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The need for governments and relevant stakeholders in the educational sector to give necessary support towards research and development initiatives of universities in the country has again been stressed.

The Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, Sheda Science and Technology Complex, Abuja, Professor Sunday Thomas made this known while delivering a Keynote Address at the 1st Faculty of Natural Sciences Annual Conference of IBB University, Lapai, with the title, “Commercialisation of Research Outputs for National Development”, held at the Main Campus.

He explained that the role of knowledge, technology, innovation and human capital in the stimulation of sustainable economic growth and competitiveness can not be over emphasized.

The Keynote speaker disclosed that, as the global economy recovers from the economic meltdown, the need for developing nations to evolve some development strategies that would enhance research and innovation activities towards boosting their socio- economic fortunes becomes imperative.

He also emphasised that national economy can only be built with novel ideas and promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation drives, which must be supported with adequate capital provision.

Professor Thomas further pointed out that for a positive national development to be achieved, there was the need for progressive link between Research and Development as well as innovation that must be utilized in a practical manner.

He underscored the necessity of collaboration between universities and corporations to effectively utilise the research products through commercialisation so as to further facilitate the development of the economy.

In his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Muhammad Nasir Maiturare commended the Faculty of Natural Sciences for coming up with a topical issue that will facilitate the desired development of the country.

He explained that universities and other higher Institutions of learning as fountains of new ideas, technologies and innovations when fully converted to tangible assets would in no small measure accelerate the level of national development.

Professor Maiturare identified some factors that inhibit commercialisation of research output to the benefit of the economy to include inadequate funding, non investment in research and development by private sector, absence of research-industries-linkage, unreliable power supply as well as the near absence of relevant engineering infrastructure required to translate prototypes to actual commercial model.

He disclosed that it was as a result of outstanding research exploits of the University that it continues to be among the few top leading research institutions in the country.

Also in his address, the Director-General/Chief Executive of Raw Material Research and Development Council, Professor Hassan Ibrahim who spoke through the Deputy Director (RMRDC), Alhaji A. M Wele applauded the initiative of the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University for organizing a National Conference that was pertinent to development of nation’s economy.

He enjoined scholars at the conference to contribute meaningfully to how commercialisation of research and development could be implemented for the benefit of the society in general.

Earlier, in their separate speeches, the Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Dr Yahaya Aliyu Badeggi and Chairman, Conference Organizing Committee who is also the Head of Department, Biochemistry in the University, Dr Musa Achimugu Dickson said that theme of the conference was borne out of genuine desire for the economic revolution of Nigeria through knowledge and research generation.

They thanked the University Management for giving full support to the Conference, which culminated into its success.