Professor Obembe Advocates Robust Marketing of Covenant Products
It is indisputable that Covenant University has demonstrated a very strong prowess in research, culminating in the invention of several life-changing products. But much still has to be done in the area of marketing the products.
This was the major concern raised on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, by the immediate past Director, Covenant University Centre for Research, Innovation and Discovery (CUCRID), Professor Olawole Obembe, while making his presentation at the 2018 Executive Advance for faculty and staff of the University.
The Professor of Plant Biotechnology, in his presentation titled, ‘Industry Partnerships and Collaborations’, described collaboration between the Ivory Tower and Industry as a worthwhile initiative particularly in attracting industrial funds to institutions across the world, adding that the Covenant Management must be commended for driving this noble initiative. However, he pointed out that, “Much is still required in the area of providing a robust marketing mechanism for our products not only in Nigeria but across the world”.
While elucidating on industry partnership, Professor Obembe said that University and industry have a long history of collaboration, with the attendant benefits of partnerships including: Skills development (education and training); Generation, acquisition, and adoption of knowledge (innovation and technology transfer); and the promotion of entrepreneurship (start-ups and spin-offs). He, however, noted that there was a cultural divide between Universities and Industries, with the University generally having a discovery-driven culture, while the Industry has innovation-driven environment, which always pushes for new advanced products with better value, cheaper production processes and in some cases cleaner environment.
Highlighting the challenge of attracting partnerships in a developing economy, the former CUCRID Director stated that Industry’s expectation is the supply of well-educated human resources rather than production of creative inventions; Most firms either develop their own technologies or import cutting edge technologies from advanced countries.; and a research carried out years back in the UK identified barriers to University-Industry collaborations, which may not be completely different from that of Nigeria.
He affirmed that the Proprietor base and the Management of Covenant University had been highly supportive in driving bilateral relationships with the external context, adding that Covenant had since the 2016/2017 Academic Session been engaging in partnerships with many industries.
On the feats achieved by Covenant on the industry partnership platform, Professor Obembe said that the University had participated in eleven (11) Exhibitions between the year 2016 through 2018, during which Covenant won outstanding laurels like ‘Best participating University at the 12th Abuja International Trade Fair, October 2017’; ‘Best Private University at Lagos International Trade Fair November, 2017’; ‘3rd position out of 640 products at the Federal Ministry of Science & Technology Expo 2017’; and ‘1st position out of 199 products at the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology Expo 2018’.