SQU and Omantel has inked an agreement on a Cooperation Programme that will contribute to the establishment of a state-of-the-art Innovation and Technology Transfer Center at SQU. The agreement was signed by Dr. Rahma Ibrahim Al Mahrooqi, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research at SQU, and Talal bin Said Al Mamari, the CEO of Omantel, on Wednesday, 10 July 2019.
The Cooperation Program is part of the mutual efforts to foster innovation in the Sultanate and create the conditions that will enhance its contribution to driving economic growth, improving the lives of people in Oman, and creating an innovation and knowledge-based economy. The establishment of the Innovation and Technology Transfer Center in 2018 - one of the 14 research centers at SQU - was a response to the urgent need to expand innovation activities and areas, as it is a strategic direction on which many economically and socially developed countries rely on. The Strategic Plan of the University (2016-2040) stressed on the importance of establishing an independent entity for innovation to expand the activities that support innovators, and develop and incubate the Omani youth’s innovative ideas in various fields.
At the agreement signing, Dr. Rahma Al Mahrooqi, Deputy Vice-chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, said, "No two people will disagree on the importance of innovation in today's world, as it is the substance that leads to countless gains, whether economically, socially or intellectually. On the economic level, innovation is the key driver that contributes to enhancing and adding new value to existing resources and methods, and contributes to the development of new industries, products, and services, which in turn, create jobs and multiple opportunities for young people, and will ultimately drive Oman’s economic growth. The changing needs of our society and the world caused by a myriad of factors, especially the huge technological revolution and the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution, compel us to invest heavily in research and innovation to advance our country’s industry, economy and to ensure the well-being of our society. Therefore, we must focus on ways and means to ensure that innovation is instilled as a culture in our society and that the great benefits of innovation are realized in the various fields and sectors of the economy and society."
The Deputy Vice-chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research added, “Sultan Qaboos University has made great strides in supporting innovation to establish an innovation-driven culture at the University and in Oman. SQU’s efforts have been apparent in the training courses, workshops and lectures that were delivered by the Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which was transformed later to a center. Since its establishment in 2018, the Center has doubled its efforts and strengthened its links with (WIPO) or the World Intellectual Property Organization, and in cooperation with the organization, has introduced the Summer School for Intellectual Property, which witnessed a strong start, with participation of specialists from many countries. The current collaboration with Omantel, one of our strategic partners, aims to support the Innovation and Technology Transfer Center by contributing to the establishment of a state-of-the-art building for it.”
On his part, Tala bin Said Al Mamari, CEO Omantel said, "We are delighted with this new partnership with SQU. This partnership is one among many that Omantel has signed with the university, which have proven to be successful, with the latest one being the establishment of an Internet of Things Lab, in addition to the Omantel Fund for Scientific Research in the fields of ICT and Nanotechnology. We look forward to achieving more sustainable cooperation with SQU in the fields of scientific research, information technology and the fourth industrial revolution, as well as continuing our cooperation with various institutions in Oman. In today’s world, innovation and the fast-paced technological advancement are hugely affecting our day-to-day lives as well as the telecommunication industry, and therefore it is important to stay up to date with the latest trends at all times. At Omantel, we are committed to provide our partners innovative solutions that go beyond their expectation, and we are keen on supporting innovation in the country. As a result, we have made milestone achievements in preparing the ground for ICT and the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Oman. We have also achieved a tangible success on various fronts, with several economic sectors benefiting from our strategic investments.”
Al Mamari further said that the Innovation and Technology Transfer Center will be an important platform for Omani innovators, with its state-of-the-art facilities that will create an integrated and convenient environment for researchers to innovate and find solutions that support government’s vision in developing a knowledge-based economy, which will help public and private entities in achieving their development plans. “We are hopeful that our mutual cooperation with various private and public organizations will help Oman to be on par with developed nations in science and innovation,” He noted. The signing of this program between SQU and Omantel is one of the means and steps taken to strengthen the partnership between various sectors in the Sultanate, to unify the efforts in this regard, and to drive forward the economic and social developments in Oman.