Agreement Signed to Establish Prototyping Centre

Muscat, The Omani Authority for Partnership for Development (OAPFD) signed a contract with the US Bell Company for the implementation of the “Prototyping Center” project to support Oman’s innovation and industry system, transfer of knowledge, enhance research and development studies, promote new technologies, train Omani researchers to transform ideas, scientific research, innovation and industrial products into experimental products and prototypes usable on the ground and the establishment of institutions capable of entering the labor market efficiently and is considered as one of the integrated centers.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Dhafer bin Awadh al- Shanfari, CEO of OAPFD and Brian Volmer, Bell’s Senior Director of Industrial Cooperation and Offset.

The agreement signed between OAPFD and American Bell states that the company will establish an equipped and integrated center, consisting of manufacturing workshops , specialized laboratories and a number of modern studios furnished with the latest equipment and technologies that enable the center’s users from small and medium enterprises, industrial institutions, various research centers, university students, colleges and various training institutes, from turning ideas and innovations into live models that can be manufactured on the ground. The Center will also contribute to the transfer of the best international expertise and practices in the field of innovation and modeling to the Sultanate, as well as its role in supporting and upgrading Omani registered intellectual property, and establishing small and medium enterprises.

Dr. Dhafer al- Shanfari explained that economic diversification and the promotion of different and promising sectors in the Sultanate is a key objective for OAPFD, and the prototying center follows the Sultanate’s orientations to promote the culture of innovation in the Sultanate and create an integrated environment to support innovators, whether individuals or institutions.

He expressed his happiness with this strategic partnership with Bell and the US Techshop, which is implementing the project, which proves that the Sultanate is an attractive investment destination and rich in environment for innovations and that Omani innovations are worth investing.

Brian Volmer, Senior Manager for Industrial Cooperation and Offset, said: “We are delighted to partner with the Sultanate to establish the Center for Prototyping and Innovation, which will help innovators and SME owners.

During the foundation phase of the Center, the training and qualification of the Omani cadres will be supervised by the Tech Shop International, a leading innovator in the management and operation of innovation and modeling centers around the world, which will have a close partnership with American Bell, to qualify Omani cadres in the management and operation of the Center, through the use of modern devices and technologies in the center and ways to develop ideas and innovations of science.

OAPFD also signed a cooperation program with the Research Council (TRC) to establish and implement the Center at the Muscat Innovation Park.

The program of cooperation with TRC was signed by Dr. Dhafer bin Awadh al- Shanfari, CEO of OAPFD and

Dr. Hilal bin Ali al- Hinai, TRC Secretary General.

According to the cooperative program signed between OAPFD and TRC, the center will be located on the campus of the Muscat Innovation Park as part of the facilities hosted by the complex, which will be equipped by Bell, as part of its commitment to OAPFD as part of Partnership for Development Program.

Dr. Hilal bin Ali al- Hinai, TRC Secretary General explained that the cooperation agreement between TRC and OAPFD comes in line with efforts to harmonize efforts to achieve transformation towards knowledge based economy. He expressed his happiness to reveal the preparation and equipping of a modeling center in the complex, to achieve the objectives in creating an integrated research environment, advanced scientific factors that facilitate the work of entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium enterprises, and to achieve leadership through the improvement and development of ideas, in the light of rapid changes in the world, and to strengthen the position of the Sultanate to become one of the leading countries in the field of innovation.

The Muscat Innovation Park is the most prominent national scientific initiative, implemented by TRC, as a building to be constructed In Al Khoudh area, on a land area of (540) thousand square meters dedicated to research and innovation, and support to new programs and SME’s, service providers and consultants interested in driving innovation in four sectors: water, environment, energy, renewable energy, food and biotechnology, and health sciences.

It aims at attracting local and foreign companies to invest in establishing R and D centers, with the aim of diversifying the economy and reducing dependence on oil resources, contributing to the national economy with knowledge-based output, and benefiting from the knowledge, management and technical exchange of local and foreign companies.

The signing of the agreements was attended by Sayyid Dr. Fahd bin al-Jalanda al- Said, TRC Assistant Secretary General for Innovation Development.

Source: Oman News Agency