Unlocking Innovation: Obafemi Awolowo University Team’s Journey at R4I Training in Innov8 Hub, Abuja

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Unlocking Innovation: Obafemi Awolowo University Team’s Journey at R4I Training in Innov8 Hub, Abuja

A dynamic squad comprising five distinguished academic staff members of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife —Prof. A.M.A. Sakpere, Prof. R.E. Okonji, Dr. T. A. Morakinyo, Dr. O. A. Aregbesola, and Dr. O.K. Ajayi—represented the University as part of the 18th batch for the R4I initiative. This groundbreaking program, sponsored by TETFUND and executed by Innov8 Hub, aims to catalyze a new era of innovation, technology, research, and development in Nigeria, with academics and researchers at the forefront.

Spanning from January 22nd to February 2nd, 2024, the two-week R4I intensive program was nothing short of enlightening. Participants were immersed in a blend of theoretical insights and hands-on training covering diverse topics such as empathy and problem exploration, ideation, concept testing, emotional intelligence-driven innovation, prototyping, intellectual property protection, and scaling innovation. Facilitators, with their expertise and passion, ensured that participants grasped these concepts with utmost clarity.

Leveraging the knowledge garnered from the training, the OAU team, representing SDG 2: Zero Hunger, embarked on a remarkable journey of innovation. They conceived and developed an ingenious invention: the TomaVeg Chiller. This groundbreaking product is engineered to preserve tomatoes and vegetables for extended periods, assuring consumers of freshness and quality. The TomaVeg Chiller, equipped with special perforated trays for optimal drainage and air circulation, offers portability, affordability, and sustainability with its hybrid power supply (solar and electricity). Additionally, incorporating ultraviolet rays, it prevents spoilage, ensuring that stored products retain their freshness, safety, and nutritional value.

Excited by the prospects, the OAU team is committed to further refining the TomaVeg Chiller, with aspirations to secure patents and expedite its commercialization. They also offered valuable insight to the university such as the identified need to encourage researchers to engage in demand-driven and value-oriented research, and organize innovation fairs to showcase student and staff research outputs, fostering potential commercialization opportunities.