2019 MTN Academic Research and Development Innovation Challenge For Postgraduates

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The 2019 MTN Academic Research Development and Innovation Challenge (MTN ARDIC) is an end-to-end support system where selected students would translate their ideas into solutions through a seamless access to applicable tools, data, platform and hands-on mentoring.

The Initiative

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MTN will be hosting an exclusive launch of the event to connect with other organizations supporting MTN’s mission to inspire young Nigerian to become entrepreneurs and foster their journey. Students, entrepreneurs and relevant stakeholders are invited to attend the 3 regional pitching events to pitch for the chance to win.

At the end of the challenge, MTN would provide the top 6 well-motivated Masters/PhD researchers who want to translate their research ideas into high-impact innovations with enabling platforms, APIsdatatrainingmentorship and 6 months acceleration with Seedstars to further develop the ideas towards commercialization.


To be considered for selection in the MTNN ARDIC, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Must agree to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be drawn between relevant parties (MTN and other Implementing Partners) at relevant stages of the challenge.
  • Must have commenced and been studying the chosen research area for at least 8 months. Students who have completed their research study but are yet to graduate from their universities are also eligible to apply.
  • Must be a registered current postgraduate (Masters or Doctorate) student of an accredited Nigerian university or research institute.
  • Must have received confirmation from faculty and commenced research in one of the focus areas below.
  • Must be interested in applying the findings from his/her research to solve practical socio-economic challenges in Nigeria.
  • Must provide evidence of rightful ownership of the research topic/idea submitted for consideration.

Qualifying Research Areas


  • Geo-marketing and Community churn modeling
  • Digital Media Optimization and real-time planning model
  • Use of GIS/Satellite Data for market sizing, characterization and SME clustering/valuation
  • Econometric modeling and Advanced Scenario Analysis for Telco industry using macro-economic data
  • Media Optimization and Attribution Modeling of media advertising spend
  • Market footprint optimization for retail


  • AgriTech with emphasis on use of technology for agricultural yield optimization, storage and preservation
  • MedTech with emphasis on malaria prevention tech-solutions, efficient drug distribution, maternal-infant & child mortality reduction
  • Customer Complaints modeling using new media data and NLP
  • Innovative Biometrics for multi-sectoral customer identification
  • Rural Telephone coverage technology and strategies
  • High scalable impact research in Block Chain for Telco and FinTech
  • Use of GIS and customer migration data for Health/Epidemiological and Smart City planning


MTN partnered with Seedstars to provide 6 months virtual acceleration to the top 6 projects pitching at our regional pitching events.

Perks and resources

MTN will provide N1N to the winners as well as enabling platforms, APIs, data, training, mentorship to further develop the ideas towards commercialization.


Seedstars Investment Readiness Program

The Investment Readiness program is a flexible, tech and data centered accelerator designed to support startups with global expertise and insights.

Method of Application

Interested and qualified candidates should Click Here to Apply

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