Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre for Rural Sustainable Development

  • Renewable energy,
  • Green materials
  • Waste-to-Energy,
  • Sustainable Agriculture.

Project Brief

As developing economies, sub-Saharan African countries are facing a formidable challenge in navigating through a complex energy demand-supply gap, healthy living and sustainable agriculture. The region’s energy supply is highly centralized and relies excessively on the state energy companies. Lack of infrastructure has led to poor electrification in rural areas, which are sparsely located and populated by low-income communities who pay a subsidized tariff that increases the burden of government spending. Whereas the demand in rural areas is estimated up to 30% of the total number, penetration of reliable energy supply to these areas is still limited. Because the main income in rural communities is agriculture, it requires huge amount of energy to cultivate healthy crops for living.

Also, the waste continuously produced as by-products of daily consumption and dominated by non-naturally degradable materials is largely disposed as landfills or openly burned, causing health and environmental hazards. If not properly handled, the accumulated waste will pose a greater threat to the environment in rural communities.

The Partners and Spoke Universities

Hub University: Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT, Nigeria)

UK Partner: Northumbria University (UK)

Industry partners:

  • Industry partner 1 – EVEON Development Ltd. (Nigeria)
  • Industry partner 2 – Agroeasy Nig. Ltd. (Nigeria) 

Spoke Universities:

  • Spoke University 1 – University of Nigeria Nsukka (UN, Nigeria)
  • Spoke University 2 – Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUA, Nigeria)
  • Spoke University 3 – Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike (AE-FUNAI, Nigeria)
  • Spoke University 4 – Ebonyi State University Abakaliki (ESUA, Nigeria)
  • Spoke University 5 – Institute of Management and Technology (IMT, Nigeria) 

Meet the Project Leads

Project lead (UK):

Dr Ulugbek Azimov

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Northumbria University

 Project lead (Nigeria):

Prof Paul Nnamchi

Professor of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering

Enugu State University of Science and Technology

We are consumed by the love of what we stand for ...

This project will initiate a collaboration of partners from African countries such as local universities, SMEs, local governments with UK university to establish Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre for Rural Development. The centre will focus on implementation of renewable energy technologies, green materials, waste-to-energy solutions and sustainable agriculture into rural communities through research training and creating entrepreneurship for local population for good jobs, economic growth, sustainable communities and healthy living.

This project will have an impact on a variety of stakeholders at different levels: for individuals it will contribute to a cleaner environment, high-quality education and wellbeing; for organisations, it will initiate new R&D projects and investments to renewable energy, waste utilisation and sustainable agriculture; for local economies it will help to contribute to the government’s policy to create high-standard living conditions in remotely populated areas.

Project objectives

The main objectives of this project are to establish a local innovation and entrepreneurship centre through collaborations with one hub university, five spoke universities, one UK university, two local industries and two local governments to facilitate research and training activities for local population, entrepreneurs, and university students to allow them developing entrepreneurship skills in:

1) implementation of renewable energy systems;

2) conversion of local waste to energy;

3) utilization of green materials for local construction;

4) practice of sustainable agriculture for prosperous living; 

Project activities

Group photo of Project Steering committee Member  during the  inauguration  –  02/2020


A cross section of the steering members with the  Vice chancellor


Prof. Paul Nnamchi making a presentation on  the  programme objectives and expected outcome  and aims of the HEPSSA project


The planning of the  space allocation for various renewable energy equipment -02/201


The centre’s demonstration piggery farm for the teaching of Waste-to- energy practices for local farmer- 04/19 


Waste to energy cont.(Pigs feed on the cycled waste) 


Bamboos are one of the fast growing plants. They are used to teach students about sustainable local material for building application 03/19  


Algea water collected from fish pond used as a source of protein to the pigs.

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Solar panels used by homes and offices