The MoU will pave way for greater collaboration and alignment between industry and academia
MUSCAT: Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) signed an agreement with the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), which will boost research and development efforts in both the oil and non-oil sectors in the Sultanate’s economy.
Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), PDO has pledged the support of its experts in the creation of GUtech’s state-of-the-art Technology Centre and the Company will also be able to use the centre for its own research.
It also establishes collaboration in running and developing teaching programmes and there will be the possibility for PDO employees to potentially enroll on BSc, MSc and PhD degrees and other courses at the University at Halban, Muscat.
Further, there is scope for the university to focus some of its research activities on tackling challenges facing the Omani oil and gas industry with PDO providing information on the latest technical challenges. PDO will also co-supervise non-oil and gas industry related research.
Another key aspect is that both parties will encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs to carry out their basic technological research, test-proof their conceptual thoughts and innovative ideas and develop early-stage technology in GUtech laboratories prior to any potential future commercial agreements.
The MoU was signed by GUtech Rector Professor Dr Michael Modigell and PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci, who said: “It’s important that as Oman moves to the next stage of its economic development that there should be greater collaboration and alignment between our industry and academia”.
He added, “We need to work closer together so that there is a greater understanding of each other’s needs and challenges, and that our universities and colleges are producing a steady supply of graduates with the technical and non-technical skills to serve the country”.
He further said, “In this respect, we are honoured to sign this agreement with GUtech, an institution with which we already have a strong relationship. It will help PDO with one of our main aims — developing sustainable Omani solutions for the challenges and opportunities we have”.
He added, “At the same time, it builds on key and strategic partnerships we have with Sultan Qaboos University, the Research Council, Innovation Park Muscat and other distinguished institutions”.
The MoU will pave the way for PDO and GUtech to exchange best practices on health, safety and environment (HSE), Lean efficiency programmes and governance frameworks. The Company will also become a member of the university’s Advisory Board.
Dr Modigell said: “Besides scientific research, GUtech is strongly focused on joint research and development with industry, in line with German tradition”.
He added, “Joint projects provide industry with the best knowledge, experience and technology and enable students to learn about the needs of industry and their future employers”.
He pointed out, “The contract between GUtech and PDO fosters co-operation, creates an atmosphere of reliability, and lets the co-operation develop into a strategic partnership. This allows the university to establish specific technology labs which are designed for the demands of the joint research”. — ONA