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Capacity Building: NCC requests telecoms-based research innovation proposals from academics

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of NCC

*The Nigerian Communications Commission explains the telecoms-based innovations and research from academics in tertiary institutions are envisaged to help build capacity and promote the country’s contribution to technologies in the communications industry

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As part of its efforts at engaging academics for the development of telecommunications industry, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) invites proposals from academics in the country’s tertiary institutions to submit research proposals in any of the underlisted research topics.

ConsumerConnect reports the NCC, which stated this in a notice posted on its corporate Web site, stressed the telecoms sector regulator supports telecommunications-based innovations and research from tertiary institutions that are practical, locally realisable and have clear potential to advance the industry.

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The Commission said: “It is envisaged that the initiative will help build capacity in the tertiary institutions and promote Nigeria’s contribution to the pool of technologies in use in the communications industry.”

It stated that in a move to improve the quality of the submissions, the regulatory Commission has included the specific topics in each of the Focus Areas of Research that should address in the responses to this Request for Proposal in line with the development of sensors for smart city applications, such as traffic management systems, smart parking, smart grid, smart homes, smart institutions and smart network management.

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On Innovative Smart city applications for broadband penetration, the NCC listed research innovation areas to include but not limited to smart parking, smart grid, smart home, smart institutions, smart network management, etc., with full details of the application process accessible HERE.

As regards the requirements for the application, interested applicants are  required to submit their proposals.

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According to the Commission, these must:

  • Come from teaching Academics in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions; and
  • Have a one-page executive summary of the research proposal to include understanding of the relevance of the research topics to the telecommunications industry, deliverables, novelty of concept, methodology, team experience, project timeline and detailed cost schedule.

Proof of concept (Feasibility)

  • Practicality (solution’s ability to solve a problem short, medium or long term)
  • Tangible output such as a prototype/software or working model which can be commercialised.

Evaluation criteria

The criteria for the evaluation of the research submissions include the following:

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  • The proposal must fall within the specified areas of research topics
  • Adherence of proposal to stated requirements above
  • Novelty of research proposal (comprehensive literature review to bring out clearly the novelty of the research).
  • Clear statement and explanation of the problem.
  • Proposed solution to the problem.
  • Proposed approach and methodology
  • Each project including prototype development must be concluded within 2 years.

The Commission also said the Terms of Reference (TOR’s) should be developed clearly, stating that the research topics must lead to production of commercially viable prototype and capable of contributing to the development of the telecommunications industry.

Innovation and Research project cost

The NCC disclosed the project cost should not exceed a maximum of Fifteen Million Naira (N15, 000,000.00) only, as it also noted that “the Commission reserves the right to review this maximum amount.

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“Any academic with a yet to be completed research project awarded by the Commission SHOULD NOT apply.”

It said the “total cost (including all costs) of the project must be clearly stated and broken down in details, for which there can be no variation.

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  • Proof of concept (feasibility of idea with diagram, algorithm etc.)
  • Clear relevance to the telecommunications industry.
  • Roadmap from innovative prototype to commercialisation of the prototype
  • Cost reasonableness (cost of actualising the idea including hardware and software requirements. please note that the grant does not cover purchase of vehicles, Furniture, Internet data, foreign trips and allowances).

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The Commission further advised interested researchers to submit ELECTRONIC and HARD copies of their research proposals on or before March 12, 2023, to:

The Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO


Director, Research and Development,

Nigerian Communications Commission

Plot 423, Aguiyi Ironsi Street,

Maitama, Abuja, FCT.

“Please note that any proposal submitted after the deadline will be rejected automatically,” it stated.

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