Our Impact

Strengthening Institutional Infrastructure for an Innovation Ecosystem

Thematic Area: Energy including renewables

University: University of Port Harcourt (UniPort)

Project Leader: Prof Onyewuchi Akaranta

Collaborating Partners: Dukerzer Limited, Nigeria; WELTEK Research Limited, Nigeria

Duration: 2 years

Project Overview

Innovation ecosystems encompass the economic, social, political, organizational, and institutional elements that, influence the development and diffusion of innovations. African researchers are under pressure to focus research towards commercial applications even though most institutions in Africa do not still have appropriate institutional framework for innovation ecosystems.

This project aims  to strengthen the institutional infrastructure for a sustainable innovation ecosystem that can support graduates of the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) programme and the Africa Centre of Excellence for Oilfield Chemicals Research (ACE-CEFOR) to engage in applied research for sustainable development of the oil and gas industry in Sub-Saharan Africa. The project shall also train faculty members, transform research results from laboratory through patenting to commercialization through the existing and emerging University-Industry partnerships, and develop a framework for a sustainable innovation ecosystem.

These objectives will be achieved through workshops for writing competitive grant proposals and innovative research, patenting and commercialization of research outputs, University-Industry consultative/stakeholders’ meetings, and post-doctoral internship programmes for exceptional PASET and ACE-CEFOR graduates.

The project is expected to create a pool of competent innovative researchers and professionals trained on transforming research outputs from laboratory through patenting to commercialization, develop Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for oilfield chemicals, increase the number of functional start-ups and spin-offs, and develop a strategy policy document for sustainable innovation ecosystem in Africa. Partnerships with industry,  government and other community actors will be forged for wealth creation and supply chain development of oilfield chemicals that will reduce cost of producing oil and gas in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.