New COVID-19 Technological Innovation Committee unveiled

MUSCAT: The Ministry of Technology and Communications (MTC) has announced the formation of the Technological Innovation Committee to counter the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
The panel is headed by Azza bint Sulaiman al Ismaili (pictured), the Minister of Technology and Communications, and is composed of representatives from the Ministry of Health, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Sultan Qaboos University, The Research Council, Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn), Oman Technology Fund (OTF), and Oman ICT Group.
This step comes in coordination with the Supreme Committee for Dealing with COVID-19 and in line with government’s efforts to limit the spread of this virus by adopting IT solutions as modern IT alternatives in dealing with its impact.
This committee, which will meet continuously in combating the pandemic, will supervise all IT initiatives directed to counter the coronavirus, and identifying priorities and requirements to ensure diversity of initiatives and avoid repetition. It will also organize and direct specialized national capabilities to provide innovative IT solutions to curb the spread of COVID-19 through: rapid diagnostic and epidemiological investigation, provision of medicine and remote health care in addition to providing health and medication supplies and prevention techniques. The committee will also work to promote quarantine and social distancing measures and find a unified mechanism to enhance social solidarity.
This committee will also form a specialized team that includes Omani competencies in the field of innovation and business analysis which will work on evaluating the proposed ICT projects. This committee will be responsible of granting funding approvals for the projects and providing them with the required support after getting the approval from the technical team along with strengthening the partnership between the government and private sectors to support manufacturing and production of the technologies of urgent priority. In addition, it will work to find a mechanism to improve the competitive advantage of the innovative national technologies, ensuring their continuation in local markets and developing and implementing awareness programs to ensure wider use of these solutions and applications in the community and work environment.
Azza bint Sulaiman al Ismaili, Minister of Technology and Communications, stated: “Modern technologies play an important role in providing solutions to many challenges faced by people throughout the world and we have witnessed many experiences in a number of areas including the health sector. We have noticed during the past weeks a number of technological initiatives from some individuals and companies as ICT solutions to tackle some of the repercussions of the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 and here lies the role of this committee to streamline and support all the national technological innovations to complement the efforts made by the Ministry of Health; therefore, we call on all innovators in The field of emerging technologies, whether individuals or private sector companies to contact us through MTC website to provide them with the consultancy and support for their initiatives to become technological solutions contributing to mitigate the severity of coronavirus outbreak.”

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