Debate begins on research, development strategy

MUSCAT, APRIL 28 – The Research Council (TRC) began the first national workshop on the preparation of the National Strategy for Research and Development (NSRD) 2020-2040 on Sunday. The two-day conference will conclude on Monday. The first workshop aims to familiarise the participants with the importance of the project and the work plan. This includes discussing the general framework of the National Strategy for Research and Development 2020-2040 and presenting the results of the analysis of the current situation and challenges of the research field in the Sultanate. The workshop also reviews and updates research priorities in line with Oman Vision 2040 and its objectives across the various sectors.
This workshop is part of a series of three workshops. The second workshop will take place on September 16 and 17, to discuss the revised draft of the national priorities in regard to research and development, in addition to discussing the overall perceptions, tasks and objectives of these priorities by developing a long-term outline for these priorities and reviewing the operational plan, other plans and programmes.
The third workshop will be a national symposium for the NSRD 2020-2040, which will be held on December 15. This symposium will discuss and evaluate the final draft of the NSRD, involving a group of experts, academics, specialists, research and development enthusiasts from the public and private sectors in the Sultanate.
Dr Hilal bin Ali al Hinai, Secretary General of TRC, said, “This workshop is a very important one as it has been designed to prepare the framework of the National Strategy for Research and Development. Oman Vision 2040 is a clear comprehensive strategy that is supportive to innovation.”
“The discussions taking place in the first workshop will give indicators on stakeholders’ feedback and how can research and development activities be funded and supported in the coming period,” he said.
According to Dr Jamila bint Ali al Hinaiya, Director of the NSRD project, the first feature of the NSRD 2020-2040 is turning knowledge into money, which refers to the actual utilization of research to generate income. The other features include the creation of partnerships, bridging the technological and digital gaps, in addition to knowledge capital.
“This strategy will be beneficial in diversifying economic resources with a clear contribution to gross domestic product as well as economic and social development,” Dr Jamila said.
The workshop aims to interact with the global experience and corresponds with the local data, and activate the wide national participation in the preparation of the strategy by specialists to ensure that the expertise and lessons learned from successful experiences are enriched to contribute to the development and strengthening the notion of research and development.
Methodology of the Project
With regard to the methodology and organisational structure of the project, Dr Jamila stated that way the national strategies is approached is highly critical to the successful development and efficient application of these strategies. The methodology for the NSRD 2020-2040 depends on active participation of local experts, academics, researchers to ensure the support for the implementation of the strategy. The strategy will be prepared according to a planning perspective based on the study and analysis of the data by the technical work teams from within TRC who will follow-up the quality of its outputs.
The preparation structure of the NSRD 2020-2040 consists of three major groups that are the project management team, quality control team, and communication and community partnership team.