Pact signed to set up prototyping centre

MUSCAT: The Omani Authority for Partnership for Development (OAPFD) signed a contract with the US Bell Company for the implementation of the “Prototyping Centre” project to support Oman’s innovation and industry system, transfer of knowledge, enhance research and development studies, promote new technologies, train Omani researchers to transform ideas, scientific research, innovation and industrial products into experimental products and prototypes usable on the ground and the establishment of institutions capable of entering the labour market efficiently and is considered as one of the integrated centres.
The agreement was signed by Dr Dhafer bin Awadh al Shanfari, CEO of OAPFD and Brian Volmer, Bell’s Senior Director of Industrial Cooperation and Offset.
The agreement signed between OAPFD and American Bell states that the company will establish an equipped and integrated centre, consisting of manufacturing workshops, specialised laboratories and modern studios furnished with the latest equipment and technologies that enable the centre’s users from SMEs, industrial institutions, various research centres, university students, colleges and various training institutes, from turning ideas and innovations into live models that can be manufactured on the ground.
The Centre will also contribute to the transfer of the best international expertise and practices in the field of innovation and modelling to the Sultanate, as well as its role in supporting and upgrading Omani registered intellectual property, and establishing small and medium enterprises.
Dr Al Shanfari explained that economic diversification and the promotion of different and promising sectors in the Sultanate is a key objective for OAPFD, and the prototying centre follows the Sultanate’s orientations to promote the culture of innovation in the Sultanate and create an integrated environment to support innovators, whether individuals or institutions.
Brian Volmer, Senior Manager for Industrial Cooperation and Offset, said: “We are delighted to partner with the Sultanate to establish the Centre for Prototyping and Innovation, which will help innovators and SME owners.
OAPFD also signed a cooperation programme with the Research Council (TRC) to establish and implement the Centre at the Muscat Innovation Park.
The programme of cooperation with TRC was signed by Dr Dhafer bin Awadh al Shanfari, CEO of OAPFD and Dr Hilal bin Ali al Hinai, TRC Secretary General.
According to the cooperative programme signed between OAPFD and TRC, the centre will be located on the campus of the Muscat Innovation Park as part of the facilities hosted by the complex, which will be equipped by Bell, as part of its commitment to OAPFD as part of Partnership for Development Programme.
The signing of the agreements was attended by Sayyid Dr Fahd bin al Jalanda al Said, TRC Assistant Secretary General for Innovation Development. — ONA