The immediate past President of the Nigeria Computer Society, Professor ‘Sola Aderounmu has advised the Nigerian government to key and invest in research and development, stressing that research is even more organically indispensable in the race for the digital economy.

Prof. Aderounmu, while delivering a paper titled ‘The Role of Research in Digital Economy’, at the University of Ibadan Research Management Office, noted that there is no disputing the assertion that research is quite imperative in driving innovation in any sphere of life.  Thus, the Nigerian government in its pursuit of a digital economy must invest in research and development as there can be no digital economy without research.

“In the digital economy, research is even more organically indispensable because innovations are what drive, grow and sustain economic digitalisation.  The digital economy cannot exist, survive or grow without research,” he asserted.

He added that the countries of the world are investing trillions of dollars in Research & Development as reported by UNESCO because research shapes the digital economy in a number of ways. For instance, research helps in creating design options for the optimum utilisation of the immense latent possibilities of economic digitalisation.

Prof. Aderounmu, who is a Director, World Bank Sponsored Africa Centre of ICT-Driven Knowledge Park and Immediate Past Dean, Faculty of Technology,  Obafemi Awolowo University, IleIfe, believes this is the reason why serious organisations and universities always invest in assorted research projects in order to discover new products, new ways of doing things or improving on existing products or processes. In so doing, research facilitates the path to innovations that stimulate the growth of the digital economy.

According to him, it is for this reason that developing economies that want to evolve their own digital economies need to provide requisite funding to citizens and institutions with inventive scientific ideas to undertake research and development activities that can yield innovative products to benefit society.

Due to its acclaimed significance for socio-economic development, research commands great attention among smart nations. That is why, as claimed in the UNESCO Institute for Statistics report, “global spending on Research & Development (R&D) has reached a record high of almost US$1.7 trillion.

The report also adds that about 10 countries contribute 80 percent of the above-mentioned R&D spending, just as some others have committed themselves to considerably increasing public and private R&D investment together with the number of researchers by 2030, in a drive towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


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