by Russel A
5 teams of young innovators emerged as the winners of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Technology (NOGTECH) Hackathon. This competition was sponsored by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB). Each team walked away with a $10,000 equity-free grant and will take part in a 3-month incubation programme.
After 15 semi-finalists made their presentations during the Demo Day, the winners were Homefort Energy, Kiakia Gas, Gricd Mote, Fuel Intellisense, and Airsynq, after the judges considered their products as the most innovative and bankable.
- The team at Fuel Intellisense is working on a project that helps fuel stations get accurate data and save them from underground siphoning or theft through different outlets. This project requires the implementation of a remote system that shows the fuel dispensed per day and what remains.
- Homefort Energy aims to make cooking gas affordable to low-income families using the pay-as-you-go model. They intend to help Nigerians in the rural communities switch from firewood to cooking gas or kerosene.
- Gricd Mote provides cool shade transportation for items that are temperature sensitive in the health, oil, and gas sectors. The products also help in monitoring the temperature humidity and location of such items.
- Kiakia will provide gas to end-users while enabling them to know the amount left in their cylinders. That way, they do not run out of gas in their homes. This system will be deployed by gas plant owners.
- Airsynq is a balloon lifted satellite that relies on helium to remain in flight for 2160 hours or just about 90 days. After the duration, it will be brought down for routine maintenance. The technology allows for a year of continued surveillance relying on artificial intelligence software that helps international companies and their security teams monitor the activities that take place where their balloons are deployed.
Nigerian Oil and Gas Technology began in July 2020 when the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board required all startups with solutions for the Oil & Gas Industry to apply for a $50,000 grant.
Over 630 promising startups countrywide applied and went through a screening phase. 15 of those startups were picked to advance to the NOGTECH Hackathon taking place in September 2020, and scheduled for 3 days. Prior to Demo Day, Programmes Director Francisca Kanayo Chiedu pointed out the strides achieved during the incubation period in ensuring that all teams have the right innovations.
Oo Nwoye, the Director of Incubation gave remarks on the impact of this innovation. He described how the three-month-long incubation programme will help the innovators identify their pilot clients and target markets. Resources, mentors, and support will be provided by NCDMB’s Capacity Building Division.
Nigeria’s recent pursuit of local homegrown technological solutions across multiple sectors is bearing fruit as the event was a showcase of government empowered local innovators and companies having the capacity to bid for projects that are tech-intensive and solve problems at a large scale.
The closing of the NCDMB programme in Lagos is part of a larger strategy drawn from the US$50million Nigerian Content Research & Development Intervention Fund. Through support from the board, concerned companies will get patents for their innovations and develop prototypes that help in carrying out field trials, business start-ups, and industry linkages. Funding decisions will be based on the economic viability of an innovation.
According to Section 70 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, the board will participate in a targeted capacity development interventions as they go about their research work aimed at developing the country’s homegrown content. Among the initiatives sponsored are ENACTUS Science and Technology Innovation Challenge, Upgrade of labs in Universities, Technical and Vocational Education Training, the establishment of modern research centers for excellence, and an NCDMB Research Product Development framework.