A graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering of LAUTECH and Project Manager at Intellect9ja, Ja’afar Zubair on Saturday organised a conference to bridge the gap between industrialisation and academics in Nigeria.
The third of its kind and first in LAUTECH, the Star Network Conference (SNC) was organised to open the eyes of youth in tertiary institutions to latest trends in innovation and entrepreneurship. It was also to facilitate an acado-industrial synergy amongst stakeholders, to turn the logs of the academic thesis into markable products, and make market-worthy innovations in institutions, the organiser said.
The conference featured a Students Experiences and Achievement (SEA) Talk on July 13, where current and past students came to tell stories of how they spent their time on campus.
Student entrepreneurs like JesuDamilare of Ennovate Labs, Usman Abiola of Ellcrys, Opetunde Adepoju, a data Scientist and Adetoyi Adeyinka of V6 media shared stories of how they found their paths from their undergraduate days and how they have managed obstacles while in school.
When asked one of the key takeaways from the SEA-talk, a 300 level student of SLT, said she learnt that adding value to one’s self “comes way before money”.
Another 500 level student in the Department of Earth Sciences, said he found Adetoyi Adeyinka’s story the most intriguing. “A student who has had issues with studying and schooling, finding a passion in filmmaking and excelling at it? That’s intriguing!”
The keynote speaker, Musa Aibinu, a professor of Mechatronics at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, spoke on commercialising research and innovation and the need for acado-industrial synergy to drive economic growth in the country.
He pointed out the academics serve major purposes-knowledge generation, knowledge dissemination and knowledge application. He also cited examples of how FUTMinna had been trying to commercialise research and innovation by writing grants and visiting capable investors to fund various projects and making viable products out of research.
He showcased two products handled by students of the university, which were developed from project ideas.
Mr Agbaje, member of LAUTECH governing council and the HOD of Pure and Applied Biology, LAUTECH, expressed his happiness over having such events. He encouraged students to take hold of these opportunities to be better persons and drive changes in the society.
Painting scenarios of what things were like in his undergraduate days and referring to one of the panelists who compared LAUTECH and University of Ibadan in terms of ability to expression and communication, he said the system is degrading because students do not have “a culture part of which is as a result of students having their residence off-campus”.
“Our students live with touts in town and there is no student culture to work with. I graduated as part of the first set of this institution and we had more interest in programs like this, unlike these days when the hall is only filled up when there is a dance or disco event on campus.”
He also pointed out that in order to solve the problem, the governing council is making plans to make the university fully residential.
Highlights of the event were the awards presented to five persons who according to the organiser, were not awarded because of favours but because the organisation deemed them worthy and fit of the awards.
Yinka Adewale, the CEO of kudi.ai won the award for the famous model entrepreneur; Adeniyi Ojikutu, famous for ICT advocacy in the private sector and Tony Elumelu, the lead of the foremost Entrepreneurship development organisation in Africa and Mr Aibinu as the famous acado-industrial personality.
Other highlights of the event included a session with an HR expert and executive director of Unicorn Capital, Abraham Durosawo who took students through major things to do in getting the job of their dreams. Another session featured Oyinkanola Mayowa of Rethink Agriculture, Taslim Okunola, a program associate at Google, and Taofeeq Olalekan the co-founder of TrepLabs who discussed skills and ideas for 21st-century innovators and job creators.
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