1st edition of Oman Innovation Festival launched
Muscat: The activities of the Oman Innovation Festival in its first edition were launched today at the Muscat Innovation Complex under the slogan “Knowledge, Partnership, Sustainability”, which is organized by the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation and continues for 5 days under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq Al Said. Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs.
Dr. Rahma bint Ibrahim Al Mahrouqi, Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation, confirmed in a speech during the opening that innovation has become one of the most important engines of the global economy. In addition to the new knowledge produced by scientific research, innovation comes to maximize the benefit from that knowledge and transform it into a new product, service, or process, or that it It contributes to developing and improving existing ones with a tangible impact that makes a noticeable difference in their efficiency.
Her Excellency added that “Oman Vision 2040” came to place innovation at the heart of its 12 priorities, especially in the priorities of education, learning, scientific research, capacity building, health, economic diversification and the environment. The vision set an ambitious strategic goal that is consistent with what is present in the National Innovation Strategy. The Sultanate of Oman is among the top 20 countries in the Global Innovation Index.
Her Excellency stated that enabling scientific research, nurturing researchers and innovators, and providing a supportive and stimulating environment for the institutions that host them are among the most prominent goals that we are working on in the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation, and in this context there are a series of programs that the Ministry is working on in this field, represented in the programs Supporting the transformation of research and innovative ideas into emerging companies in partnership with various institutions.
Her Excellency indicated that among the programs is the “Oman Innovates” platform, which is currently being worked on, and which will electronically connect all actors in the national innovation system to facilitate the provision of services to support and encourage innovation to all segments of society from anywhere in the Sultanate of Oman.
Her Excellency stated that the Ministry is working during the coming period on the official opening of the Muscat Innovation Complex, which is the largest scientific free zone that brings together the three sectors: government, private and academic, with an area of approximately 540 thousand square metres.
Her Excellency the Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation said that to involve all governorates in the festival activities, in cooperation with the governors’ offices, the Governorate Innovation Competition was announced to present the best innovative idea that provides an innovative solution to one of the challenges present in the governorate. 415 ideas were received, submitted by more than 921 people. Participation and the winners will be announced at the closing ceremony of this festival.
His Excellency Dr. Khalid Abdul Rahman Al-Dakkan, Supreme Vice President of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Innovation Oasis in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said in his speech during the opening: The research, development and innovation sector is one of the main pillars of the sustainability and growth of the economy and the prosperity and advancement of development.
He pointed out that King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology is a center for national laboratories in the Kingdom. It has striven, along with similar research and academic institutions, to increase the outputs of scientific research, raise its quality, and focus in particular on applied research. With the aim of linking the outputs with the private sector to achieve the desired impact.
His Highness Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs, the patron of the occasion, toured the stations and exhibitions of the festival, in which various institutions that provide their services to innovators, innovations of students of higher education institutions in the Sultanate of Oman, and an exhibition of innovative applications for youth participate.
The festival includes a number of events and activities directed to all actors in the innovation system, including the Innovation and Knowledge-Based Economy Forum, the Bridge Programme, the Consulting Corner, Governorate Innovation, the Together We Innovate Competition, the Energy Hackathon, and the Package Programme.
The festival includes the “Together We Innovate” competition, where 191 ideas competed in the first stage, and 31 of them were nominated for the final stage of the competition, the results of which will be announced at the conclusion of the festival’s activities.
The festival witnesses the competition of more than 20 teams from various countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the Energy Hackathon, which provides the opportunity for young people to compete to provide innovative solutions in the field of energy. 38 training courses are also held during the festival, benefiting more than 1,000 people of all ages.
The Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation organizes the “Oman Innovation Festival” to be a qualitative addition to the innovation system. It seeks to connect all actors in this system to exchange experiences and expertise and build research and innovation links. The festival aims to spread awareness and raise its level among all segments of society, as the festival provides a spacious space in which innovators meet with supporters of innovation from the governmental, private and civil society sectors.
The festival focuses on aspects related to innovation, including legislation and laws, and discusses the challenges facing innovators in order to come up with an implementation plan to address them. It also presents the Ministry’s efforts and programs that support researchers and innovators, enhances community participation, and provides an ample opportunity and space for all segments of society to learn closely about the stages of innovation and the requirements of each stage.
It is noteworthy that the first edition of the festival witnesses the participation of more than 35 government and private institutions, the attendance of more than 400 participants in the Innovation and Knowledge-Based Economy Forum, more than 85 participants from the Sultanate of Oman and abroad in the Energy Hackathon, and more than 1,000 beneficiaries of training programs and interactive workshops. The festival also hosts more than 50 diverse events directed to various segments of society.
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