AUST Launches Problem-solving Hub To Translate Student’s Research

The African University of Science and Technology (AUST) Abuja has launched a world-class incubation facility – AUSTInspire Business Incubation Centre with the state-of-the-art physical infrastructure, in terms of capital equipment and operating facilities.

The Business Incubation Centre will, among other things, nurture innovative students and staff of the institution in their pursuit to become scalable and successful researchers and thus translate their research into problem-solving products and services for global benefit.

The centre, which is meant to encourage innovation in the university and the global society, is a flagship initiative to promote and provide platforms to staff and students of the institution in the educational space.

It is an umbrella structure mandated to promote innovation and revolutionise the educational ecosystem of research work. Unveiling the hub, the acting president of the University, Prof Azikiwe Onwualu, said, “We have decided to take a step about taking our research to the next level, bringing it to reality.

“We have excelled in the aspect of research and publications, but we have told ourselves the truth, the research and publications must translate into something tangible.

“Very soon, you will not only see our publications but also our products from the research.”

Similarly, chief executive officer of CcHUB – managers of the centre, Bosun Tijani, said the mission of the incubation centre was to leverage on science and technology to bring about prosperity to the people.

“We are looking at innovations that solve real problems not just in Nigeria but also in Africa,” he said. On his part, Jude Adejunwon, the practice lead of Higher Education Initiative, CcHUB, said Africa cannot enter prosperity until her universities sit up.

“They should start looking at our problems and start designing ways to solve them. People think the university’s role is just to train students and release them into the labour market but that is not true. “It is only through a hub like this that we can move research to help people on the ground,” he said.

On his part, Dr Vitalis Anye, head, Material Engineering Department and the Project coordinator for AUSTInspire Business Incubation Center, said, “We want to translate research into tangible products and services. We want to move from research to the market. We can also innovate around processes, business and technology.”

He identified funding as one of the major challenges but said they were discussing with investors to fund various projects. He added that local materials will be used to solve Africa’s problems.

He thanked the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Core Creation Hub (CcHub), staff and management of the university for the support which culminated to the launch today and enjoined both the staff and members of the general public to avail themselves of the opportunities provided by this center in its fullness.

Good will messages were received from the NMI CEO, Mr. Bonaventure Mbida- Essama, represented by the NMI country director, Mr. Seyi; Dr. Joe Abba from the AUST Industry Advisory Board and some existing hubs representatives in Abuja.

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