Muscat: The Research Council (TRC) announced that the registration is open for the 4th edition of the Upgrade programme, a programme that transforms the best graduation projects in the 4th Industrial Revolution technologies into successful ICT startups to bring socio-economic benefit to Oman.
Upgrade is a competition-based program in which winners will be assisted to transform their graduation projects into startups in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector on topics, such as Smart Cities, Internet of Things, Information Security, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Blockchain.
The registration period will conclude by the end of May 2020. The participating projects will then be sorted and filtered by a jury consisting of the programme partners, following a series of personal interviews to choose the best three winning projects. The process of incubating and developing the winning projects will start by the programme partners after choosing the three winning projects. The programme will provide the winners with incubation services, business and marketing consultation, networking and mentoring opportunities, as well as educational awareness programmes that include a group of workshops and lectures in various universities and colleges in the Sultanate.
Upgrade is a collaborative partnership between TRC, for administration and management, Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel), for financing emerging companies and covering the logistics costs of the programme, Oman Technology Fund (OTF), for providing training and investment preparation, the National Youth Committee, for developing professional and leadership capabilities, Sas for Entrepreneurship, for embracing and developing startups, the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Riyada), for providing commercial, financial and marketing guidance, and lastly Al Raffd Fund, for providing financial support and media promotion for SMEs arising from the program after passing the incubation and development stage.
Upgrade programme has previously succeeded during the previous years in transforming nine student graduation projects into startups, providing opportunities for self-employment with continued financial support and commercial and marketing guidance that will benefit the winners of the programme. The programme was highly valued by those interested in graduation projects, especially those who seek to establish their own companies, as the programme opened the doors for them to achieve their goals and turn their projects into reality. –ONA