By Adams Akorede
Nine students of University of Ibadan on Monday bagged the Geohackathon award for developing technology innovations, toward achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria.
In an address, Vice chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof Idowu Olayinka, who was represented by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olanike Adeyemo, said research from tertiary institutions should be one which addresses societal problems.
The event was organised by Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships (RISP) and in collaboration with GIS Konsult Limited.
Geohackathon is coined from three words: Geo, representing earth; Hack, a series of events geared to solve earth and environmental problems; and Athon, which was borrowed from ‘marathon’, a long distance race.
Olayinka explained that Geohackathon indicates a series of activities that are well coordinated toward achieving a set goal.
“Geohackathon competition is aimed at utilising innovative geo-spatial technologies to proffer solutions for sustainable development.
“This is season one of the Geohackathon series and participants guided by SDGs two, three, nine, 11, 12 and 13 have developed and submitted solutions in the some categories.
“The categories included Application/Product/Prototype, Innovative Industrial Research and Online StoryMap Journal,” Olayinka said.
He said the University remained grateful to sponsors, especially Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) for providing the software and to GIS Konsult Ltd for partnership.
The VC explained that the event will assist with incubation of ideas arising from mentoring students and budding entrepreneurs.
The Chief Executive Officer of GIS Konsult, Mr David Afolayan said the student innovators would be assisted until their innovations became marketable.
“Through the Geohackathon, we are promoting Geo-Literacy and Geographic Information System as enabling technology to stimulate innovation across all disciplines.
“We believe this will revolutionise the education system to produce solution-oriented graduates.
“It is time for Africa to arise with solutions for Africa and indeed the world,” Afolayan said.
Mr Emmanuel Aniala won the first position award with N100,000 for the Innovative Industrial Research Category.
His research was based on Vulnerability Analysis of Catchment of River Ona at Moniya-Eleyele Axis, Ibadan Sustainable cities.
Ms Abigael Anaza-Mark, on the other hand, bagged the first position award in Application/Product/Prototype category for monitoring the consumption of LDPE packages products and solutions, Climate Action.
Also, Mr Lawrence Alawode won the first position award for Online Story Map Journal category.
The winners of the second and third positions receive N50,000 and N25,000, respectively, for each categories.