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SQU, OTF hold discussion on framework for making Oman an Innovation Hub

MUSCAT: The Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, SQU and Oman Technology Fund (OTF) organised an orientation lecture about OTF and a discussion panel on Establishing a Framework for Making Oman an Innovation Hub on February 27 at Al Faham Hall at SQU.

The event was held under the auspices of Shaikh Dr Al Khatab bin Ghalib al Hinai, Deputy Chairman of the Oman State Council.

The event shed light on enhancing the culture of innovation in Oman, raising awareness among individuals and institutions about the importance of innovation in national social and economic development, and engaging various stakeholders in order to establish a framework for making Oman an innovation hub. The event explicitly acknowledged the fact that innovation is a core foundation of national social and economic development and is essential for global competitiveness in the 21st century.

Oman’s government has identified enhancing innovation in the country as one of its core goals, and has subsequently set the target of having the sultanate ranked in the top 10 of the Global Innovation Index and the International Innovation Index by 2040.

In order to achieve this, Oman is now engaged in widespread efforts that are intended to transform the nation to an efficiency driven, knowledge-based economy. This transition requires not only a well-trained, highly skilled, and innovation-focused labour force, but also the regulatory framework and educational support system that encourage its formation.

Innovation increases global competitiveness, enhances efficiency, creates employment opportunities, and contributes to social well-being. Engaging in innovation is a key component of creating sustainable businesses and organisations that use market-based mechanisms to deliver products to a wide and increasingly diverse group of customers.

As a result, innovative entrepreneurs have the potential to create social and economic impact in their communities, across nations, and throughout the world. However, their ability to succeed is largely determined by a number of factors within their entrepreneurial ecosystem. If emerging markets like Oman hope to unlock the potential social and economic impact of innovation, they must build vibrant ecosystems that support innovative entrepreneurs.

There are numerous examples of countries around the world that have managed to build innovation ecosystems and hence transform themselves into international innovation hubs.

According to the 2017 Global Innovation Index, the ten most innovative countries in the world are still dominated by Western nations, with Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the US, and the UK occupying the top five positions. This leadership in innovation is based on a number of factors, including strong economies, well-educated populations, supportive government policies, and national cultures that value innovation and entrepreneurship.

However, the list also contains various nations, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malta, that just a handful of generations ago often struggled with a lack of resources and limited industrial bases.

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