The Advanced Engineering Innovation Research Group (AEIRG) of the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMinna), has won the Royal Academy for Engineering Research grant for artificial intelligence (AI) for clean energy.
The grant valued at £156,465 will enable the university to build capacity in artificial intelligence and clean energy in order to address societal problems.
The award letter signed by AEIRG’s Director of Programmes, Mr Andrew Clark, stated that the grant would be for two years, urging the group to adhere strictly to its terms and conditions.
The grant which is under the Higher Education Partnership in sub-Sahara Africa Programme, has four national universities and two international partners.
The partnership involves FUTMinna as the hub university, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho (Lautech), Technical University, Ibadan and the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL) while the international partners are Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom.
Leader of the research group Prof Abiodun Aibinu, expressed optimism over the impact of the project to the university and Nigeria.
“The project will provide findings for the introduction of Industrial Immersion Programne (IIP) for lecturers and the Academic Immersion Programne (AIP) also known as Industry Experts Lecturing Experience Scheme (IELES) I for industry-based experts that are willing to share knowledge with the academia in the campus.”
Aibinu implied that the project would provide employment opportunities for graduates by enhancing their skills, adding that it would also focus on curriculum development to boost the quality of teaching and learning through the adoption of the experiential service-learning model approach.
Aibinu further said that the project would look at issues of acadopreneurship, borderless classrooms, and remote laboratories.
He said: “Acadopreneurship simply means turning academic ideas into business. We are hopeful that the inclusion of entrepreneurship and acadopreneurship philosophy will lead to systemic incubation of 50 research ideas and produce from participating universities and other partners leading to new start-up companies springing up from the university research activities.”