MTN Nigeria has selected six winners from the pool of competitors in it’s Academic Research and Development Innovative Challenge (ARDIC). A pitch session took place on Thursday, November 28, 2019, at the Nile University, Abuja, where ten finalists were given the opportunity to pitch their research work before a panel of seasoned technology and ICT experts and innovators.
Each winner was awarded a cash prize of one million naira to further their research. They will also benefit from six months incubation where they will be groomed and guided in transforming their ideas into practical solutions. Following the highly competitive pitch, the initiative officially launched in Abuja was attended by the company’s Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, Olubayo Adekanmbi; Dr Abubakar Dahiru, Head of Special Projects, NITDA and Director, Research & Development Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ephraim C Nwokonneya.
Adekambi had earlier shared that “MTN Nigeria believes that some of the solutions to the bottlenecks that currently exist on the continent, especially in Nigeria, can be solved through qualitative research and driving innovation. However, the academic community often hit a brick wall in translating their game-changing ideas to workable solutions.”
He reiterated that “ARDIC wants to tackle this gap and enable researchers to develop solutions that address some of our most pressing social problems.”
ARDIC is a partnership platform that will allow MTN to leverage its existing assets to enhance local innovation/research through an engagement system that provides enablement platforms, APIs, data, mentorship and experimental sandbox to well-motivated to postgraduate researchers who want to translate their research ideas into high-impact innovations.