The Lagos State Government on Friday presented a seed fund of N250 million to the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) to boost technological innovation in the state.
Presenting the cheque to members of the council at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that it was part of plans to make Lagos State a hub for innovation and technology.
LASRIC is a Lagos State institution in charge of research with the responsibility of boosting innovation and technology in the state.
The council is presently made up of a 16-member team, headed by the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Toyin Ogundipe.
Sanwo-Olu said that the fund would enable technology start-ups to come up with local innovative technologies that would enhance the economy.
He urged the council to ensure that the criteria to access the fund was flexible enough for Lagosians to benefit from.
”For us, it is to put action in what we believe in. When you make pronouncements as a government, you must put them to action.
”I don’t want very stringent conditions that will not make people benefit from this fund. In the next six months, let us begin to see a litmus test that people have been supported through this fund.
”We can’t do it alone, ours is just a seed fund. Some of you have access to international donors and partners that will want to see the level of our seriousness and commitment; I want us to put in serious effort so that others will be willing to support us.
“We need innovative solutions. We can think global but we have to act local. Let us think about solutions that are peculiar to us as Lagosians and Nigerians and you will be amazed that we have great skills waiting for people to bring them out,” the governor said.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Council, Prof. Ogundipe, said that the institution would partner with several non-governmental organisations for the benefit of Lagos State.
Ogundipe said that any country that was doing well had research and technology backing it up.
”What we are doing today is to refocus concerning Lagos State. What we have done is around the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda that the governor has for Lagos State for the pronouncement to be very clear.
”We are going to make sure that we promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in primary and secondary school level for a start.
”We want to get the database of all researchers in Lagos, not only in higher institutions but in companies and other organisations in Lagos.
”We are going to have a multi-disciplinary research collaboration between the institution and the companies and it will attend to the needs of Lagos State,” he said.
The Special Adviser on Innovation and Technology, Mr Tunbosun Alake, said that the seed fund indicated Sanwo-Olu’s administration to science and technology.
Alake said that the government had supported and promoted problem solving solutions, thereby helping to develop local solutions.