By Chioma Obinagwam
Three companies, out of 81 companies that contested at the Nigerian Communication Commission’s inspired technology innovation talent hunt competition, shared the N30 million prize money equally.
Nine other shortlisted companies went home with N500,000 consolation prizes each.
Solaris GreenTech Hub, Knownow Africa Limited and Specxs Care Limited, came bright at the 2023 NCC’s Annual Hackathon Competition, adjudged by an independent Panel of Judges chaired by the President of Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Prof. Mohammed Ajiya.
Solaris, whose team comprises Chiemela Anosike, Ineke Chinecherem and Onoh Chiemela, won in the Renewable Energy Solution category of the hackathon with their green energy solution that provides clean energy hubs for people in rural communities to be able to charge their phones and other mobile/electronic devices.
Knownow, with a team consisting of Abdulazeez Abiola, Dr. Mudasiru Taiwo and Dr. Oluwaseun Ojerinde emerged winner in the Blockchain Solution category for their fraud-detection and prevention solution.
Specxs Care Limited, also a winner, with team members comprising Isah Dahiru, Ameenat Bala and Musa Gambo, lifted the trophy also with their wearable devices called ‘Smart Bladder’, which can help manage urinary incontinence in elderly people and reduce the cost of their daily spending while ensuring proper personal hygiene.
Prof. Ajiya said the panel was painstaking in assessing all the submissions/entries, diligent in shortlisting the 12 participants and meticulous in determining the three winners through strict compliance with the requirements stated by the Commission for the exercise.
Earlier in his keynote address at the event, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Dr. Aminu Maida, who was represented by the Director, Research and Development, Ismail Adedigba, said the event aligns perfectly with one of the core objectives embedded within the new Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) of the Commission for the years 2023-2025, which speaks to fostering the development of cutting-edge technologies through rigorous research to catalyse sustainable economic growth and overall development within Nigeria.
He noted that this year’s event focuses on three pivotal thematic areas that not only pertain to Nigeria but also resonate with global concerns. The themes, he said, are: Blockchain-enabled Data Protection Solutions for Enhancing Regulatory Compliance; Assistive Technology Solutions for the Elderly and People with Disabilities; and Technology Solutions for Renewable Energy in Rural Areas.
Adedigba said Talent Hunt Research through Hackathon is just the inception of the Commission’s unwavering commitment to nurturing innovation and nascent ideas, the way it has been doing for previous winning innovative solutions and ideas that had emerged through the annual hackathon.
“The culmination of this competition is not confined to the grand prize of N10 million awarded to each winner from these three thematic areas for the development of their solutions, but goes beyond this, as the Commission takes a holistic approach to support these promising innovations. We closely monitor the progress of these solutions as they evolve into full-fledged prototypes,” he said.
He added that in a world where innovation is paramount, NCC often witness the remarkable potential of Hackathons to showcase fresh perspectives on existing challenges, adding that the NCC’s annual hackathon serve as instrumental tools in sustaining innovation and mobilising the collective intelligence of the innovators to tackle pressing real-world issues, both in the business realm and within our social fabric.