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New Techs: NCC opens applications for 2023 Talent Hunt Research via Hackathon

*The Nigerian Communications Commission commences activities for the 3rd Edition of its Talent Hunt Research through Hackathon, to encourage the development of new technologies, indigenous content through cutting-edge research, and  stimulate sustainable economic growth and development

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced the commencement of activities for the 3rd Edition of its Talent Hunt Research through Hackathon.

ConsumerConnect reports

Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs of the telecoms sector regulatory Commission Monday, September 18, 2023, stated the initiative is part of giving expression the NCC Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) 2023-2025.

Objective of Talent Hunt Research through Hackathon

The NCC disclosed the objective is to encourage the development of new technologies and indigenous content through cutting-edge research.

The announcement said: “The goal of this initiative is to stimulate sustainable economic growth and development in Nigeria.

“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 NCC.”

As regards the specific areas of research the Commission explained 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.

According to NCC, the 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.

It also stated: “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.”

Eligibility criteria for 2023 Talent Hunt Research grant applicants

The Commission has specified the requisite eligibility criteria for those seeking to participate in the competition

These, the NCC stated, include that an enterprise must provide a certificate of registration with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

An enterprise must not have previously received support from the Commission, and the project should have clear relevance to one of the three thematic areas above.

Besides, the firm 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 six months of receipt of the Grant and must propose a detailed commercialisation plan of the prototype, said the Commission.

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.

The Commission also said  all applications should be made online, and must follow the stipulated entry format.

It stated: “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 four-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 with the subject of the mail titled “Submission from <business name>” and the zipped file named after the business,” stated the NCC.

The statement added: “The Commission has run an advertorial on the Hackathon for three weeks, and hereby requests those in the startups ecosystem to note that the application closes by Friday, 22nd September 2023.”

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