Muscat: Following its formation on April 16, the main Technological Innovation Committee for Combating COVID-19 held its first meeting, under the chair of Eng Azza bint Sulaiman al Ismaili, Minister of Technology and Communications.
The meeting was held in the presence of representatives of its members from the Ministry of Health, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Sultan Qaboos University, The Research Council, the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates “Madayn”, Oman Technology Fund and the Oman ICT Group.
At the outset of the meeting, Eng Al Ismaili stressed the importance of this committee as it will undertake organizing and directing the specialized national competencies to produce innovative ICT solutions to counter the novel Coronavirus in the fields of rapid diagnosis, epidemiological investigation, tele-health care, health and medication supplies and prevention technologies, as well as working to strengthen quarantine procedures, social distancing and develop a unified mechanism for social solidarity.
She explained that the committee includes members from various entities including academic institutions that can help in research and innovation as well as institutions that can guide innovators and fund the implementation of the initiatives.
She also confirmed that the Sultanate has distinct youth capabilities in the field of innovation and this committee was formed to direct them to the best ways to implement their ideas.
On their turn, members of the committee stressed the importance of forming this committee as it will have a great impact on limiting the spread of Coronavirus. –ONA
The committee also was briefed on the priorities and directions of the Ministry of Health in tackling the novel Coronavirus, which are related to the prevention of this disease, epidemiological investigation and the treatment of the infected, as well as the provision of medical supplies.
It is important to come up with national technological solutions that can contribute to curb the spread of the virus and treating the infected by adopting and funding ideas that can serve the country during this period.
There are many initiatives, for example virtual clinic technologies and remote patient follow-up.
The submitted initiatives will be divided into urgent initiatives that require immediate action during the period of dealing with COVID-19 pandemic and other initiatives for medium and long term periods.
During the meeting, a presentation was given by the committee’s technical team on the application submission and response procedures, which are: designating a special webpage at MTC’s website where those interested can fill out the application form through: www.mtc.gov.om/TIC and send any enquiries to: email@example.com. The specialized team will review the received applications on a daily basis and communicate with the applicants via e-mail in the event that the initiative is accepted or rejected within seven days of its submission. Then, the team will arrange to meet the applicants of the selected initiatives by video call on a weekly basis to display the initiative and announce the accepted ones when all their requirements are met.