Translating research to innovation, strategies and evidence to guide policies on Agriculture, Energy, Health, Infrastructure and national Security is critical for national development. The economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) are enjoying the dividends of translating research to innovations that generate new products and novel strategies. The platform is also used to generate evidence for pragmatic policies that is enabling BRICS national development. Today, Nigeria has over one hundred universities. The University of Ibadan alone has 1,500 academic staffs who publish over 700 research papers every year. The research platforms at the University of Ibadan and other universities in Nigeria represent a treasure that can bring innovations to underwrite the socioeconomic development of Nigeria. The University of Ibadan Research Foundation (UI-Research Foundation) has developed a national “Think Tank” initiative designed to facilitate translations of research to innovations, novel strategies and to provide useful evidence for policies to strengthen the contributions of Agriculture, Energy, Health, Infrastructure and national Security to economic development of Nigeria.
The national Think Tank initiative aims to serveas a platform capable of facilitating the development of ‘knowledge economy’ for Nigeria. It will become a significant regional hub to foster global partnerships for promoting translations of research outcomes of high scholastic standard to evidence for pragmatic policies in Agriculture, Energy, Health, Infrastructure, and Security . The platformis being launched in partnerships with:
· The Chartered Institute of Bankers in Nigeria (CIBN),
· International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA),
· Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) and Institute for Peace and Strategic
· Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies (IPSS)
These partnerships will provide a spring board for public -private sectors for promotion of sustainable knowledge economy and efforts to make research count for national development. The Think Tank initiative is seen as one of the underpinning strategies for contributions of the UI-Research Foundation to the mission of the University of Ibadan on her efforts to meet societal needs..
The UI-Research Foundation is organizing a programme of events consisting of launching of the Think Tank and A Symposium titled Research Continuum for National Development to discuss issues that are relevant to socioeconomic development of Nigeria.
The symposium will involve participation of a wide audience consisting of the academic community, government officials, civil society and the private sector. The Symposium is aimed to achieve the following targets.
1. Stimulate the discussion on important national needs and critical sectors of Nigeria economy,
2. Catalyse efforts/thinking of Government and private sectors in the national agenda towards the engagement of available research results and the Think Tank
initiatives in propelling national development,
3. Introduce the National Think-Tank on Research for national development and Partnership Institutions to the community,
4. Invite the buy-in of the critical mass of people in the University community and civil society, and
5. Contribute to the development of a frame work for the National Think Tank on Research for development.