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The 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.

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, APIs, data, training, mentorship and 6 months acceleration with Seedstars to further develop the ideas towards commercialization.

Research Areas:

Economic and Commercial Focus:

  • 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
  • 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

Innovation For High Social Impact:

  • 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
  • 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

READ: Join The ImpactCity Hague Innovators Challenge 2020 (Win €25,000)


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

• 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.

• 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.



Perks and resources : MTN will provide N1m 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.

How To Apply:

Applications for The MTN Academic Research Development and Innovation Challenge (MTN ARDIC) is conducted online.


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Deadline: Ongoing

READ: Facebook Developer Circles Community Challenge 2019 ($165,000 USD in prizes)

Please click here to Apply. Source: MTN ARDIC

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