By Oluwafunke Ishola
The Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), has unveiled an automated machines for Kunu and Zobo drinks to enhance competitiveness and productivity in the food and beverage industry.
The Spokesman of FIIRO, Mr Chris Olumuyiwa, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.
He said that the equipment was unveiled during FIIRO’s Day at the ongoing Technology and Innovation Week, 2018, holding in Abuja.
Olumuyiwa quoted Prof. Gloria Elemo, the Director-General of FIIRO, as saying “the institute was partnering with an indigenous automation company, Automation and Engineering Nig. Ltd., to produce the automated machines.
Elemo said that the Minister of Science and Technology had in the 2017 edition of Technology and Innovation Week, advised that FIIRO should automate its production processes, adding that it had been actualised.
She said that the institute would continue to use technology to change the nature and enhance the quality, profitability and competitiveness of the nation’s manufacturing sector.
The statement also quoted Prof. Matthew Ilori as saying “there are no economic gains from Research and Development (R&D) until the outputs (including patents) are exploited.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ilori is of the African Institute for Science Policy and Innovation, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
According to him, innovation occurs through entrepreneurial activities that explore marketing, as it is only possible when R&D is demand-driven, and solves real life problems.
Ilori regretted that Nigeria was rated least in terms of global competitiveness, released by the World Economic Forum.
“Other countries are rated higher because they allocate adequate funds to Research and Development and commercialisation. For instance, South Korea allocated 4.4 per cent of its budget to Research and Development and innovation,” he said.
The don lamented the poor funds allocated to research institutes in the country, adding that the resources were small and spread on numerous researches running concurrently.
“For instance, in OAU, records showed that grants were allocated to about 46 research projects between 1998 and 2002, and 87 research projects between 2003 and the first quarter of 2007.
“Unfortunately, most of the projects are surveys, impact analyses, appraisals, evaluation studies or analytical studies, while only about one per cent is innovative or interdisciplinary,” he said.
Ilori urged the Federal Government to allocate more funds to R&D and commercialisation, while appealing to the private sector to also contribute more to R&D and innovation.
He said that increased R&D and commercialisation would translate to more jobs, wealth creation and economic growth. (NAN)