Technology Acquisition and Assessment
The Department of Technology Acquisition and Assessment (TAA) was established in November 1993 as a means to bridge the gap that has existed between Research and Industry.
The lapse was traced to the absence of a clearly articulated plan showing how Research and Development (R&D) result could effectively be translated into viable industrial enterprise to produce useful products or service for the benefit of the populace. The lapse had indeed resulted in the lukewarm attitude of policy makers towards the funding of Science and Technology (S&T) activities in Nigeria, this is gradually changing.
- The obvious negative impact of the above trend had been the negligible contribution of the Ministry to the industrial and economic development of the country. The activities of the Department shall focus and provide guidelines to addressing these impacts through:
- Pursuit of the Commercialization of R&D results for effective research-to-industry linkage using the Technology Incubation Programme
- Pilot commercialization ventures in collaboration with Private investors
- Consolidation and improving the activities of Technology Incubation Programme
- Encouraging and promoting of indigenous inventively and creativity
- Identifying the current technology Needs in some selected critical sectors of the economy for the purpose of acquisition, adoption and adaptation of appropriate technologies.
- To generate development-friendly Technology acquisition, adaptation and deployment structure that will support Consultation and Coordination amongst stakeholders to prosecute implementation processes.
The Vision of the Department is to co-ordinate the acquisition of Foreign and Indigenous Technologies and their application and deployment to Nigeria.Mission
The Mission is to ensure that Nigeria is developed technologically through Indigenous Invention/ Innovation and adoptive technology.
Functions of TAA Department
The following are the functions of the Department:-
Formulation of Policies on and coordination of activities for the:
- Acquisition of technology from the Nation’s Research Institutes and Tertiary Institutions of Learning;
- Assessment and acquisition of relevant and profitable technologies from other countries; and
- Assessment and promotion of technologies developed by indigenous inventors and entrepreneurs
- Design and coordination of programmes for the setting up of incubator industries resulting from technologies outlined on the above mentioned through collaborations with indigenous and /or foreign technical or financial partners;
- Liaise with the legislative functionaries of Government to appropriate laws to protect Nigerian enterprises resulting from locally motivated research and development results or from acquired foreign technologies;
- Liaise with appropriate Federal and State Ministries , their agencies and private sector on matter relating to the translation of R&D results into viable industrial enterprises;
Agencies under the Supervision of TAA Department:
The following agencies are under the direct supervision of TAA Department:
- The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and its Centres namely; SEDI-E, SEDI-M, CAT, EMDI, HEDI, NEDDEC, and PEEMADEC.
- The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC).
- The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).
- The National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI).
- The Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI).
- The Federal Institute for Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO).
- The Project Development Agency (PRODA).
The Ministry through the Department of TAA is coordinating among others the following programmes:
- Establishment of a Model Science and Technology Park at SHESTCO, Sheda, Abuja; and
- Presidential Standing Committee on Inventions and Innovations (PSCII).
Establishment of Science and Technology Parks in Nigeria
The Science and Technology Park programme has been globally celebrated as one of the essential tools that have tremendously transformed the developmental landscape of the Nations that embraced it. The Nigerian model is an attempt at evolving a wholesome approach to our Nation’s development, expected to kick-start chains of productive activities. The Science & Technology Parks Programme commenced in year 2006.
Science Parks have many advantages on National economies especially as they:
- Stimulate and effectively manage the flow of knowledge and technology among universities, R&D institutions, companies and markets;
- Facilitate the creation and growth of innovation-based companies through incubation and spin-off processes;
- Provide other value-added services together with high quality space and facilities.
The Honourable Minister of Science and Technology directed that a model Science Park be developed at the Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO) Abuja, where a 30-hectare piece of land has been provided.
The following are the achievements recorded in the ‘Establishment of Science and Technology Park’ project:
- A 30-hectare piece of land has been acquired at Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO) where a Model Science and Technology Park is to be developed for States and other institutions to replicate.
- Land survey, clearing and evacuation of debris at the 30-hectare piece of land had already been done.
- The conceptualization & Development document for the Model Science and Technology Park has been produced.
