On 24 October, 2018, Sultan Qaboos University and Innovation Development Oman Holding SAOC signed a Research and Innovation Cooperation Program. In the program, the two parties agree to collaborate in identifying, investigating, and evaluating innovative projects and investments that are to be implemented in Oman by IDO Investments, and to facilitate the development of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the Sultanate. Sectors that the Cooperation Program focuses on include energy, food and agriculture technologies, healthcare, and other strategic sectors that will benefit from the development and application of innovative technologies.
Under the terms of the Research and Innovation Cooperation Program, SQU and IDO Investments agree that IDO Investments will act to evaluate any potential opportunities presented by SQU across strategic sectors for investment consideration, in addition to providing the University with assistance in the enhancement of Oman’s innovation and entrepreneurship eco-system. Further, SQU will provide IDO Investments with technical support or due diligence for innovations that they may be considering investing in. In this capacity, IDO Innovation can engage SQU in conducting technical studies on their behalf in order to closely examine the potential of innovative projects and investments to provide direct benefits for Oman and its people.
Commenting on the Cooperation Program’s signing, Dr. Rahma Al-Mahrooqi, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research at SQU, stated, “This program helps ensure that the approaches to enhancing innovation and entrepreneurship taken by SQU and IDO are closely aligned, and that investment in innovation across the country has the potential to significantly contribute to the nation’s social and economic progress.”
“The signing of the Cooperation Program allows SQU, with the cooperation of IDO, to more completely integrate with the marketplace and use its expertise and infrastructure to support the development and application of innovative technologies in the country. This is an important Cooperation Program that will be followed by many others with entities within Oman and around the world that support technology, innovation, and research.” Said Dr. Rahma.
On his side, Dr. Philip Boigner, CEO of IDO Investments said: “I’m very much looking forward to working with SQU in the New Year. I believe the opportunities for collaboration are significant, especially as we look to invest in technologies that SQU is actively researching and has great expertise.”
It is worth mentioning that IDO is a venture capital fund established by the State General Reserve Fund, Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C, The Research Council, and Oman Telecommunications S.A.O.G. The company was established in 2016 with the aim to identify and invest in innovative, scalable companies that have the potential to become global ventures. With a focus on real-world problems, IDO seeks out creative enterprises with high potential for growth and breakthrough disruptive products and services in the Healthcare and Life Sciences, Energy, and Agriculture technology sectors.