The third edition of the Open House of SQU’s Research Centers was held on Tuesday, 23 April 2019 under the patronage of H.E. Qais bin Mohammed Al-Yousuf, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI). The SQU Research Centres’ Open House is an opportunity for community members, business representatives, policymakers, graduates, and researchers and academics from SQU and other institutions around the country to come together. The Open House gives prospective collaborators and clients the chance to become familiar with the state-of-the-art facilities, research programs and studies that the university and its research centers offer. By understanding more about the valuable work that SQU’s research centers do and what they can offer industry and the community, the Open House promotes the formation of long-term associations and the development of networks that have the potential to benefit all involved.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Rahma Ibrahim Al Mahrooqi, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies & Research, said that research and innovation are at the very center of SQU’s mission to society. “As core domains in the university’s strategic plan for 2016-2040, SQU recognizes the value of research and innovation for both the educational process and for helping achieve Oman’s continued social and economic development. Engagement in research and innovation enhances the country’s competitiveness in an increasingly globalized world. It is also fundamental for equipping Oman’s people with the 21st century skills and mindsets that underline the efficient transition to a knowledge-based society”, she noted.
Dr. Rahma said that SQU’s commitment to research and innovation can be witnessed across every level of the university. “It can be seen in the high impact research output of its faculty members, the growing number of postgraduate programs offered across the university’s nine colleges, the increasing number of local and international postgraduate students, the integration of research and innovation into undergraduate programs, and the availability of state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment. All these factors contribute to an eco-system that has at its core a diverse range of research centers engaged in strategic multi-disciplinary research”.
The past several years have seen an increase in the number of research centers across the university. SQU now boasts 14 research centers, with the most recent additions being the Medical Research Center and the Innovation and Technology Transfer Center, both of which were officially established in 2018. The Medical Research Center focuses on conducting high quality medical research that is of great relevance to Oman and the health of the Omani people. The center engages in translational research that links basic biomedical research to clinical practice. The Innovation and Technology Transfer Center is at the forefront of promoting and facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship within SQU and across Oman, including by adopting best international practice to support the translation of research into value-added services and products, and making these available to Omani society. It supports activities that result in the creation of spin-offs and start-ups that have the potential to make a strong contribution to Oman’s social and economic growth.
The third edition of the Open House of SQU’s Research Centers included presentations by 14 of the university’s research centers. In offering overviews of their centers’ accomplishments, capabilities, and future directions, presenters informed the audience about the important work that their centers are doing in research and innovation, including their strategic projects and academic programs, their community outreach and consultancies, and their state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.