MUSCAT: With the aspiration of providing a platform to share knowledge on incubation, the Incubation Conference 2017 began on Tuesday at Hormuz Grand Hotel, Muscat, under the auspices of Yahya bin Said al Jabri, Chairman of the Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD).
Organised by the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE), represented by the National Business Centre (NBC), the two-day event aimed at gathering experts from across the globe to share their expertise and disseminate awareness on the role played by incubation in growing businesses worldwide.
Speaking at the opening event, Hilal bin Hamad al Hasani, Chief Executive Officer of PEIE, noted that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) enjoy economic and social importance that contribute to a comprehensive and sustainable development.
“Rusayl Industrial Estate was the first incubator to small and medium industrial projects. Today, this estate embraces significant investment companies that are recognised locally and internationally.
Moreover, PEIE today is responsible for developing and managing seven prime industrial estates namely at Sur, Suhar, Raysut, Nizwa, Al Buraimi, Al Rusayl and, Samayil, in addition to the ICT park known as Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM), and the Al Mazyouna Free Zone,” Al Hasani said.
He added that PEIE has been a pioneer in incubating projects in the field of information technology and therefore it established The Knowledge Mine (TKM) in 2004 in the Knowledge Oasis Muscat. PEIE then aimed at expanding TKM and turned it into a specialised centre for incubating and developing SMEs.
“In 2013, PEIE inaugurated the National Business Centre (NBC) to be a mixed use incubator that offers promising Omani entrepreneurs a platform to further their business ideas and develop them into growing ventures by offering base training and coaching, marketing and networking opportunities, access to funding, fully furnished offices and state of the art facilities inclusive of meeting rooms,” Al Hasani added.
Al Hasani pointed out that the conference aspires at touching upon innovation and research through the various themes, taking into account that this topic is important for the development of products and institutions especially that SMEs need to adopt innovation and research.
Kirstie Chadwick, CEO of International Business Innovation Association (INBIA), highlighted the significance of driving wealth through entrepreneurial ecosystems, noting that there are 950 entrepreneurship centres in 62 countries.
On the first day of the conference, the attendees had the opportunity to meet and interact with a number of Qatari institutions which are aiming at investing or initiating new partnerships in the Sultanate. Besides, two workshops were held on the sidelines of the conference on the first day.