FIIRO unveils automated plant for local drinks

by Editor

March 13, 2018 | 12:45 am
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Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), disclosed in Abuja, during the FIIRO day at the on-going Technology and Innovation Week 2018, with the theme “Stimulating Economic Growth through Commercialisation of Indigenous Research and Development Results” that it had automated the plants for the production of Kunu and Zobo drinks.

Gloria Elemo, director-general, FIIRO, who announced this during her welcome address, said the institute partnered an indigenous automation company, Automation and Engineering Nigeria Limited, to come up with two automated plants for Kunu and Zobo drinks.

Elemo recalled that the minister for science and technology had in 2017 edition of Technology and Innovation Week advised that FIIRO automate its production processes, which was now a reality.

“The Hon. Minister Sir, the Institute will continue to be guided by your wisdom and directives. No doubt you were very delighted with the innovative processing equipment exhibited by over 50 fabricators that were invited to the Technology and Innovation Week 2017 at the instance of FIIRO but you made a comment that we took very serious.

“You commented last year that you would like to see automated equipment rather than batch equipment in subsequent editions of the Technology and Innovation Week. This comment got us thinking and we have to partner with an indigenous automation company i.e. Automation and Engineering Nig Limited to come up with two automated plants for Kunu and Zobo drinks,” she said.

In his keynote address, Matthew O. Ilori, a professor at the African Institute for Science Policy and Innovation, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, noted that there were no economic gains from R&D until the outputs (including patents) were exploited.

According to Ilori, innovation occurs through entrepreneurial activities that take care of marketing, adding that innovation is only possible when R&D is demand-driven and solves real life problems.

He pointed out that innovative performance of an economy depended on how each element performed, saying strong interaction must exist among the elements in the system for good performance in knowledge creation and use.

Ilori who regretted that Nigeria is rated least in terms of global competitiveness; said “Other countries are rated higher because they allocate greater proportion of the GDP to R&D and commercialisation. For instance, South Korea allocated 4.4% GDP to R&D and innovation. In most of the countries the private sector makes larger contribution to R&D when compared to government’s allocation.

Lamenting poor funds allocation to research institutes, he said resources available for R&D were too thin and were spread on numerous researches running concurrently.

“For instance, in OAU, records showed that grants were allocated to about 46 research projects between 1998 and 2002, and 87 research projects between 2003 and the first quarter of 2007. Unfortunately, most of the projects are surveys, impact analyses, appraisals, evaluation studies or analytical studies, while only about one percent is innovative and/or interdisciplinary.

In his words, individuals, Knowledge Institutions, Government and the productive sector all have a critical role to play.

He urged the government to allocation of more fund to R&D and commercialisation, calling on the private sector in the country to contribute more to R&D and innovation.

“With increase in R&D and commercialisation, more jobs and wealth would be created thus leading to economic growth,” Ilori said.

by Editor

March 13, 2018 | 12:45 am
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