Oman needs to brand itself in innovation

The Research Council (TRC), in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and Cornell University, organised a high-level panel discussion on analysing the Sultanate’s performance on the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2019 on Wednesday.

The panel discussion, which was held at the Institute of Oil and Gas (InstOG) at the Innovation Park Muscat (IPM) under the auspices of Shaikh Al Fadl bin Mohammed al Harthy, Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, aimed to and find out why the Sultanate’s ranking has fallen 11 places to 80th out of 139 countries on the Index.
“The Sultanate jumped 8 spots on the Global Innovation Index 2018 compared to 2017. It also marked great progress on the human capital and ranked 35 globally. It was ranked 48 on the index in terms of infrastructure. But the Sultanate’s overall ranking on the Index has fallen 11 places to 80th place of 139 countries on the index,” Dr Al Hinai, Secretary-General of TRC, said.
“The National Innovation Strategy is progressing towards achieving its vision of placing Oman among the top 20 most innovative countries by 2040,” Dr Al Hinai said.

Prof Soumitra Dutta, Professor of Management at Cornell University, and one of the founders of the GII, presented an overview of the GII and the Sultanate’s performance, in particular. In his presentation, Prof Soumitra stressed on the need to establish connections, celebrate entrepreneurs and success stories. He recommended the Sultanate to take a number of innovation actions, such as overcoming the innovation paradox, accelerating adoption of the digital economy, branding the Sultanate in innovation, and creating a customised Innovation Index for Oman.
“Innovation is inherently a multi-stakeholder effort, so an event like this is critical to get the different stakeholders together and to get consciousness around the ways in which Oman can become an innovation leader. Oman has great strengths and it is the right time to build on them further.”
This panel discussion also aims to engage decision makers and the Omani society with the importance of the GII report and discuss how to utilise it to achieve an innovation-driven economy. In addition, it aims to identify the challenges facing the collection and updating of data on time, maximize the innovation outputs of the Sultanate, and develop a road map to achieve the vision and goals of the National Innovation Strategy and its contribution towards achieving Oman Vision 2040.
It is worth mentioning that TRC recently launched a call inviting the various government, academic, private and civil society institutions to actively contribute towards providing the data of science and technology and research and development (R & D) during the period from September 1 to October 30 this year.
The data are being collected through focal points at these institutions who have been trained previously on collection, calculation and filling in the forms designed for this purpose.
The collected data will be sent later to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UNESCO UIS).