Importance of research, innovation stressed

MUSCAT: The State Council and the Majlis Ash’shura on Tuesday hosted officials of the Research Council to review the implementation of the National Strategy for Innovation in the Sultanate.
Present at the event were Dr Khalid bin Salem al Saidi, Secretary General of the State Council, Shaikh Ali bin Nasser al Mahrooqi, Secretary General of Majlis Ash’shura and Dr Hilal bin Ali al Hinai, Secretary-General of the Research Council, officials of the accompanying delegation and a number of researchers from the State Council and Majlis Ash’shura.
Dr Khalid bin Salem al Saidi in his opening speech said that this hosting comes within the framework of the keenness of the State Council and the Majlis Ash’shura to host the concerned institutions, councils and bodies to shed light on the various fields of work of their institutions.
He underscored the growing importance of field of research and innovation in today’s world, which is emerging as one of the pillars of national progress and an important foundation of the knowledge economy.
He noted that the Sultanate attaches great importance to this field as it denotes the translation of the directives of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. He said that in support of the scientific research process in the Sultanate and to promote this important sector, the Council of Ministers has approved the final version of the national strategy for scientific research. The Council has emphasised that the strategy is the cornerstone of comprehensive development supported by scientific foundations and aims to serve the plans of the future. Al Hinai in his speech pointed out that there is a global interest in innovation as countries are working to develop national systems of innovation that include foundations for research, development and marketing, in addition to the legal frameworks under which the innovation process is based. Al Hinai stressed the importance of spending on scientific research for its great positive repercussions on the society economically and socially. He pointed out that the most important challenges facing innovation are weak communication between institutions, which leads to duplication of work, and pointed out that the national strategy for innovation has been prepared based on global indicators in this field. He expressed his hope that the Sultanate would be a developed country in innovation.
Dr Sharifa bint Hamoud al Harthiya, a senior specialist in planning and studies at the Research Council, presented a review of the project, which was initiated by clarifying the strategy’s objective of creating a national system of innovation governed by a unified vision and a clear policy to achieve specific goals and announced priorities through a plan.
The vision of the National Innovation Strategy is based on a national economy based on innovation and transformation from a rental economy to a national economy driven by innovation through an effective national innovation system for sustainable development. Oman is among the top 20 leaders by 2040, a leading country for innovation by 2020.
The strategy aims at establishing an environment conducive to innovation, creating employment opportunities for Omani youth, contributing to diversifying sources of income and contributing to enhancing the standards of living for individuals by aligning five-year plans with strategic programmes and initiatives.
One of the drivers of innovation was the existence of a pioneering education system, the availability of research and innovation capabilities, an efficient workforce, the transfer and resettlement of knowledge and technology, FDI and entrepreneurial entrepreneurship. An enabling system of intellectual property, infrastructure and logistics, cooperation and interdependence for innovation was one of the possible pillars.
With regard to the catalytic climate, she said that the most important factors are digital smart services, appropriate funding for R&D, innovation, effective government performance and evidence-based harmonised policies.