On Thursday, 11 April 2019, Sultan Qaboos University, Jusoor Foundation, and Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic), signed a Cooperation Program, which aims to determine the fields where Jusoor, Orpic and Sultan Qaboos University can partially fund the establishment of the Innovation and Knowledge Transfer Centre Project at Sultan Qaboos University. Dr. Rahma Ibrahim Al Mahrooqi, SQU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies & Research, signed the agreement on behalf of the University. Mr. Omar Bin Mohammed Al Abri, Jusoor Acting Executive Manager, signed on behalf of Jusoor. On behalf of Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company, Dr. Hilal Bin Abdullah Al Hanai, General Manager of Corporate Support Services at ORPIC, signed the agreement.
It is important to mention that the Innovation & Technology Transfer Centre Project is one of fourteen research centers at Sultan Qaboos University and it was established recently in 2018. This Center comes within the strategic plan of the University (2016-2040) which emphasizes the importance of creating an independent entity for innovation, to expand the activities that support innovators and to embrace the innovations of young Omanis in different areas. One of the goals set for the Center is to not only build upon SQU’s existing infrastructure and capabilities in innovation but also to also help fulfill the national objectives in relation to the strategic socio-economic development. The Centre consists of five sections that are overseen by the Center’s Director directly. These sections are: Training; Mentoring and Outreach, Industry Linkages and Licensing; Incubation; Intellectual Property; and Innovation and Technology Transfer Studies.
The Cooperation Program comes under the strategic orientation of the University towards the advancement of the innovation industry in the Sultanate and shift towards an economy based on knowledge and innovation. In addition, the University is keen to unite efforts and strengthen the effective partnership with the private sector companies to contribute in supporting young Omani innovators and to help them find a motivating environment to embrace their innovations. This would ensure the strengthening of the contribution of innovation in boosting the national economy with products of economic value.
According to Dr. Hilal Bin Abdullah Al Hanai, General Manager of Corporate Support Services at ORPIC, “the signing of the letter of agreement with Sultan Qaboos University comes within the social responsibility program of Orpic through Jusoor Foundation – the social arm of Orpic, which is built upon the principle of implementing projects which include both sustainability and general benefit. The company focuses on projects that achieve effective benefits to all members and segments of the society. The project is built by the cooperation between Orpic and the University, will support students and their scientific innovations in various fields. This project is also considered a significant partnership for both sides and it reflects the extent of the effective contribution of the company in various areas of community service and contribute to the overall development process in the Sultanate. It also reflects the real partnership of the private sector with the government in various fields of economic, social, cultural, sports and other fields that are directly needed by a person’’.
“Innovation is the foundation of sustainable development and is the cornerstone of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is an inexhaustible asset which is vital for the survival of man on Earth,” said Dr. Rahma Ibrahim Al-Mahrooqi, SQU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies & Research. “Sultan Qaboos University strives to support innovation and to contribute to fostering the culture of innovation in society. It is in this spirit that the university has established the Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre, which we hope will contribute to inculcating the culture of innovation among the university’s community and help them transform their innovative ideas into products.”
“We are now establishing the headquarters for the Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre to promote innovation at the institutional level in order to propel it forward throughout the whole sultanate. Orpic, through Jusoor, is the first organization that has extended support to this endeavour through partial funding for the establishment of this important center. Their continuing support and encouragement to promote research, innovation and related activities at the university are highly appreciated,” Dr. Rahma said.