Industrial innovation hub to be named ‘Intaj Suhar’

RESEARCH CLUSTER: Development of Tanfeedh-initiated Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Suhar firms up Plans for the establishment of a high-tech industrial innovation hub at Sohar University in collaboration with the University of Sheffield’s world-renowned Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) continue to make headway, according to key officials associated with the landmark initiative. The unique facility, billed as the only one of its kind in the entire GCC region, will initially serve as an industrial design and prototyping centre with the potential to evolve into a National Manufacturing Park in Phase 2 of its development. According to a statement issued by AMRC Sheffield over the weekend, the ambitious project will be formally named ‘Intaj Suhar’ and will seek to broadly replicate the hugely successful Sheffield model of a ‘clustering of university research with industrial design and production’ in Suhar.

Intaj Suhar stems from an initiative set out by Tanfeedh — the National Programme for Enhancing Economic Diversification — to help develop the underpinnings of a national industrial innovation hub focused on precision manufacturing. “AMRC Oman will be an important facility for parts prototyping, innovation support, precision manufacturing of parts, attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI) by international manufacturers, and creation of downstream small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that produce high value products under the ‘Designed and Made in Oman’ brand,” Prof Ghassan al Kindi, Director of Research and Industry Collaboration at Sohar University, explained in an earlier interview to the Observer. Intaj Suhar, according to AMRC Sheffield, will focus on advanced machining, specialist assembly, material development, optimised design, rapid prototyping and engineering testing. “It will draw these together to support the strategic development in the supply chains of the aluminium, steel, composites and polymer industries,” the UK-based R&D institution noted in a statement over the weekend. The multi-million dollar centre, which is backed by Oman’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry among other stakeholders, will be developed in two phases. Phase 1 of Intaj Suhar will be designed and equipped primarily to cater to ‘advanced manufacturing’