Innovation Support Network (ISN) Hubs Annual Gathering brought together ISN member hubs and other ecosystem players for learning, knowledge sharing, capacity development, networking, and collaboration.
The first Annual Gathering took place in Lagos’ Civic Center in September 2019; however, due to COVID restrictions in effect during those periods, the gatherings in 2020 and 2021 took place virtually.
On December 8, 2022, at the magnificent Landmark Events Center in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria, the 4th Edition Gathering with the theme “Collaboratively Creating A Sustainable Innovation Ecosystem” was held.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Digital Transformation Centre Nigeria (DTC Nigeria) of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) collaborated strategically with ISN to plan this year’s Edition.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Director-General, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, delivered the keynote address.
Mr. Kashifu Inuwa was ably represented by the National Director of the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Engr, Yau Isa Garba, as he discussed the necessity of collaboration in digital innovation centers to maximize their productivity.
“Collaboratively establishing a sustainable hub environment” is a concept that is particularly appropriate for this event,” he stated.
“The foundation for creating an innovative ecosystem is collaboration. This connects academics, entrepreneurs, and artists to foster concepts that achieve a goal. It also expedites the chance to network.”
He continued by pointing out that innovation cannot be accomplished in isolation and that innovators must work together.
“It is crucial to remember that invention does not occur in a vacuum. To accomplish a specific goal, collaboration facilitates the sharing of ideas.”
Mr. Inuwa spoke and outlined the three essential components for the establishment and development of a digital economy.
“Digital innovation, digital entrepreneurship, and digital skills or talent are these three crucial factors.”
“Hubs are the factions that foster these ingredients. As a result, an ecosystem for digital innovation is developing hubs to promote the expansion and development of our digital economy. Innovation centers offer the potential for growth.
“To combat poverty, innovation hubs serve as the bridge promoting innovation and economic progress.”
Additionally, Dr. Thuweba Diwani, the director of projects at the Digital Transformation Centre Nigeria (DTC Nigeria), a subsidiary of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), said that GIZ’s collaboration with Nigeria has helped to promote sustainable development progress.
“We are currently working together to implement over 25 technical programs in Nigeria,” she continued. “We are devoted to continuing to make a real difference in helping our partner nation realize its immense potential to carry out its 2025 National Development Plan.”
Other significant events of the gathering include networking opportunities for the delegates, as well as panel discussions on subjects like collaborating for sustainability and implementing policies to drive ecosystem collaboration and job creation.
The first-panel session was moderated by Dr. Itoro Emembolu, Director, TechQuest Academy with panelists including, Emmanuel Oladele, Technical Advisor, GIZ-DTC; Anna Ekeledo, Executive Director, AfriLabs, Wole Odetayo, Wennovation/Lofty Allied Partners; Ibukun Obe, Founder, Premier Hub, Joshua Adedeji, Knowledge Transfer Manager, Innovate UK-KTN discussed how hubs could Collaborate for sustainability.
The second panel moderated by Ganiu Oloruntade, Senior Staff Writer, Tech Next discussed Implementing Policies to Drive Ecosystem collaboration and job creation.
The panelists included Yakubu Musa, Acting National Coordinator, Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); Celestine Omin, Co-founder and CEO, Klump; Victor Famubode, Project Manager, Nigeria Startup Act; Fayo Williams, Founder, Exponential Hub; Vanessa Nyingifa-Williams, NorthEast iHub
Kolapo Ogungbile, Business and Startup Program Manager, Vatebra Tech Hub moderated the third-panel session.
The panel saw Rita Ohai, Founder, Granula.AI; Oluwatoyin Adegbite, CEO, Sheafam &Tam Limited; Mohammed Yunusa, Director, of Innovations and Digital Business Solutions, Sterling; Bankole Oloruntoba, CEO, Nigeria Climate Innovation Center discussed Building Conscious Business: Incorporating Circularity from Ideation to Market.
The Madica Session moderated by Emmanuel Adegboye, Head of Investment Program, Madica had speakers including Kelvin Umechukwu, CEO & Co-founder, Bumpa; Eduabasi Chukwunweike, Business Development Manager Microsoft-Cloud, ISVs & Start-ups; and Khadijah Sanusi, Hub Manager, Blue Sapphire.
This panel session discussed the Enhancing the Capabilities of the Hubs Ecosystem for Delivering Quality Startups for Investment.
Concluding the discussion for the day ISN Directors had a chat where they discussed the present state of the organisation and what the future holds.