By G9ija

In a bid to achieve its mandate of building and deepening indigenous capabilities, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) at the weekend, rewarded five innovators with $50,000 grant at the just concluded Nigerian Oil and Gas Technology hackathon (NOGTECH 2020).

The board disclosed that the NOGTECH 2020 which is first ever technology hackathon in the Oil and Gas industry, in partnership with Learners Support Consultancy Company, was initiated to foster innovations in the oil and gas and ancillary industries as well as creating a platform for the proliferation of Local Content and digital technologies.

With over 600 applications received across 25 states in Nigeria, 15 finalists emerged as the top teams to move on the 3-day bootcamp, from which the top five emerged winners after thorough evaluation from judges and were rewarded with $10,000 equity-free grant.

The NOGTECH top 5 include; Fuel IntelliSense, Homefort Energy, Gricd Mote, KiaKia Gas 360 and AirSynQ. They are expected to undergo a 3-month incubation program, where each group will get a US$10,000 equity-free grant, a work-space, expert mentors, global partners and unprecedented market access to the nation’s oil and gas industry over three-months, ensuring they become commercial and investor-ready.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr Simbi Wabote, said, the oil and gas sector has embraced innovation since its beginnings in the 19th century, and in response to the digital revolution, the industry, like many others, is adapting and innovating at a rapid rate and added that the sector will remain key sources of energy in the next 20 years, thanks in part to the industry’s investment in technology.

Wabote, who was represented by the General Manager, Capacity Building Division, NCDMB, Dr Ama Ikuru, said, the objective of the bootcamp was to help build and refine the prototypes by providing further insights on the challenges, develop implementation plan for scaling the venture, and to select the most feasible ventures that will receive the seed funding.

According to him, the board will develop the products of the winners and help to support them with acquiring foreign materials.

“You cannot start from where we started at 5 per cent and hope they achieve 70 per cent Nigerian content without actually developing technology, material or products that can be used in the industry. So with this, we hope to mobilise Nigerians who are creative, utilise them to support us and to think of new ideas and inventions.

The world is going digital and if we succeed with these ones in that regard, then think about what this would bring to the Nigerian economy. Of course, they will change the narrative of the Nigerian economy and the board wants that to happen, which is to support the development of the Nigerian economy”, he said.