IITA Officials Visit FUTA Central Laboratory ... Hold Talks on Collaboration
In a bid to achieve scientific breakthroughs and broaden knowledge through research, the Julius Okojie Central Research Laboratory JOCRL, Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA has commenced plans to partner with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture Ibadan, IITA. This followed a working tour of the laboratory by officials of the IITA on Friday
Following the tour of Central Research Laboratory (CRL) facility led by the Director, CRL, Professor Folasade Olajuyigbe, the CRL and IITA Teams held a business meeting at the CRL conference room to concretize partnership possibilities between both institutions. Olajuyigbe made a presentation which highlighted the vision and mission of CRL, available facilities at the Centre, activities and services rendered to the research community within and outside FUTA through her Analytical, Bioresearch, and Nutrition Units.
She also mentioned ongoing collaborative research projects between CRL, and some departments in FUTA including Crop Soil and Pest Management (CSP), Biochemistry and Chemistry led by Prof. Samuel Agele, Prof. Folasade M. Olajuyigbe, and Dr. Gideon Idowu, respectively. These provided insights for the IITA team on how IITA can partner with FUTA for mutual benefits of both institutions.
The Director delved into ten major areas of proposed partnership which include: Sharing of open calls for research grant proposals, Joint writing of research proposals for grant applications in line with IITA goals, Implementation of collaborative research projects through both institutions, Equipment donation, Equipment servicing and repairs for adequate maintenance of CRL equipment, Exchange and sharing of facilities including staff and student exchange, Postgraduate Training of IITA Scholars where FUTA offers PhD and M.Tech degrees, Jointly organized seminars and workshops, Staff and students training on instrumentation and novel techniques in Biotechnology, Agriculture and related fields, and Train-the-trainers Courses and workshops for technologists in CRL and all relevant departments in FUTA whereby IITA staff who have benefited from overseas training on instrumentation and novel experimental techniques will come to FUTA to transfer the knowledge gained to FUTA staff.
Dr. Olaniyi Oyatomi, Seed Bank Manager, IITA representing the Director, IITA West Africa, Professor. Michael Abberton, thanked the Director, CRL, Prof. Olajuyigbe for a brilliant and enlightening presentation and responded that all the areas of partnership presented by Prof. Olajuyigbe were feasible and IITA will be very much interested in partnering with FUTA.
He further said that this partnership between FUTA and IITA was long overdue because IITA has previously partnered with different universities and national bodies. He also spoke about the necessity of staff and student capacity exchange so that employees of CRL may travel to IITA for capacity development and vice-versa. He promised to take resolutions from the meeting to Prof. Abberton, who he represented at the meeting.
Also responding to the CRL Director’s presentation, Mrs. Yemi Fajire, IITA Bioscience Centre Laboratory Manager, stated that every area of partnership detailed by the CRL Director, were workable as long as all projects align with the aims and objectives of IITA because IITA would only support projects that that agree with her vision. She also suggested that proposed research collaboration should encompass other fields of research in IITA and not limited to the Bioscience lab.
The CRL team also reacted to the comments by IITA team, in his reaction, Prof. Benjamin O. Akinyele thanked the IITA staff for accepting the partnership request of CRL, FUTA, and for accepting him as IITA visiting scientist. According to him, the two institutions should exchange staff members in order to better comprehend each other's terms and conditions. This is necessary especially for research proposal writing and projects’ development. This was further emphasized by Prof. Samuel Agele who stated that the two institutions, FUTA and IITA could collaborate by exchanging researchers on collaborative projects.
While leading the IITA team to the University Management, Professor Olajuyigbe stated that since her assumption as Director of CRL, she had been seeking strategic and sustainable ways to actualize the vision of the Central Research Laboratory which is to be the first choice of, and reference point to researchers and academics in Nigerian educational system and other establishments engaged in research and development. She said the planned collaboration with the IITA will further enhance the capacity of the CRL to deliver on its core mandates.
Responding, the Vice Chancellor Professor Adenike Oladiji represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Development, Professor Oluyamo Sunday appreciated members of The Institute of Tropical Agriculture for taking out time to visit the Central Research Laboratory.
She said that the institution had a vision of being a world class university of technology as well as a center of excellence in Training, Research and Service Delivery and that partnering with IITA will help in consolidating her leading position.
The IITA had on her team: Prof. Michael Abberton, Director, IITA West Africa, ably represented by Dr. Olaniyi Oyatomi, IITA Seed Bank Manager; Mrs. Yemi Fajire, IITA Biosciences Centre Laboratory Manager; Mr. Sunday Ebere, a senior staff in the Bioscience laboratory and Miss Precious O., IITA Scholar. FUTA CRL Team included Prof. Folasade M. Olajuyigbe, Director, Central Research Laboratory, Prof. Benjamin Akinyele (CSP), Prof. Samuel Agele (CSP), Dr. Akeem Lawal (Medical Biochemistry), Dr. Gideon Idowu (Chemistry), Dr. Samuel Ogunjo (Physics), Mr. Haruna Umah (Biochemistry), Mr. Omolade Alasoadura (CRL), Isaac Awonyemi (CRL), Mrs. Temitope Olabiran (CRL) and Mr. Daniel Akande (CRL).