Two researchers in the Department of Food Engineering, University of Ilorin (Unilorin), Prof. Joshua Olaoye and Dr Musliu Sunmonu, have won over N788 million grant from Innovate UK.
The two researchers from the Faculty of Engineering and Technology won the grant for the 2022/2023 Africa AgriFood Knowledge Transfer Partnership (AAKTP)
The award was granted to Unilorin in partnership with De Montfort University, UK, and Microscale Embedded Limited, Abuja.
In his remark to the Unilorin Bulletin released on Monday, Mr Olaoye, who is the Academic Lead for the project, explained that the grant award is agricultural based.
He said that the three groups, through their representatives, had earlier put up a collective proposal with major work done by Mr Sunmonu of Unilorin as the Academic Supervisor.
“The lead supervisor is to create an enabling environment while the academic supervisor is the brain behind the project with the guidance of the lead supervisor. We must give kudos to Dr Sunmonu for his resilience in this particular award,” he said.
According to him, the project has to be conducted in Nigeria and Unilorin is the only university to carry out the project under the ‘Innovate UK’ supervision.
“This is to ensure that we are doing the right thing in accordance with the demand of the granting body of the award.
“The company has to come again because it is not just paperwork alone; it transcends that. The focus is on how we can mitigate agricultural loss.
“Doing that involves coming out with the concept of putting all stakeholders within the agricultural value chain of multiple crops on the same page, such that we have producers.
“This particular research work will assist the farmers in doing the right thing at the right time to get the best productivity from the work they are carrying out,” he said.
Mr Olaoye stated that this milestone would enhance the university’s Webometric ranking, and also give opportunity for Unilorin alumni to be employed in the project.
“When it starts, we hope that we will get a Laboratory where we will be training our students on Global Information Services,” he said.