For Nigeria to make its marks in building Technopreneurs, particularly among students of a 21st Century University of Technology for sustainable development, there must be interplay between Science, Technology and Innovation. This was the submission of the Secretary to the Adamawa State Government, Engineer (Dr.) Umar Bindir while delivering the 2018 Foundation Day Lecture at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) on Wednesday, 15th August, 2018. He titled his lecture Techopreneurship: Global Perspectives for a 21st Century University of Technology for Sustainable Development. Bindir described Nigeria as a traditionally entrepreneurial nation with huge human and natural resources but with high poverty which he attributed to dominance of weak primitive rural life resulting in weak infrastructures (physical, social), weak local industries, high level of corruption, including insecurity and emerging challenges of environment and maturing democracies. He attributed the causes to few or no global products, no global companies, few or no global know-how, skills and capability services and global technologies, all indicating to serious weakness. However, he said there is still light at the end of the tunnel, if all the Universities of Technology in the country make Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) their mantra and also practiced it effectively. He said the efforts made so far by the various Universities of Technology (UNITECHS) have been marred by problems highlighted earlier. He said chance of attaining an appreciable level of Technopreneuship depends on the vibrant connectivity and efficiency of 21st Century knowledge system. Engineer Bindir said to actualize this feat, if recommendations such as recognizing environmental capital as sun, climate, rivers, seeds, insects, foods, are organized to produce, process, commercialize effectively and also investigate, discover, develop, incorporate and integrate innovative technologies towards improving productivity are followed, a breakthrough in the industrialization will eventually be realized. He also advocated for proper management of finance to start and complete projects. Dr. Bindir said to demonstrate the 21st Century University drives for STI for sustainable development, collation and promotion of STI outputs regularly through Institutional exhibitions and Tech marts at zonal, national, regional and international levels are crucial. Giving a historical perspective of the development Europe and North America have attained, he said “once upon a time, not so many centuries ago, Europe was a poor continent. Then it discovered three things: attributes of the free market, respect and application of the rule of law and the use of Science-based technology. It became rich. The same thing happened in North
America”. He said the same is attainable in the so called developing nations, especially African countries. Engineer Bindir said to become a technopreneur one has to focus and develop Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to attain global technology visibility, global product range, global companies, global know-hows and skills, capacities and services, dynamic creativity and innovation, among others. Speaking further, Bindir, a former Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) said to create a functional STI system in the 21st Century, there should be a transformation in the operations of Universities, Polytechnics, Research Institutes in the areas of Training, Research and Development, production and industrial centres with collaborations nationally and internationally. To achieve sustainable developments through Technopreneurship in the 21st Century he called for dynamic deployment of solutions to competitively meet and sustain socio-economic solutions, innovations solutions and products entrepreneurship. He called on 21st Century Universities of Technology to build the critical mass of technopreneurial manpower, transform and take a deliberate STI-based mass employment generation and wealth creation posture, think out of the box by establishing and managing Science and Technology parks to link knowledge to socio-economic development and set up a regional steering committee. He said the outcome of the above will be job and wealth creation, leading to prosperity, sustainable development and industrialization that will bring national cohesion. In his address, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape said the essence of Foundation Day Lecture which FUTA as sustained over the years is to expand the frontiers of knowledge and provide veritable platform for staff, students and other stakeholders to interact and aggregate views on national priorities with the view of setting agenda for further discourse on their actualization. Fuwape said FUTA has also over the years invited very resourceful and distinguished members of the academia, celebrated industrialists, top government functionaries and professionals who have impacted society positively and reputed for value addition to humanity to deliver the lecture. He said Bindir acquitted himself creditably well as the Foundation lecturer for 2018 edition.