The Nigerian Computer Association says a knowledge-driven park with a Centre of Excellence in ICT situated in the Obafemi Awolowo University ( OAU ) to train software engineers will be ready in May.
Prof. Adesola Aderounmu, the President of the Nigerian Computer Association made this known on Wednesday at an Academia-Industry Engagement/Interface seminar in Lagos.
The park, known as OAK-PARK, sponsored by the World Bank, started in 2014 and is aimed at creating a regionally recognised and acknowledged model-driven high-quality postgraduate education.
It will also ensure the uptake and commercialisation of research and technology to advance the growth of ICT industry.
Aderounmu said that inside the park, there would be a Centre of Excellence in ICT, which would serve as a training hub in software engineering for Nigeria and other countries in the sub-region.
“It will develop the next generation of scientists, researches, teachers, entrepreneurs and product developers in the area of ICT by enrolling new postgraduate students from Nigeria and West African countries.
He said the Oak-Park would provide the launch pad for start-up companies produced from the university and would enable partnering with ICT companies.
“The OAK-PARK will stimulate creativity and excellence in research and innovation in ICT applicable to other fields and related to regional developmental objectives.
“It will expand learning opportunities for postgraduate students in all the sectors by deploying existing and new development in ICT for which OAU is leading in the sub-region.
“The park will leverage on the intellectual infrastructure and output of the university to serve as the launch pad for start-up ICT companies borne out of university’s research activities by partnering companies.’’
He said some of the existing facilities that would make up the park were data centre servicing 400 computer nodes, cybersecurity research laboratory, postgraduate research ICT laboratories among others.
Aderounmu said that for the project to thrive, the university would have to collaborate with ICT companies.
“The university cannot do it alone without the help of ICT companies, and that is why we are here today to show you what the park is about and how you can be part of the business,’’ he said.
He said the park would also provide employment opportunities for postgraduate students,“ he said.
Aderounmu expressed the hope that the project would be completed in May.