The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the umbrella body for all Information Technology (IT) practitioners and interest groups is seeking for research and innovation funding that will spur technology research in the country.
While appreciating the efforts of government and other stakeholders of the progress Nigeria has made in promoting and supporting IT development, NCS noted that a lot still needed to be done in the area of IT research, which the Society said would help increase Nigeria's rating in the future.
President of NCS, Prof. Adesina Sodiya, who made the position of the group known said: "The position of Nigeria in various world rankings in ICT development, digital readiness and broadband penetration is still not acceptable to Nigeria Computer Society. In other specific emerging technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) implementation and general digital smartness, it is obvious we still need to make significant progress.
"Certainly, we need to improve IT development capacities and capabilities in other to scale up with technological giants countries like Singapore, USA, China, Japan, UK South Korea and so on.
"It is obvious that the key ingredients to leapfrog IT development in this country are research and innovations. Recently, the NCS constituted a committee to assess the impact of the adoption of 5G technology on the nation. "The committee recommended the need for rigorous and extensive research on 5G technology and its adoption."
NCS has been championing IT development for over 40 years. Currently with over 20,000 members in both private and public sectors, NCS remains at the centre console of IT development in Nigeria.
Citing the recent introduction of Innovation Development Fund (NIDF) by NCS to provide necessary supports for developmental research and innovations in Information Technology, Sodiya listed specific thematic areas of consideration to include: Connectivity (5G Network); Virtual Reality and Environment; System Automation and Design; Digital Economy; Robotics; Artificial Intelligence; Cybersecurity; Internet of Things and Smart City; e-Health and e-Agriculture; Software defined everything, among others.
According to him, the Innovation Fund has further been extended to provide solutions, tools and technology to fight the global COVID-19 pandemic, which will cover Contact tracing; Vaccine development; Diagnostic tools; Enforcing social distancing; Misinformation about COVID-19 pandemic; Decision support systems; Enforcing wearing of mask; Tracking of the COVID-19 pandemic; Treatment monitoring; Projection of cases and mortalities; Drugs development; Heavy workload of healthcare workers, among others.
The NCS Innovation Development Fund (NIDF) is expected to support individuals in private or public organisation willing to conduct developmental research and innovations in Information Technology, while seeking for the collaboration and support of both private and public individuals and organisations.