Charles German Ikimi


From Federal University, Otuoke

I was privileged to receive a nomination to participate in the Research for Impact initiative at Innov8 Hub, Abuja. On arrival, I was stunned at the amazingly beautiful scenery. While being led through the different impact labs, workstations and the various facilities, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was still in Nigeria or transported to one of the technologically advanced countries. This was because of the innovative atmosphere of science and technology at the Hub.

At the first R4i session, the Chief Facilitator was intentional, passionate and interactive. Every word spoken was thought-provoking and action-oriented. According to him, “Any research that does not go beyond the bookshelves of the library is a huge waste of one’s time and effort”. Upon listening to his presentation, I totally agreed with the assertion. From then on, my R4i experience became a journey of capacity-building, with precisely coordinated hands-on approach.

Each day at R4i, we were introduced to newer and deeper layers of the innovation process. We adopted the knowledge and applications of demand-driven research procedures.  We were guided on the secrets of using innovative techniques to come up with technology-based solutions and products with commercial value.

The capacity-building covered areas such as research forms, problem definition, idea development, stakeholder mapping, assumption testing, emotional intelligence, business model development, rapid prototyping, and other impactful keys to transitioning from innovation into venture. I was particularly touched by the sessions on emotional intelligence. The facilitator was extraordinary. I was astonished by her perspectives. Notably, the insight on the power of decision, even within unpleasant circumstances resides within the control of each individual. She made me realise things I should have thought of all along. Armed with this new knowledge on emotional intelligence, I will respond differently from the way I reacted to certain situations in the past.

Thanks to R4i, one striking perspective that instigated a paradigm shift within me was the emphasis on research with commercial intent. Most sessions were targeted at capacity-building on ways of conducting and supervising research that can stimulate the creation of business ventures. This dimension to research is quite new and under-emphasised in most academic communities; the emphasis has been on conducting and supervising researches that end up as mere literature and data. Looking back, I can now see that such research can be transformed into value.

I am extremely grateful to TETFund for the Research for Impact initiative. I also appreciate Innov8 Hub for their professionalism and excellence. 

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