Expert seeks bridging gap between industry, academia to tackle Nigeria’s problems

Advertising guru and Executive Vice Chairman of Verdant Zeal Group, Dr. Tunji Olugbodi, has emphasized the importance of collaboration between industry and academia to address the myriad of socioeconomic problems confronting Nigeria and its people.

He stated that bridging the gap between town and gown would greatly help turn research activities in the academic circle into finished and marketable products, adding that both segments are fertile ground for innovation.

Olugbodi shared these thoughts at Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, while delivering the institution’s Faculty of Social Sciences Open Lecture recently.

He spoke on “Collaborative Innovation: Bridging the Knowledge and Research Gap Between Industry and Academia.”

According to him, there is a very low and slow translation of research work into marketable products. Olugbodi, in a statement made available to the Nigerian Tribune, decried this development, stating that strong academia-industry collaboration is needed to tackle societal problems and shape the Nigerian economy to be a force to reckon with globally.

While advocating for a significant investment in academia to address challenges facing them and boost their service delivery, Olugbodi emphasized that industry-academia relations would effectively tackle real-world problems with fresh perspectives, rigorous research, and cutting-edge technology.

He suggested that the pharmaceutical industry should frequently collaborate with universities to develop new drugs and treatments, and similarly, the power sector should collaborate with academia for meaningful research to advance sustainable technologies, especially in renewable energy.

Such partnerships, he said, would benefit industries, the people, the country, and society at large.

Olugbodi explained that industries are not only crucial to innovation and development through job creation but also stimulate economic stability, leading to an enabling environment for innovation and investment in research.

While equally urging the country to tap into the productive capacity of its teeming youth for economic advancement, Olugbodi said doing so would lift many people out of poverty and also contribute significantly to the progress of the country.

In his remarks at the event, Vice-Chancellor of OOU, Prof. Ayodeji Agboola, said the theme was not only timely but also in conformity with the need to bridge the gulf between industry players, policymakers, and academia, especially during post-field research defense.

Agboola stressed the need to pay adequate attention to the nation’s education sector because no country can develop beyond the standards of its universities, noting that OOU is committed to pursuing its 3-E Agenda – Education (further education), entrepreneurship, and employability of its graduates.

In his address, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at OOU, Prof. Dele Odunlami, explained the essence of the faculty lecture series, saying it was designed as a platform for professionals to address societal challenges and proffer workable solutions.



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