By Martin Ekpeke
The Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) has announced prices for this year’s Innovation Changemaker Challenge, which the department in the Nigerian Communications Commission is using to challenge Nigerian youth to engage their ingenuity to solve relevant problems and bring about change through creativity and innovation.
The prices, according to a statement issued earlier today are N1, 000,000, N750, 000 and N500, 000 for the Ist, 2nd and 3rd positions respectively. The price also includes acceptance into incubation programme for the three winners, stressing that monetary prize includes product completion and cash.
USPF, established under the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 to facilitate the achievement of national policy goals for universal access and universal service to information and communication technologies (ICTs) in rural, un-served and under-served areas, said the aim of the Innovation Changemaker Challenge is also to promote innovation & investment opportunities in the Nigeria’s telecom sector.
It noted that entry is open to teams, minimum of 2 and maximum of 4 members (no individuals), but added that teams with female members will have a definite added advantage as USPF seeks to encourage more gender diversity in technology innovation. Thirty (30) teams will be shortlisted (consisting of the top 5 entries from each geopolitical zone), with the final scheduled for 28th & 29th October, 2017.
The USPF Innovation Changemaker Challenge 2017 is a nationwide competition open to young innovators, software developers, UX designers, students, and other ICT enthusiasts from all over Nigeria. The aim is to tackle a selection of identified problems based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as they apply to Nigeria and offer working solutions to them.
Participants will be required to create their own technology intervention for any of the following areas: Agriculture and Creation of Mass Employment: In the production, storage or distribution of food; Environment: Oil & Gas, Flood, Erosion/Climate Change; National e-data on Poverty, Disease, Security and Health/Lifestyle: Medical Doctors Information Exchange Tool; Health Insurance etc.
Others are Epidemic Mobility Tracking Solutions: e.g. Ebola, Lassa fever; Disease Destroyer Games: Educational games on disease eradication e.g. Malaria, Polio, and HIV; Education: Virtual Education, E-Library & E-Learning Systems.
USPF also requires participants to develop interventions in Intelligent Technologies for Scientists, Science Teachers, Engineers, etc; Girls4Tech: Interactive solutions aimed at getting young girls interested technology and innovation; Fraud whistle-Blowers: Enabling or assistive technology; Information Technology: Communications Quality of Service and National Security: Cybercrime and Cyber security Solutions, etc.
Other areas include E-Government: Government Automation Processes and E-Commerce: e-Transactions, Payment Systems, etc.
Opening date for registration: 4th July, 2017 and will close on 14th August, 2017. To register, log on to: http://www.uspfchangemaker.ng