Thursday February 09, 2023

The Nigerian Communications Commission, the Regulator of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, supports amongst other things, telecommunications-based innovations and research from tertiary institutions in the country that are practical, locally realizable and have clear potential of developing the telecommunications industry.

Pursuant to this objective the Commission invites proposals from academics in tertiary institutions to submit research proposal in any of the research topics stated below. It is envisaged that the initiative will help build capacity in the tertiary institutions and promote Nigeria’s contribution to the pool of technologies in use in the communications industry.

Areas of Research/Research Topics

To improve the quality of the submissions, the Commission has included the specific topics in each of the Focus Areas of Research that should addressed in the responses to this Request for Proposal as shown below:

  1. Development of sensors for smart city applications such as traffic management systems, smart parking, smart grid, smart homes, smart institutions and smart network management.
  • Innovative Smart city applications for broadband penetration. Areas including but not limited to smart parking, smart grid, smart home, smart institutions, smart network management etc.

      Use Case

  • Smart network management: This could include applications such as network optimization tools for improving efficiency and capacity, as well as cybersecurity solutions for protection against threats.
  • Smart parking: This could include applications such as real-time parking availability information, dynamic pricing for parking spots, and smart parking garages with automated vehicle guidance.
  • Smart grid: This could include applications such as real-time monitoring and control of electricity distribution, integration of renewable energy sources, and demand response systems for managing energy usage.
  • Smart public services: This could include applications such as online portals for accessing government services, as well as connected systems for managing public utilities and infrastructure.
  • Public safety and emergency response: This could include applications such as connected cameras for public surveillance, emergency notification systems, and real-time crime mapping tools.

  2Use of Telecommunication networks in Identity Management and Location Tracking via National Identity Numbering (NIN) and Artificial
      Intelligence.
 

  • Design and development of a system to track, locate, and monitor operations using the National Identity Number.

Use Case

  • Identity verification and authentication: This could include research on how to use National Identity Numbering (NIN) and other identity information in combination with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms to accurately verify the identity of users.
  • Location tracking and privacy: This could include research on how to use telecommunication networks and AI to track the location of users in a way that respects their privacy and complies with relevant regulations.
  • Integration with other systems: This could include research on how to integrate NIN and location tracking capabilities with other systems, such as financial transactions, transportation networks, and emergency services, in order to provide a seamless and secure user experience.

 

  3. Design and implementation of efficient solar mobile phone/battery charger.

  •  Design and development of an effective solar charger to provide a clean alternative to the regular high carbon emitting sources of energy.

Use case

  • Solar charger for electric vehicles: This project could focus on developing a solar charger that is capable of charging electric vehicles, such as electric cars and e-bikes. The charger could be designed with a high-capacity battery and a fast charging capability, as well as a durable and weather-resistant enclosure.
  • Solar-powered home energy system: This project could focus on developing a comprehensive solar-powered energy system for homes. The system could include a large solar panel array, a battery storage system, and an inverter for converting the direct current (DC) electricity generated by the panels into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used by household appliances. The system could also include a smart energy management system for optimizing energy usage and minimizing waste.
  • Solar-powered drone charging station: This project could focus on developing a solar-powered charging station for drones that is able to recharge the batteries of multiple drones simultaneously. The station could be designed with a solar panel array, a battery storage system, and multiple charging ports. It could be used in a variety of applications, such as agricultural surveying, search and rescue, and environmental monitoring.

   4Research leading to commercial production of high capacity battery for telecommunications equipment.           

  • Development of an effective high capacity battery to provide to be an alternative source of power for telecommunications equipment.\

Use Case

  • Solar-powered portable generator: This project could focus on developing a portable solar generator that is able to produce electricity from sunlight and store it in a battery. The generator could be designed with a rugged, weather-resistant enclosure and multiple outlets for powering various types of electronic devices. It could be used in a variety of settings, such as outdoor events, construction sites, and disaster relief efforts.
  • Solar-powered off-grid microgrid: This project could focus on developing a small-scale, decentralized energy system that uses solar panels and batteries to provide electricity to a community or group of households that are not connected to the grid. The microgrid could be designed to be scalable, so that it can be easily expanded as the energy needs of the community grow.

   5.  Design and implementation of an Artificial Intelligence based predictive maintenance solutions for telecommunications infrastructure. 

  • AI-driven predictive systems with robust algorithms, and machine learning techniques to predict the future condition of telecoms infrastructure based on historical data and trends. Operators can use data-driven insights to monitor the state of equipment and anticipate failures to proactively fix problems of telecommunications hardware.

Use Case

  • Predictive maintenance for telecom towers: This project could focus on developing an AI-based system for predicting when telecom towers will require maintenance, such as inspections, repairs, or upgrades. The system could analyze data from sensors on the towers, as well as external data sources, such as weather patterns, to identify potential issues and schedule maintenance before problems occur.
  • Predictive maintenance for telecom switching equipment: This project could focus on developing an AI-based system for predicting when telecom switching equipment, such as routers and switches, will require maintenance. The system could analyze data from sensors on the equipment, as well as data from the equipment's performance logs, to identify potential issues and schedule maintenance before problems occur.
  • Predictive maintenance for telecom cables: This project could focus on developing an AI-based system for predicting when telecom cables will require maintenance, such as repairs or replacements. The system could analyze data from sensors on the cables, as well as data from the cables' performance logs, to identify potential issues and schedule maintenance before problems occur.

