Muscat: The two-day GenoBusiness Forum 2020, organized by the Oman Animal & Plant Genetic Resources Center (OAPGRC) at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MoHERI) kicked off on Wednesday under the auspices of Dr Saif bin Abdullah al Haddabi, Undersecretary for Research and Innovation at the MoHERI.
This event mainly showcases business ideas of Manafa’a teams and other entrepreneurs with original genetic resource related ideas, products and prototypes to potential investors, raise awareness among Oman public sector, private sector and Omani growing entrepreneurial community on the importance of the Sultanate‘s diversified genetic resources, and promote the use and conservation of genetic resources in a sustainable and profitable way for the diversification of the Omani economy.
The forum discussed four main themes, namely Getting Quality Food from Oman’s Genetic Resources: Food and Nutritional Security, Innovation Oman’s Genetic Resources: Role of the 4th Industrial Revolution, Deep Rooted Value: Oman Genetic Resources for Natural Products, and finally Genetic Resources for Sustainable Economy.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 75% of the world’s food is now generated from only 12 plants and five animal species.
“Worldwide, it’s estimated that more than 10,000 plant species are used for medicinal purposes, mainly as traditional medicines. The World Health Organization suggests that 80% of people in developing countries rely on traditional medicines,” Dr Saif al Haddabi said.
“GenoBusiness 2020 is therefore proud to give young Omani talent a platform from which to showcase their ideas for using our genetic wealth to build responsible biodiversity-based businesses – future-focused, innovative, sustainable and impactful businesses,” Al Haddabi added.
Delivering the Forum’s keynote address titled ‘Toward Sustainable Commercialization of Omani Natural Resources’, Dr Amaal al Abrawi, CEO of Falha Investment, discussed the implications of the sustainable movement toward the commercialization of natural resources.
The second keynote address was presented by Dr Richard Splivallo, CEO of Nectariss Sarl, who discussed the ‘Transitioning from Academia into the Business World: How the Food Flavor Startup Nectariss was Born?.
It is worth mentioning that OAPGRC aims to promote the recognition, sustainable utilization and valuation of the genetic diversity inherent in Oman’s animals, plants and microorganisms as a natural heritage resource. –ONA