This year, the grand Abbasi Hotel, a prestigious five star hotel was where most part of the conference took place from the 2nd to 6th of September, 2018.
At the conference, Lion Science Park of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the first university-based science park in Nigeria was celebrated and inducted into the membership of IASP at the 35th World conference on science parks and areas of innovation.
Isfahan Science and Technology Town (ISTT) was the host of the 35th World Conference of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation.
The ISTT is a science Park that has been in existence for 20 years in the city of Isfahan in Iran. It won the bid to host the 2018 conference at the General Assembly of the 33rd world conference held in Moscow, Russia in 2016.
The international Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP), with headquarters in Malaga, Spain, is the global body linking the Science and Technology Parks (STPs) and Areas of Innovation (AoI) around the world.
IASP holds annual conference which sees the science parks around the world come together to share knowledge on developments in technology, science and innovation best practices and case studies. Other attractions at the conference include facilitating technology transfers, matchmaking, B2B meetings and networking sessions all with the goal of linking the best.
During the conference, Lion Science Park of the University of Nigeria was officially inducted into the fold of the world Association of Science parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) as an Affiliate Member at the grand dinner held at the historic and prestigious Chehel Sotoun Palace also in Isfahan.
The ceremony saw over 20 new members from various continents of the world join IASP bringing a total membership of IASP to about 386. The International President, Josep Miquel Pique welcomed the new members and presented them with certificates of membership.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Benjamin Ozumba “I am happy about the progress we have made so far in pursuing this goal of setting up a world class science park at the University of Nigeria. This journey started last year, when I took a team of ten senior faculty members on a course on Entrepreneurship, Innovation Ecosystem and Science Park Development to Sweden and since then, we have made huge progress.
“This conference has fully integrated LSP with the world network. With lessons learnt from this, plans and execution will be a lot easier now. More than 215 Research groups in the University are ready to deliver impactful research solutions to companies. We have started; we currently have a temporary building and planning to develop the 50 hectares of land for the permanent site of the Lion Science Park”
Professor Kenneth Ofokansi, Director, International Collaborations for the University also added that “…(The Lion Science Park (LSP) will encourage regional, national and international scientific Research and Development (R&D) initiatives, creating strategic synergies with private, public and institutional research institutes/centers seeking to optimize their R&D activities by collaborating with researchers, research groups and research institutes in the University.
“When completed, the Park will provide graduates with direct and unhindered access to specialized innovative infrastructure of the highest standard, exposing them to an outstanding training opportunity for applied scientific innovation and entrepreneurial skills.
“Lion Science Park already has tenant companies such as Huawei Technologies: Huawei Authorised Information and Network Academy (HAINA) and Mirai Denchi. HAINA trains certified candidates on Huawei Technologies and already certified students from the University are embarking on an all-expense paid study trip to China by Huawei in the next few weeks.”
“Being part of this conference, we now have a grasp on best practices around the globe. We have been linked to the best from around the world and we have learnt from case studies and success stories and also created a broad network to tap from, for various levels of partnerships and collaborations. As a new Science Park, this means we at LSP can now avoid certain procedures or models that may not work,” he added.
“We know better now, what model is most suitable for us and who to turn to, to share ideas. I can say, as the Manager of the Park, I have learnt from the masters and the egg heads in science, innovation and technology around the world, under one roof. It is time to sensitize and engage more companies in Nigeria to connect with the Lion Science Park and both parties reap full benefits such synergy offers” said the Manager of Lion Science Park, Chinwe Okoli.