Nigerian Digital Innovator Wins British Council Global Funding
A Nigerian virtual 3D lab for science learning and digital innovator has won the British Council first global #IdeasChangeLives innovation challenge. The competition asked for hyper-innovative ideas that can help find a solution to one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The two joint winners are Nigerian Job Oyebisi and Malawi’s mHub, who will each receive NGN 9,412,100.00 (20,000 GBP) and mentoring to take their products live. Job Oyebisi runs StanLab which aims to improve science and technology career prospects for more than 6 million students by teaching practical skills in virtual 3D laboratories as a digital innovator. MHub will improve reporting for sexual assault, reproductive health rights, early marriage and human trafficking, adding to its function as Malawi’s first community-based human rights platform.
A proposal by another digital innovator from Ghana, DigiCop, was highly commended, and will receive LOCAL NGN 4,706,550.00 (10,000 GBP) to develop a business plan to use AI technology to improve access to police assistance for Ghana’s 19 million mobile phone users. Ghana’s police to citizen ratio is 1:848 compared to the UN’s recommendation of 1:500.
The three proposals were drawn from entries from over 2000 people and organisations around the world. #IdeasChangeLives is part of a series of initiatives led by the British Council. Two winners get support to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). If the MVP is successful the British Council will work with winner to seek partnerships to help scale the MVP across its network in more than 100 countries.
#IdeasChangeLives was judged by an international panel of business leaders. They selected proposals for life-changing solutions that could improve hundreds of thousands of lives through digital engagement.
Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive, British Council commented: “Technology, and the rapid increase in connected devices worldwide, offers new opportunities to tackle world problems. This competition has highlighted both the resourcefulness of digitally-capable people around the globe, and their desire to solve the issues in their regions. The British Council is proud to enable the development of these winning ideas, and their potential to improve lives.”
Vikas Shah, Judge, and Chief Executive, Swiscot Group said: “Science education is essential, but often costly. StanLab brings a unique, powerfully intuitive and highly engaging deployment of VR, allowing those in even the most remote and underfunded communities to get the benefits of high-class science education.”
The British Council acknowledge the significant contribution of support of the Friends of British Council USA, to this initiative, which is delivered by its Digital, Innovation, and Partnerships directorate.