Forum of parliamentarians recommends investment in tech infrastructure

MUSCAT: The ‘Regional Forum of Parliamentarians in Science and Diplomacy’ Forum organised by the Islamic Educational, Scientific Cultural Organization (ISESCO), in cooperation with the State Council representing the Sultanate, concluded on Tuesday. The forum, which commenced on Monday, was patronised by Dr Yahya bin Mahfoudh Al Mantheri, Chairman of the State Council. The Forum had the attendance of parliamentarians, experts and thinkers from nine Arab countries including Oman, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Tunisia, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan.
The recommendations issued include contributing to the promotion of regional cooperation, exchange of best practices in the field of science, technology and innovation and to emphasise the importance of scientific research as a lever for economic and social development, to explore the future and to keep abreast of the rapid surge of technology and scientific progress by focusing on scientific research and encouraging innovation, by taking into account the future developmental challenges in various environmental, industrial, energy and other fields.

In addition, to urge decision makers to find innovative mechanisms to address these challenges, scientific research and support and link the outputs of scientific research decision-making process to ensure the maximum use of investment in research and technology.
An emphasis was made on the importance of investment in technology infrastructure, advocating for the establishment of an integrated institutional system to support science and technology.
The meeting recommended strengthening inter-institutional linkages to benefit from individual capacities, and adopting a unified vision in the field of scientific research and innovation, Global Innovation for all Member States.
It also emphasisied the need to prioritise scientific research in Member States taking into account the differences and development data between countries, building a unified statistical database of the current situation and determining the future directions of the indicator which will include the database, emphasise the need to develop educational curricula in all stages of education in the direction of encouraging research and creativity and to establish the private sector as an important and strategic partner to support scientific research and innovation.

It was also recommended to set up measures to develop the partnership between the public and private sector with the adoption of a tax policy incentive to the private sector to encourage investment in the field of scientific research and innovation among various member states in support of scientific research, graduate students and researchers, and to adopt the creators and motivate them to further research and scientific production in their countries.
The meeting also urged the Member States to give importance to scientific research and its proposal to raise the allocations of this sector in the general budget for scientific research and innovation to play an active role in the overall development.
Dr Al Mantheri also received in his office the Arab parliamentarians. He hailed the activities of the Forum hoping that the forum achieve its aims, especially those related to enhancing the role of parliamentarians in the fields of science diplomacy, augmenting bridges of regional cooperation and exchange of expertise in the field of science, technology and invitation and encouraging community interest in them to activate their role in sustainable development.