MUSCAT: His Highness Sayyid Shihab bin Tareq al Said, Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan, Chairman of The Research Council (TRC), affirmed that the Council is keen to develop a national strategy that outlines the path of scientific research and development in the Sultanate in connection with the track of comprehensive development plans being executed by the government to develop human resources. The mission formulated for scientific research represented in establishing an innovative system fulfilling local requirements and global trends, enhancing social harmony and driving towards innovation and scientific excellence.
The main themes of the strategy represented in building and possessing a broad research capacity, achieving research excellence in selected fields of national importance, establishing stimulating milieu for scientific research, knowledge transfer and acquiring value from scientific research.
Speaking to the new issue of Shurufat al Majlis magazine, HH Sayyid Shihab said that the national strategy for scientific research includes three stages of implementation — namely the empowerment phase by removing obstacles where the TRC seeks to establish a system of programmes to support researchers while providing financial support for conducting research, providing research equipment and laboratories.
The second phase is the harmonisation phase between building research capacity and research potentials with requirement for development in the Sultanate.
A number of strategic programmes were launched with the aim of providing scientific solutions for prioritised national issues, such as road accidents, Red Palm Weevil (RPW), renewable energy and social observatory among others.
The third phase is building the future as this phase focuses on setting up research excellence centres to narrow the gap between research conducted by research and academic institutions and requirements of the private sector to find scientific solutions for the challenges facing the sector.
HH Sayyid Shihab pointed out that research capacity in most developing countries was limited to human or equipment aspects, so it was necessary to focus on national priorities related to research and innovation, as well as focusing on all matters that provide the Sultanate competitive advantages compared to other countries, such enhanced oil recovery (EOR) as it is considered a national priority for the Sultanate.
He also added that the TRC, in conjunction with various government and private agencies and the civil community sought to develop national innovation strategy.
Reasons of success of some countries were analysed to benefit from outcomes of research and innovation in supporting socioeconomic activities.
The strategy aims to make the Sultanate among the leading countries in the innovation field (within best 20 countries in 2040).
HH Sayyid Shihab said that the TRC and Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), in cooperation with the Ministry of Oil and Gas launched the platform (IGAD); an electronic platform to activate cooperation between the industrial sector and the academic and research sector in the Sultanate in the field of energy, under the umbrella of Institute of Integrated Advanced Technologies.
The electronic platform allows the industrial sector to present the challenges faced by researchers and review such challenges electronically, as well as proposing solutions that will lead to guiding research in universities to applied research closely related to industry, in addition to developing cooperation among these institutions to allow financial support to academic and local research institutions.
HH Sayyid Shihab affirmed that the platform will seek encouraging activities of scientific research and innovation in the energy field through organising workshops, conferences and training for building national capacities. It also aims to encourage industrial establishments to invest in country value (ICV) to support research and innovations related to the energy field. — ONA