- Table size Architectural Model of the Science and Technology Park has been produced.
- The Feasibility study document for the Abuja Model S & T Park has also been produced.
- The 2011 budgetary allocation of N4,773,773.00 was utilized for capacity building.
Challenges of the S & T Park project
- Lack of proper linkages/synergies among the relevant Stakeholders.
- Lack of adequate funding
Solutions for charting the way forward
- Stakeholders’ sensitization workshop should be organized and aggressive consultation with relevant Stakeholders, locally and internationally should be pursued to strengthen the Private Public Partnership (PPP) in implementing the project.
- Funding should be vigorously pursued from International donor Agencies and other development partners.
- The annual budgetary allocation for the project should be enhanced due to the capital intensive nature of the project.
The Presidential Standing Committee on Inventions and Innovations (PSCII)
Creativity, inventions and innovations are the critical factors in national development, economic growth and global competitiveness, as well as the basis of better future for humanity.
In order to reposition Nigeria for a greater contribution of invention and innovation to the national economy, a Presidential Standing Committee on Invention and Innovations (PSCII) was set up by President Olusegun Obasanjo and inaugurated by the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology in October, 2005.
Terms of Reference (TOR) Of (PSCII)
The terms of reference (TOR) of the PSCII amongst others include the following;
- To encourage invention in technology through commercialization;
- To examine any research claim and assess what can be done to take such claims to prototype and commercial level; and
- To suggest how funds could be sourced to finance the various stages of development from idea through prototype to commercialization.
It is pertinent to note that all the support that would be offered by the PSCII to Inventor and Innovator shall be guided by these TOR. The grant is given based on the grant agreement document prepared by the legal unit of the Ministry.
Membership of PSCII
The membership of the PSCII was drawn from relevant public and private sectors as follows:
Permanent Secretary, FMST
Division, Units & Section.
The Department is structured into two divisions, namely:
The Division of Technology Acquisition and the Division of Technology assessment, each is to be headed by a Deputy Director.
The two Divisions are further subdivided into four units each to be headed by an Assistant Director
(i) Innovation/R&D policy Programme (IRD)
(ii) Technology Adaptation/Reverse Engineering (TARE)
(iii) Technology Needs Assessment (TNA)
(iv) Technology Impact Assessment (TIA)
A. Innovation/R&D (IRD) unit: Its duties include the following:
a) Developing comprehensive data for all inventive and innovative activities for Tertiary Institutions, Research institutes and individuals within the country.
b) Designing programmes for the effective integration of viable R&D into the invention and innovation activities of Nigerian Entrepreneurs.
c) Developing a functional roadmap for assisting identified and selected Nigerian Inventors and Innovators under the PSCII.
B. Technology Adaptation/Reverse Engineering (TARE) unit:
The mandate/functions of the branch are:
a) To develop and modify indigenous/local technology into refined and internationally accepted standard quality, technology (i.e. goods and services)
b) To adopt foreign and allied technology and adapt them to suit the required or designed conditions/environments in Nigeria, through their appropriate modification/variations in order to produce similar but more effective and efficient goods and services for the benefit of mankind and Nigerians in particular.
c) To improve upon existing technology (machineries/equipment) through copy technology approach/technique and the mass production of such machineries and their spare parts/accessories.
C. Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) unit
The main functions of the Technology Needs Assessment Branch are to apply all scientific and technological tools to formulate Policies, analyze, coordinate and monitor appropriate Research and Development activities aimed at identifying the Country’s Technology Needs and to deploy them for Sustainable National development.
D. Technology Impact Assessment (TIA):
The functions of this unit include:
(i) To carry out the technical assessment through appropriate survey normally conducted to investigate how some certain introduced technologies (especially at sectoral areas/levels) impact either positively or negatively with a view to proffering solutions or improving such performance level.
(ii) This is normally carried out by concerted and focused R & D efforts targeted at solving or eliminating the already identified problems/hinderances.
(iii) Carrying-out evaluation and analysis of the data/information fathered with the aim of classifying them into thematic groups and relating them to their corresponding sectoral areas.