In a resounding display of innovative prowess, three out of 81 competing companies emerged triumphant in the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC)’s technology innovation talent hunt competition, sharing the impressive N30 million prize money equally among themselves.
Additionally, nine shortlisted companies received consolation prizes of N500,000 each. The inspiring event unfolded at the 2023 NCC Annual Hackathon Competition, meticulously evaluated by an independent panel of judges led by the president of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Prof. Mohammed Ajiya.
Solaris GreenTech Hub, Knownow Africa Limited and Specxs Care Limited stood out as the winners, showcasing their exceptional solutions that tackled contemporary challenges and displayed a remarkable degree of innovation.
Solaris, represented by the talented team of Chiemela Anosike, Ineke Chinecherem and Onoh Chiemela, secured victory in the Renewable Energy Solution category. Their winning innovation introduced a green energy solution that establishes clean energy hubs in rural communities. These hubs enable residents to charge their phones and other mobile/electronic devices, bridging the energy gap in underserved areas.
Knownow, represented by Abdulazeez Abiola, Dr. Mudasiru Taiwo and Dr. Oluwaseun Ojerinde, triumphed in the Blockchain Solution category. Their groundbreaking solution focused on fraud detection and prevention, exemplifying the immense potential of blockchain technology in enhancing security and transparency.
Specxs Care Limited, led by Isah Dahiru, Ameenat Bala and Musa Gambo, clinched the award in the Assistive Technology Solutions category. Their innovation, aptly named ‘Smart Bladder,’ introduced wearable devices to manage urinary incontinence in elderly individuals. These devices not only reduce the financial burden on patients but also enhance personal hygiene.
Ajiya, who chaired the judging panel, highlighted the rigorous assessment of all submissions, meticulous shortlisting of 12 participants and strict adherence to the commission’s requirements to determine the three winners. Their dedication ensured a fair and transparent selection process.
In his keynote address at the event, the executive vice chairman of NCC, Dr. Aminu Maida emphasised the alignment of this competition with the core objectives embedded within the new Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) for the years 2023-2025. The SVP underscores the importance of fostering cutting-edge technologies through rigorous research to catalyze sustainable economic growth and overall development in Nigeria.
Maida, represented by the director of research and development, Ismail Adedigba stated that the event addressed three pivotal thematic areas with both national and global significance: 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. These themes reflect the Commission’s commitment to promoting innovative solutions that address real-world challenges.
Adedigba emphasised that the NCC’s commitment to nurturing innovation extends beyond awarding the grand prizes of N10 million to each winner from the three thematic areas. The Commission takes a holistic approach to support these promising innovations, closely monitoring their progress as they evolve into full-fledged prototypes.
The NCC’s annual hackathon stands as a testament to the agency’s dedication to fostering innovation, mobilising the collective intelligence of innovators, and addressing pressing real-world issues in both the business realm and society. In an era where innovation is paramount, the annual hackathon serves as an instrumental tool in sustaining innovation and encouraging fresh perspectives on existing challenges. It is a platform that consistently showcases the remarkable potential of hackathons and their role in advancing innovation and solving real-world problems.