The Lagos State government on Thursday said it has voted N250million for its agency for speeding up innovation, the Lagos State Science, Reasearh and Innovation Council (LASRIC) for use by innovators in the state.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who spoke while declaring open, Art of Technology Lagos 1.0 at Oriental Hotel, Lekki, also said the state government will build metropolitan fibre optic cables to deepen broadband penetration in the state.
He said the government is committed to the re-ignition of LASRIC which is responsible for the management of the science research and innovation fund. He said: “This fund is primarily tasked with investment in research and development in science and technology across different thematic areas in the state. From Artificial Intelligenc (AI) to robotics, to health informatics and green energy. LASRIC will direct funds to solve issues of national significance through science and technology research.”
The governor said the administration cannot disaffirm the intractable challenges facing the state. With a population of about 22 million and a crumbling infrastructure, new sustainable methods of transportation and infrastructure deployment must be formulated to keep up with the population growth.
“The use of AI to predict movement of human resources and materials and reverse environmental degradation are critical solutions we need to adopt. Our challenges put us in a unique position to engineer not just our own solutions but engineer solutions for the world at large. In view of these and other issues, our administration is committed to releasing and turbo charging our nascent problem solving potential through innovations in science and technology. This government is launching the Innovation Master Plan which will highlight the government’s critical focus areas that will unleash a culture of problem solving,” he said.
According to him, the plan will address the four main pillars that are required to enable a vibrant innovation ecosystem. These pillars, he said, are from access to data and access to markets. Making accessibility easier enables creators get the tools and critical ingredients they need to engineer fit for purpose solutions; updated curriculums that match industry needs in critical areas; infrastructure because the impact of broadband communications cannot be overemphasieed in the building of a comprehensive technology ecosystem. The administration has already begun to address this .
On funding, he said one critical challenge has been the lack of understanding of local technology ecosystem by investors, promising to tackle this head on.
“With this administration’s activities in these four main areas, the innovation ecosystem is sure to receive the needed boost to raise its contribution to the state’s economy,” he said.