As part of the economic diversification initiatives of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, the Federal Government and the Czech Republic on Wednesday launched a Call for Public Proposals on Delta-2 Programme worth $16.2 million Co-funding Research and Development (R&D) project.
The Delta-2 Programme is the cooperation model of the Technology Agency of Czech Republic TA CR, running from 2020-2025, through which TA CR sponsors applied research and innovation of manufacturing companies and innovative institutions, with Nigeria becoming one of the new beneficiaries of the programme.
Nigeria’s NASENI and Czech Republic’s TA CR had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Prague in 2014, on some critical areas of technology transfer and innovations which had resulted in the Co-Funding of Czech-Nigeria Bilateral R&D Project on Delta-2 Programme.
Speaking at the programme launch, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna, said the Call for Public Proposal for the Delta-2 programme was one of the projects to be implemented under the bilateral agreement between the two countries.
According to Prof. Haruna, the priority areas of the MoU which include Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Research, agricultural and Food Technology, Mining Industrial Development among others were unable to take off earlier due to bureaucracy until the Presidential Implementation Committee (PICTT) on Technology Transfer/Information Exchange between Nigeria and Czech Republic, PICTT was inaugurated by President Muhammed Buhari in November 2020.
He said, “The PICTT would be sourcing technologies from the Czech Republic’s manufacturing companies; tertiary; research; and development institutions. The sum of CZK 250 million (250 million Czech Koruna, approximately US$10.5 million) has been a allocated as research fund by the government of the Czech Republic, through the TA CR and will be supplemented by NASENI on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the sum of 2,000,000,000 or US5.7 million”.
“Technology acquisition and domestication through this collaboration will help in bridging technology gap between Nigeria and the advanced countries of the West and to facilitate Nigeria’s transition to a manufacturing economy. Indeed, deployment of technology is crucial to mitigate our socio-economic and security challenges.