By Kingsley I. Ilechukwu, Bureau Chief, South West
Telecommunications sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has opened activities for the third edition of its Talent Hunt Research through Hackathon as part of giving expression to its Strategic Vision Plan 2023-2025, which is to encourage the development of new technologies and indigenous content through cutting-edge research.
According to a press statement from the Director of Public Affairs(DPA) at NCC, Reuben Muoka, the goal of this initiative is to stimulate sustainable economic growth and development in Nigeria.
As per the statement, “therefore, the Commission has invited Tech Hubs, and Innovation-Driven Enterprises (IDEs) in Nigeria to enrol their start-ups and their solutions in the Talent Hunt Research through a Hackathon organised by the Commission. The Hackathon focuses on 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.
“The NCC Talent Hunt Research Through Hackathon leverages Emerging Digital Technologies to facilitate the development of home-grown innovative solutions and local content development in the telecommunications sector while fostering economic growth and social advancement in Nigeria.
The competition enables the translation of novel ideas into the development of hardware/software solutions that address industry and societal challenges. The best three solutions, one from each of the three areas listed above will receive grants of N10 million each for the development of the solutions.
“The Commission has set out eligibility criteria for those seeking to participate in the competition, which include that the Enterprise must provide a certificate of registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the Enterprise must not have previously received support from the Commission, the project should have clear relevance to one of the three thematic areas above, it must provide a clear problem statement, proposed solution, and roadmap to deployment.
Other requirements include a proof of concept (which may also include technical feasibility of the idea with diagram, algorithm, existing models, or case studies; the solution must be novel with the applicant making a declarative statement on ownership of the intellectual property, the solution including prototype development shall be concluded within 6 months of receipt of the Grant and must propose a detailed commercialization plan of the prototype.
“The Entry Submission format indicated that the proposal must include ideation, Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and solution, Current Sweat Equity Investment, Product-Market Fit status, Verifiable Go-to-Market status, Growth Feasibility Assurances, Maturity Model and Timeliness and existing time: Disaster Recovery, where applicable.
All applications should be made online and must follow the stipulated entry format and there is no financial cost to participating in the competition while full control and ownership of the intellectual property of the developed solutions remain with the Commission.
The entries must be made by a Tech Hub/Innovation-Driven Enterprise that must show evidence of the relationship with the Start-up/solution being entered, a 4-page Executive summary of the project concept, a 3-5 minute video of the pilot project, names, age, contact details, passport photos and profile of all team members and the website (if available) as well as an E-mail address of the applicant.
All interested and qualified enterprises should submit requested documents in a zip folder to https://ncc.gov.ng/talenthuntresearchhackathon2023 with the subject of the mail titled “Submission from <business name>” and the zipped file named after the business.
The Commission has run an advertorial on the Hackathon for 3 weeks and hereby requests those in the startups ecosystem to note that the application closes by Friday, 22nd September 2023.”