45 works showcased at Unilorin Research Fair
No fewer than 45 research works from about 12 Faculties and more than 80 academic Departments were showcased penultimate Friday (February 26, 2016) at the 2016 University of Ilorin Research and Exhibition Fair. Declaring the Fair open at the Multipurpose Hall, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), expressed the hope that the research works from the Fair would find their way to the industrialists who can help fund their mass production.
Prof. Ambali, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Technology and Innovation), Prof Gabriel A. Olatunji, said, “Universities all over the world cannot solely fund researches. In developing economy, like Nigeria, it is clear that government alone cannot fund researches. We have been to many parts of the world, America, Europe, Asia etc, and we observed what goes on there. At Unilorin, we are not joking with research. We strive to be the best". He commended the Director of the Laboratory to Product Centre (LABTOP) of this University, Prof Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, “for his personal interest in the exhibition2, adding that “I have no doubt in my mind that he will lead us to the Promised Land". The Vice-Chancellor's representative, however, expressed worries about few Faculties and Departments that did not showcase anything, saying that attitudes like this call for concern.
While commending the Panel of Judges for a job well done, Prof. Olatunji said, "It is not easy to be a judge". He, however, promised that "nothing exhibited will be dumped", saying that the University will establish a research museum to keep them. Prof. Olatunji also commended the immediate past Director of the Centre for Research Development and In-House Training (CREDIT), Prof (Mrs.) Adenike T. Oladiji, who, he said, "has done excellently well", adding,"We would have loved her to continue but the law on tenure will not allow us". Earlier in his remarks, the Director of the Laboratory to Product Centre (LABTOP), organisers of the Exhibition Fair, Prof. S.A Abdulkareem, said it was a rewarding experience going round Faculties to screen their works before the exhibition.
Prof. Abdulkareem said, "I want to appreciate our Deans, Research Managers and Investigators who put up several innovative designs and reports that we witnessed since the beginning of this week. I congratulate those researchers whose exhibits made the final cut for today's fair while urging others to know that this is just the beginning". While welcoming the researchers to the Fair, which was aimed at bringing into reality one of the objectives of establishing the Laboratory to Product Centre (LABTOP), the Professor of Chemical Engineering, who is also the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of Al-Hilkmah University, Ilorin, reminded the researchers that it is their responsibility to go beyond presenting academic papers for promotion or even developing prototypes for exhibitions like this.
"The University expects each researcher to patent his findings even if it is not physical product. Ideas and new research methodologies are vital and interesting to the development of the University and the nation", Prof. Abdulkareem stated. The Director further counselled the researchers, "Note also that you can patent intangible products. Ideas can be patented and you can get royalty on them. We just need to be sure that our finding is new, novel, useful and more beneficial to humanity than the existing one. So, please visit the Legal Unit with your work to commence the patenting process and follow-up. You will get a unique number for each work you submit and if relevant authorities are satisfied with your work, you will be issued a patent which is for a life-time.
"Let me add here, ladies and gentlemen, that though as the researcher, you will be recognised as the inventor. However, you may need to share the royalty with the rest of your research group, your Department, Faculty and this University. Filing of your work for patenting is free. The University will pay for you so you have nothing to lose by embracing the patenting culture". Finally, I appreciate the University Administration for its continuous support. We could not have done much without their guide, encouragement and support".
Presenting her panel report, Prof Oladiji, who headed the team, expressed happiness with the quantum of exhibits that were showcased at the Fair. She listed the criteria used to judge presentations to include: innovativeness, originality, newness and novelty; usefulness of findings to see if the presentations can be immediately purchased at the Fair; finishing, aesthetics, cost effectiveness, reliability of ruggedness of the materials, etc. Prof. Oladiji explained that some exhibits do not fit these criteria because of the nature of the work. She pointed at presentations from Faculties of Arts, Law and Environmental Sciences, whose exhibits were mainly published books, to buttress her point.
The Chief Judge then announced the three best presentations. These are, the Short Message Sim (SMS)-Controlled Electronic Bill Board by Dr. A.O. Otuoze and five others from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, which came tops; OAA Temporal bone holder by Dr. H.K. Omokanye and three others from the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, second place and Production of Leather Shoe from goat skin by Dr A.T. Yusuf, third place. The winners were given N75, 000, N50, 000 and N25,000, respectively. Prof. Oladiji disclosed that 70% of the exhibits scored above 60% marks and that 45 exhibits were assessed in all. She, however, urged those whose exhibits were not among the best not to lose hope.
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