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SQU, Omantel join hands for innovation

Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and Omantel have inked an agreement on a Cooperation Programme that will contribute towards the establishment of a state of the art Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre at the university.

The agreement was signed by Dr Rahma Ibrahim al Mahrooqi, deputy vice-chancellor for post- graduate studies and research at SQU, and Talal bin Said al Mamari, CEO of Omantel, last week.

The Cooperation Programme is part of the mutual efforts to foster innovation in the sultanate and create 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 Centre in 2018 – one of the 14 research centres 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. Dr Mahrooqi 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 wellbeing of our society.”

Mamari added, “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.” Mamari further said that the Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre 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/public organisations will help Oman to be on par with developed nations in science and innovation,” he noted.