  6. Development of Cybersecurity solutions to curb cyber-attacks.

  • Telecommunication operators handle essential infrastructure, therefore a cyber-attack can have a huge and far-reaching impact. This should proffer cybersecurity solutions to protect all the users from infected files, malware, and digital attacks which lead the users to access private sensitive information of users.

Use case

  • Machine learning-based intrusion detection: This project could focus on developing a machine learning-based system for detecting cyber attacks in real-time. The system could analyze network traffic data and use patterns and anomalies to identify potential attacks, and then alert security personnel or take automated countermeasures.
  • Cybersecurity risk assessment and management: This project could focus on developing a framework for assessing and managing cybersecurity risks, including identifying vulnerabilities, evaluating the likelihood and impact of potential attacks, and implementing appropriate controls.
  • Secure software development: This project could focus on developing best practices and tools for securely designing, building, and testing software, in order to reduce the likelihood of vulnerabilities being introduced into systems. This could include techniques such as code review, static analysis, and penetration testing.

  7. Development of smart intrusion detection and alarm systems to curb theft vandalization of telecommunications infrastructure.

  • The impact of vandalism of infrastructure is felt by all in the quality of services rendered as it results in increasing drop calls, data and internet connectivity disruptions, aborted and undelivered short messaging services (SMS), as well as countless failed calls. It is essential to research and proffer solutions on smart intrusion detection and alarm systems to curb theft and vandalism of telecoms infrastructure. Continuous improvement on this would immensely support good delivery of QoS. 

Use Case

  • Video surveillance and analysis: This project could focus on developing a video surveillance system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze video footage in real-time and detect potential intrusions or vandalism. The system could use image recognition algorithms to identify people, vehicles, and objects, as well as behavioral analysis algorithms to identify suspicious activity.
  • Sensor-based intrusion detection: This project could focus on developing a sensor-based intrusion detection system that uses sensors, such as motion detectors, to detect potential intrusions or vandalism. The system could be designed to be resilient to false alarms and to provide accurate location information for response purposes.
  • Wireless sensor networks: This project could focus on developing a wireless sensor network for monitoring telecommunications infrastructure. The network could consist of small, low-power sensors that are deployed at strategic locations and that communicate with a central hub using wireless technology. The sensors could be used to detect intrusions, measure environmental conditions, and perform other types of monitoring.

Requirements

Interested researchers are required to submit their proposals which must:

  • Come from teaching Academics in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions; and
  • Have a one-page executive summary of the research proposal to include understanding of the relevance of the research topics to the telecommunications industry, deliverables, novelty of concept, methodology, team experience, project timeline and detailed cost schedule.
  • Proof of Concept (Feasibility)
  • Practicality (solution’s ability to solve a problem short, medium or long term)
  • Tangible output such as a prototype/software or working model which can be commercialised.

Evaluation Criteria

The criteria for the evaluation of the research submissions include the following:

  • The proposal must fall within the specified areas of research topics
  • Adherence of proposal to stated requirements above
  • Novelty of research proposal (comprehensive literature review to bring out clearly the novelty of the research).
  • Clear statement and explanation of the problem.
  • Proposed solution to the problem.
  • Proposed approach and methodology
  • Each project including prototype development must be concluded within 2 years.
  • Terms of Reference (TOR’s) should be developed clearly stating that the research topics must lead to production of commercially viable prototype and capable of contributing to the development of the telecommunications industry
  • The project cost should not exceed a maximum of Fifteen million naira (N15, 000,000.00) only. (the Commission reserves the right to review this maximum amount)
  • Any academic with a yet to be completed research project awarded by the Commission SHOULD NOT apply.
  • Total cost (including all costs) of the project must be clearly stated and broken down in details, for which there can be no variation.
  • Proof of concept (feasibility of idea with diagram, algorithm etc.)
  • Clear relevance to the telecommunications industry.
  • Roadmap from innovative prototype to commercialisation of the prototype
  • Cost reasonableness (cost of actualizing the idea including hardware and software requirements. please note that the grant does not cover purchase of vehicles, Furniture, Internet data, foreign trips and allowances).
  • Schedule of project organization
  • Coherent presentation/packaging of concept. Integration of research with education (capacity building of students via the implementation of the project in the institution).
  • Allowance for researchers should not exceed 20% of cost of actually doing the research.
  • Evidence of competence of team in executing the project (include past work and CVs of team members).

Submission of Proposal

Please note the following:

  • You must review the detailed request for proposal (RFP) on the Commission’s website ncc.gov.ng to be able to respond appropriately;
  • Any proposal that is not aligned to the requirement in the detailed RFP or submitted after the deadline will be rejected
  • Electronic copies of proposal should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Where the electronic and hard copies differ, the hard copy would be used as the original submission
  • Researchers must submit two hard copies of proposal including an electronic copy in PDF saved on a thumb drive on or before 12th March 2023
  • Lead Researchers maybe invited to defence their submission.

Interested researchers are invited to submit ELECTRONIC and HARD copies of their research proposals on or before 12th March 2023 to the address below. Please note that any proposal submitted after the deadline will be rejected automatically.

 

The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO

Attention:

Director, Research and Development,

Nigerian Communications Commission

Plot 423, Aguiyi Ironsi Street,

Maitama, Abuja

Nigeria