The third version of the Forum on Projects Funded by His Majesty’s Trust Fund for Strategic Projects, organized by the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research at Sultan Qaboos University was held on Tuesday, 12 March 2019 under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Hilal bin Ali Al-Hinai, Secretary General of the Research Council. His Majesty’s Trust Fund for Strategic Research is a key enabler of innovative, high-impact research at SQU and across the Sultanate. Since the establishment of the fund in 2001 courtesy of the generosity and foresight of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, it has supported around 95 large-scale research projects that address real-world issues in sustainable social and economic development.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Rahma Ibrahim Al Mahrooqi, SQU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies & Research, said that the projects supported by His Majesty’s Trust Fund have the country’s strategic development goals as their foundation, and are conducted for the social, cultural, and economic enhancement of Oman and its people. “In its quest for sustainable growth, Oman remains committed to economic diversification, knowledge generation, and the development of human capital across strategic fields. Projects supported by His Majesty’s Trust Fund are selected due to their innovative, multi-disciplinary nature, and their ability to contribute to long-term strategic development objectives”, Dr. Rahma added.
One of the main aims of the fund is to support projects that have a high potential of generating the innovative knowledge, products, and services that result in significant socio-economic benefits for the sultanate. The knowledge created by these projects often stands on the cutting edge of theoretical understandings and practical approaches both within and across fields. “As a result, they not only contribute to the university’s innovative output in terms of research papers, patents, and licenses, but also help provide the nucleus of SQU’s centres of excellence across strategic fields. This is evident in the university’s 14 research centres and growing number of research chairs in addition to the advancement of its undergraduate and postgraduate programs”, Dr.Rahma said.
Since its founding in 2001, 95 projects have been funded by His Majesty’s Trust Fund. Of these, 23 projects have been conducted by researchers at the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, 18 at the College of Science, 15 at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, 11 at the College of Education, and 9 at the College of Arts and Social Sciences. This is followed by eight research projects conducted at the College of Engineering, seven at the College of Economics and Political Science, one at the College of Nursing, and three projects conducted by various research centres at SQU.
In 2018, His Majesty’s Trust Fund awarded six research projects. Of these, two projects each have been awarded for researchers working on projects in the College of Science and the College of Education, in addition to one project each for the College of Medicine and Health Sciences and the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences. The Forum held on 12 March consisted of nine presentations by research team leaders, question-answer sessions and awarding of certificates. The event was sponsored by Oman LNG Development Foundation as a silver sponsor.