The Edo State Polytechnic, Usen, has emerged the only polytechnic in the world to win the 2020 edition of the Carleton University and Canadian government’s grant for the Gendered Design in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) programme, addressing challenges predominantly faced by women in low-and-middle income countries.
The polytechnic won the grant valued in millions of Naira to construct an eco-friendly generator for low-income female artisans in Nigeria, with Mrs. Ese Esther Oriarewo and Dr. Obokhai Kess Asikhia as primary and co-primary investigators, respectively on the project.
The Gendered Design in STEAM programme at Carleton University, funded by Canadian Government’s International Development Research Council (IDRC), was awarded to 20 research teams in Africa, Asia and Latin America, with the 19 other teams domiciled in universities.
Rector of Edo State Polytechnic, Prof. Abiodun Falodun, in reaction to the grant announcement, said the institution continues to prioritise Research and Development (R&D) as one of its core mandates, noting that the inclination to research is in furtherance of the target set by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration for state-owned institutions to pursue innovative, technology-driven methods to solving society’s problems.
According to him, “We are very excited that we secured the grant from the IDRC. It is an interesting chapter for us in the polytechnic because we are committed to time and energy to one of our core mandates, which is research.”
He added that the research grant from the Canadian government is aimed at designing and constructing a fuel-less generator, capable of producing a sustainable, accessible and environmentally-friendly electrical power machine to support female artisans operating in small and medium scale business ventures in Nigeria, adding, “The Project aims to construct a generator that improves gender equality by developing cheap and robust methods that incorporate the cognitive, emotional and cultural needs of female artisans.”
The two other teams from Nigeria that secured the IDRC’s grant are from the University of Uyo and Lagos State University.