Hackathon: NCC Calls For Entries On Innovative Solutions Against COVID-19 Impact

…….As Three Startups Win 3 Million Each

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has invited entries from Tech Hubs, Startups and Innovation Digital SMEs for adaptable digital solutions that would address the impacts of pandemic and epidemic prone-diseases in Nigeria to a virtual Hackathon.

Beyond being the regulator of the country’s telecommunications industry, the NCC also supports amongst other things, the development of innovative services and life-changing solutions, leveraging on Information Communications Technologies (ICTs) to promote indigenous content development, economic growth and social advancement in Nigeria.

“Pursuant to this objective, the commission invites entries from techhubs, startups and innovation digital SMEs with promising and adaptable digital solutions that will aid in containing the impacts of pandemic and epidemic-prone diseases in Nigeria to a virtual Hackathon,” the NCC said.

The NCC said that the top three startups with the most promising digital Solutions will receive a grant of N3, 000,000.00 (Three Million Naira) each from the commission to aid the development and deployment of these solutions in Nigeria.

The Commission further disclosed that interested applicants will need to have solutions that address issues in the following fields of interest: Health: finding ways to empower healthcare workers on the front lines and bring support to individuals isolated at home.

It should also include solutions to prevent, trace and contain the spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria.

Whereas the Community level would require help with digital communications that will aid the sustenance of economic activities and people to people communication while encouraging social distancing, that of Productivity would require a solution that would enhance the productivity of people working from home during this lockdown and beyond.

Furthermore, while the Education levelrequires that an Easy to Deploy, accessible and cost-effective eLearning solutions for public schools be provided, at the Transportation level, it is required that a solution that will improve safety in public transportation facilities in Nigeria should be provided.

The NCC noted that the criteria for evaluation of the proposed digital solutions include adherence of proposal to stated requirements, novelty, clear problem statement and explanation of the proposed solution.

Another measure of acceptance for the solution as stated by the Commission is that each solution including prototype development must be concluded within two months of receipt of the grant and proof of concept, that is, feasibility of idea with diagram, algorithm, among others.

While explaining that the submissions of the proposal will undergo preliminary assessment, the NCC said:

“The proposals that are adjudged most promising and capable of positively impacting the fight against COVID-19 may be invited for the defence of the proposals before a decision is taken on winners.

“Interested tech hubs, startups and innovation digital SMEs are invited to submit soft copies (email to yikabir@ncc.gov.ng; fbruce@ncc.gov.ng; chimezie@ncc.gov.ng) on or before 5 pm, Monday 17th July 2020,” the statement read.

The statement warned that all emails should indicate ‘Digital Solutions for Covid-19’ in the subject field, while any proposal submitted after the deadline will be rejected automatically.

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