the maiden edition of the Quadruple Helix roundtable meeting organised by the institution’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and the Relations Committee, noting that the roundtable that has brought together the academia, government, industry, and community together to brainstorm on mutually beneficial ways represented the university’s commitments to collaborating and forging a path to national development.
He said: “We are privileged to stand at the crossroads of academia, industry, government, and the community converging in the pursuit of knowledge, innovation, and collective growth in the dazling expense of the knowledge universe, where academia sparks innovation, where industry transforms ideas into products and services, where governments provide the infrastructure and environment for growth, and where the community reaps the rewards of our collective efforts.
“The future prosperity of our nation depends on our capacity to not only push the boundaries of knowledge but also to bridge the divide between the lab and the market.
“We are here because we believe that true national development rests on the commercialisation of the brilliant transformative ideas born in our research institutions.”
While stating that commercialising research output was a core feature of the institution’s strategic plan, Prof. Jimoh added that it was necessary, now than before, for transformative ideas from research institutions to go beyond the confines of academia into the realms of industry and entrepreneurship.
“The transformational power of research knows no bounds as it has the potential to revolutionise industries, cure diseases, mitigate environmental crisis, and enhance the quality of life for people around the world,” he added.
An industry consultant, Mr. Deji Ajani, in his presentation, urged the academia to begin to conceptualise research as much more than just a criteria for getting promotion, but also as an avenue for creating enterprise.
He called on the government and universities to provide infrastructure that will encourage researchers to become intentional about their research and to commercialise the research output.
This, he said, would generate interest and investment in emerging areas of research which would in turn improve access to research funding, job creation, scope and quality of innovation, growth of spinoffs, and economic sustainability of universities.
In his welcome address, the Director of the institution’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, Dr. Sunday Ojo, identified the growing challenge of unemployment in the country as solvable, with the robust ideas constantly being generated by the academia, urging more collaboration between stakeholders, which he described as long over due.
In his speech, the Chairman of the University-Induatry Committee of the institution, Dr. Aliru Mustapha said that a synergy between academia and industry would see companies taping into the potentials of ivory towers for the benefit of all.
The roundtable had the theme “Commercialization of Research Output: Key to National Development” and had in attendance representatives of state government parastatals and agencies, the academia, entrepreneurs, and the general public.