The vice-chancellor of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, has explained how, under his watch, and specifically in four years, the institution was able to generate research grants worth N17 billion to carry out 267 researches.
Mr Ogundipe, a professor of Botany, who doubles as the chairman of the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), said this during the 52nd convocation press conference of the university which was held on Tuesday at the institution’s senate chambers.
He added that the university was also the highest recipient of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) National Research Fund (NRF) grant in 2019 with 14 staffers receiving a grant sum of N419.6 million.
He added that in 2020, 16 staffers of the university also received N419.4 million as a total grant sum from the 2020 TETFund NRF.
The VC explained that the wins were made possible because the university organised training and workshops to build the capacity of staff in the areas of research and innovations, saying the strategy paved the way for cutting-edge multidisciplinary research activities on the campus.
He said: “A number of these research activities are geared towards changing society and providing solutions to some of the problems we are faced with as a nation. One of such instances is the development of the portable and easily deployable ventilator during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
“I am glad to inform you that the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) has provided additional funds for the clinical trials of the ventilators.”
Mr Ogundipe thanked the Lagos State Government for committing to the project, promising that the product will be a game-changer.
Mr Ogundipe noted that since he came into office in 2018, research has become a major currency for all academic staff which he said was demonstrated with submissions to different international organisations and the TETfund National Research Fund.
“We believe that this steady growth in research activities is precipitated by the approaches we are adopting to encourage our staff to showcase their talents. It is, therefore, no surprise that the University of Lagos was adjudged as the best tertiary institution in the Southwest on TETfund research grant utilisation,” Mr Ogundipe said.
The VC further noted that the university has created the much-needed environment to support the ingenuity of her staff to enable them to develop patents and commercialise the products of their research works.
“The success we have recorded in this regard is that for the first time in the history of the university, we have been granted 18 patents in four years,” the VC added.