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Tech Innovations: Solaris, Knownow, Specxs win NCC’s 2023 Hackathon competition

Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of NCC

*The Nigerian Communications Commission has affirmed that Solaris GreenTech Hub, Knownow Africa Limited and Specxs Care Limited, came off with flying colours and won cash prizes at the Commission’s 2023 talent hunt, adjudged by an independent Panel of Judges headed by Prof. Mohammed Ajiya, President of Digital Bridge Institute

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Three companies, out of 81 companies that contested at the recent Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) inspired technology innovation talent hunt competition, shared the N30 million prize money equally.

ConsumerConnect reports the telecoms sector regulatory Commission stated the nine other shortlisted companies carted home N500,000 consolation prizes each.

Photo collage of winners receiving their cash prizes after the 2023 Hackathon competition in Abuja, FCT 

The NCC said Solaris GreenTech Hub, Knownow Africa Limited and Specxs Care Limited, came off with flying colours at the 2023 NCC’s Annual Hackathon Competition as adjudged by an independent Panel of Judges, chaired by the President of Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Prof. Mohammed Ajiya.

How the winners emerged in the competition

The NCC stated: “Solaris, whose team comprises Chiemela Anosike, Ineke Chinecherem and Onoh Chiemela, won in the Renewable Energy Solution category of the hackathon with their green energy solution that provides clean energy hubs for people in rural communities to be able to charge their phones and other mobile/electronic devices.

“Knownow, with a team consisting of Abdulazeez Abiola, Dr. Mudasiru Taiwo and Dr. Oluwaseun Ojerinde emerged winner in the Blockchain Solution category for their fraud-detection and prevention solution.

“Specxs Care Limited, also a winner, with team members comprising Isah Dahiru, Ameenat Bala and Musa Gambo, lifted the trophy also with their wearable devices called ‘Smart Bladder’, which can help manage urinary incontinence in elderly people and reduce the cost of their daily spending while ensuring proper personal hygiene.”

Speaking on the mandate of the independent Panel of Judges that assessed the winning companies’ technology solutions, the Commission noted that Prof. Ajiya said the panel was painstaking in assessing all the submissions/entries, diligent in shortlisting the 12 participants and meticulous in determining the three winners through strict compliance with the requirements stated by the Commission for the exercise.

Tech innovations talent hunt competition aligns with SPV core objective, says Maida

Earlier, in his Keynote Address at the event, Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, represented by Ismail Adedigba, Director of Research and Development of the Commission, said the technology innovation talent hunt competition aligned perfectly with one of the core objectives embedded within the new Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) of the Commission for the years 2023-2025.

Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, also stated the EVC/CEO explained “the SVP underscores fostering the development of cutting-edge technologies through rigorous research to catalyse sustainable economic growth and overall development within Nigeria.”

Dr. Maida further noted that this year’s event focused on three pivotal thematic areas that not only pertained to Nigeria but also resonated with global concerns.

The themes, he said, are:  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.

NCC’s commitment to nurturing ideas, innovations

Talent Hunt Research through Hackathon is just the inception of the Commission’s unwavering commitment to nurturing innovation and nascent ideas, the way it has been doing for previous winning innovative solutions and ideas that had emerged through the annual hackathon, stated the Commission.

The NCC Executive Vice-Chairman as well said: “The culmination of this competition is not confined to the grand prize of N10 million awarded to each winner from these three thematic areas for the development of their solutions, but goes beyond this, as the Commission takes a holistic approach to support these promising innovations.

“We closely monitor the progress of these solutions as they evolve into full-fledged prototypes.”

According to him, in a world where innovation is paramount, NCC often witnesses the remarkable potential of Hackathons to showcase fresh perspectives on existing challenges.

The NCC Chief stressed the Commission’s annual Hackathon competition serves as instrumental tools in sustaining innovation and mobilising the collective intelligence of the innovators to tackle pressing real-world issues, both in the business realm and within the social fabric in the West African country.

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