Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming many industries and has enormous potential to spur job creation, economic growth, and social development.
As Africa’s largest economy with over 200 million people, a young population with a median age of 18.4 years (World Bank, 2022), a growing technology talent pool, and an active startup ecosystem (including 6 unicorns as of 2022 – CB Insights, 2022), Nigeria is poised to build on AI to accelerate economic prosperity.
The Federal Ministry of Communications, in partnership with the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has opened applications for the 2023 NITDA N5m AI Research Grant for Nigerians. This initiative is a significant step in fostering innovation and technological advancement in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Nigeria.
Key Details of the NITDA N5m AI Research Grant
- Application Period: The application process commenced on October 13, 2023, and will conclude on November 15, 2023. Applicants must submit their proposals through the designated online channel.
- Objective and Partnership: The Federal Ministry of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy (FMCIDE) is collaborating with NITDA to offer this AI Research Grant. This initiative is designed to support innovators and startups in Nigeria, contributing to the advancement of AI technologies in the country.
- Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible for the grant, applicants can be part of a consortium that includes a startup or technology company, a Nigerian academic researcher, or a foreign researcher. The crucial requirement is that the research proposal must align with the AI priority areas set by the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy.
- Grant Value and Scope: The award value is 5 million Naira for each recipient. The program aims to support up to 45 successful AI researchers or startups. The areas of research and development are expected to align with certain priorities in the field of AI.
- Evaluation and Selection Process: The submitted proposals will be evaluated by a panel of AI experts. Applicants who are shortlisted will be notified via email and invited for an interview. Successful applicants will ultimately be notified of their selection via email.
This grant represents a significant investment in Nigeria’s digital economy, particularly in the rapidly evolving sector of AI. By supporting AI research and innovation, the Federal Ministry of Communications and NITDA are nurturing the growth of technological expertise in Nigeria, opening up new opportunities for development and innovation in the field.
- The grant must be used for the proposed project only and in compliance with the approved budget. All grant recipients will be required to sign an agreement with the Federal Ministry of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, outlining the terms and conditions of the grant.
- Grant recipients must provide periodic progress updates and reports to the Ministry, as well as participate in knowledge-sharing activities that will be organised by the Ministry.
- The grant recipients must acknowledge the support provided by the Ministry in all publications and public presentations related to the project.
- The Ministry reserves the right to withdraw the grant if the project fails to meet the agreed-upon milestones and objectives.
About National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)
The Agency has since 2010 established a scholarship scheme for Master’s and Doctoral Degree in relevant areas of Information Technology (IT) and ICT Law obtainable in Nigerian (Government and Private) Universities. The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has as its mandate to develop and regulate the Information Technology in Nigeria. Developing and regulating IT will support in transforming Nigeria into an IT driven economy for global competitiveness and the dire need of digital literacy. In furtherance to transforming Nigeria into a knowledge-based and IT driven.