Agreement signed for IoT, Smart Cities’ Living Lab at SQU

MUSCAT, Dec 20 – The Sultan Qaboos University(SQU) has signed a collaboration research agreement with Omantel to establish a Living Lab for Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Cities at SQU. The agreement was signed by Dr Rahma al Mahrooqiyah, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, Said al Ajmi Vice-President Operations Unit at Omantel, and Alain Sawaya Chief Executive Officer of Internet of Things LLC (mOmkin).
The Lab, which will be housed by the university’s Communication and Information Research Centre, will be one of the first of its kind in the Arab region and will also lead efforts to transform SQU campus itself into a model of a successful and efficient smart city in Oman.
Under the agreement, mOmkin will equip SQU with the Living Lab for Smart Cities by providing IoT solutions and devices for the laboratory. In addition to mOmkin’s contributions, Omantel also agreed to provide a budget that will be used for purchasing additional computers and equipment to help ensure the lab has a full suite of state-of-the-art facilities.
The parties agreed that the Living Lab for Smart Cities will be guided by a committee consisting of the signatories’ representatives, who will also help define the lab’s research directions and engagement in innovative projects. In this regard, mOmkin agreed to sponsor research done by SQU’s Communication and Information Research Centre and by the research groups associated with the research centre, thereby helping support its active engagement in research and innovation activities in this area of social and economic importance.
Upon signing the agreement, Dr Rahma stated that the attainment of Smart Cities is one of the most important challenges that countries around the world face over the coming decades. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research continued that, “We have to rethink our way of life and how we use our resources, consume and move about. The transition to smart cities involves optimising information technology to better understand our infrastructure and the behaviours of people and to be able to make informed decisions that meet the needs of citizens, institutions and companies with a view to community and sustainable development.”
Laila Mohammed al Wahaibi, CSR Manager at Omantel said: “We are delighted to be the digital transformation partner of choice, especially by a reputed organisation like SQU. The main objective of this partnership is to drive the Sultanate to be a smart city, fully equipped with state-of-the-art technologies guided by Omantel’s 3.0 transformation strategy”
“This significant development comes on the heels of the recent announcement by Omantel when it joined the Smart City Platform with The Research Council, OMRAN and Nama holding in October of 2017.” Al Wahaibi
added.