Signing Two Agreements at Sohar University

As part of the research activities and the ongoing cooperation between Sohar University and other institutions, the University and the Oman Education and Training Investments Company signed two agreements with Oman Technology Fund (OTF) yesterday at the University campus in Sohar.
The first agreement was signed by Sheikh Anees bin Muhammed Al Ma'amari, CEO of Oman Education and Training Investment Company, providing for the establishment of an incubator for industrial innovation at Sohar University, the first of its kind in the Sultanate. The second agreement was signed by Dr. Hamdan Sulaiman Al. Fazari, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Sohar University for Resources, providing for funding a national competition organized by the University for 3-D Designs used in construction.
The two agreements were signed by Dr. Yousuf Al Harthy, CEO of Oman Technology Fund (OTF). Signing the agreements was attended by a number of officials from the Fund and the University, as well as the Oman Education and Training Investment Company. On the sidelines, there were some discussions on a number of topics and methods related to the development of the relationship between the two parties.
Dr. Yousuf Al Harthy, CEO of OTF, said: "Innovation development is one of the priorities of this stage and cooperation with institutions of higher education is an essential aspect in the development of innovation. Our cooperation today with Sohar University comes within this framework and the general framework of the government of His Majesty, Sultan Qaboos bin Said - may God preserve him, of transforming the Omani economy into a knowledge-based economy. As the universities are the source of knowledge, the Oman Technology Fund seeks to integrate and cooperate with them as a basic source of innovation, cadres and human resources that are the basis of innovation and knowledge-based economy. The most important return is upgrading the system of innovation and inventions, which is an integrative aspect based on the transformation of intellectual, creative and research products in universities into projects that can support the national economy and increase the competitiveness of the Omani economy.
On the agreement concerning the establishment of an industrial innovation incubator, Sheikh Anees Al-Ma'amari said: "The project is an incubator, and we, as a company, are trying to provide the right environment for business promotion.
The incubator will be the first industrial incubator in Oman, as well as the first incubator associated with a distinguished university providing academic support in addition to being specialized in the field of IT related industry. This agreement with the OTF aims at funding the project, and thus the elements for signing the agreement are complete. We hope that the project will be a supporter of the economy of Oman and the city of Sohar.
From his part, Professor Ghassan Al-Kindi, Pro Vice Chancellor of Sohar University for Research and Innovation, stressed the importance of the university's role in localizing industries and empowering Omani youth in terms of technology. He talked about the agreement between the University and the Fund to finance a national competition, organized by the University, on innovation and the development of the apparatus of 3-D printing.
He said: “This project is a national competition about innovation and development and manufacture of 3-D printing apparatus for constructive buildings, working by use of the Omani sand and associated materials manufactured in Oman. All interested groups will be able to register in the project. Accordingly, there will be a developed Omani product capable of building houses more cheaply and quickly in Oman through the development of technological equipment designed and manufactured in Oman”.
On the project plan, Al-Kindi said: "The project plan requires the announcement of this national competition within the next two weeks and thus all Omanis can form teams and register in this competition, and they will be given a period to provide the primary ideas. Then, six teams will be selected and will be given funding for the purpose of building somewhat small models based on the proof of technology. They will be given a certain period for the manufacture of equipment, and Sohar University, represented in the Research Center for Manufacturing Industries, will be a supportive contribution to the manufacturing processes of these models .
Eventually, the models will be presented and the best two will be selected. The applicants will be granted funding for completing their projects and developing their devices in a larger size. After being built with the support of the Manufacturing Industries Research Center, the buildings or facilities that they have built will be tested to obtain approvals from the Ministry of Housing, Environment and Municipalities and the adoption of the conditions and controls and then to create a production line for these apparatus which contributes to the localization of three-dimensional printing technology for buildings in Oman.
The project is for all Omanis and aims at localization of three-dimensional printing technology for buildings in Oman and the localization of the design and manufacture of equipment in Oman by Omani innovators. There is no objection that one of the members of these teams to be non-Omani. The projects are not of a specific specialization but include several majors, such as Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Civil Engineering, Engineering Materials and Chemical Engineering for the development of materials used in construction, as well as Mechatronic and Mechanical Engineering where these materials are manufactured and tested.