In a significant move to bolster AI-focused enterprises and researchers, Nigeria has introduced the Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme. The initiative was launched by Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, who has opened the doors for applications.
The primary aim of this program is to stimulate the widespread application of AI, thereby enhancing Nigeria’s global competitiveness. The scheme will offer financial support to 45 qualifying startups and researchers.
As per the program’s framework, it will encompass a range of domains including agriculture, banking, government, healthcare, utilities, and sustainability.
To be eligible for a grant, applicants must be affiliated with a tech startup, a Nigerian university researcher, or an international researcher. Moreover, they are required to submit a proposal outlining their project’s objectives and its potential impact on Nigeria’s economy, aligning with the government’s AI priorities.
All applications must be submitted via the Ministry’s official online portal. These proposals will be meticulously reviewed by a panel of AI experts. Those selected for the program will be notified via email and invited for interviews.
The Minister shared his thoughts during the program’s launch, stating, “We have established the Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme to provide funding for 45 consortia comprising startups and researchers, enabling them to further explore opportunities, deepen their research, and cultivate a sustainable AI ecosystem in Nigeria.”
He continued, “We invite AI researchers and companies to apply for grants of up to N5 million as part of our ministry’s commitment to nurturing innovation, enhancing efficiency in critical sectors, and positioning Nigeria as a global hub for AI technology applications.”
The application window for this scheme opened on October 13, 2023, and will remain open until November 15, 2023. Interested individuals can click here to apply.