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December 4, 2023

“Oman’s Education and Innovation Drive: Sultan Haitham’s Vision”

,the Omani Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research, and Innovation emphasized that His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik’s royal speech during the Council of Oman enhances the ministry’s programs supporting academic and research institutions. These programs align with the royal directives, providing a supportive and stimulating environment for scientific research, development, innovation, and creativity. The aim is to build a knowledge-based economy through innovative startups.

Dr. Saif bin Abdullah Al-Hadabi, Undersecretary for Scientific Research and Innovation, highlighted the ministry’s various programs, such as the Competency-based Institutional Support Program for competitive academic research proposals. Additionally, the Strategic Research Projects program supports finding solutions to challenges facing national economic and service sectors related to the government. The Invention Platform program supports researching industry challenges by connecting them with research institutions for suitable solutions.

Dr. Al-Hadabi noted that the ministry has executed programs to transform research and innovative ideas into startups, such as the “Upgrade” program, transforming student graduation projects into startups, and the “Manafaa” program, fostering ideas in biotechnology to marketable goods and services. Scientific incubators in higher education institutions, the “Oman Innovates” platform, and more initiatives aim to facilitate and encourage innovation for young people across Oman.

Furthermore, Donald Kushner, an expert in combating human trafficking, presented a paper discussing dimensions of this international crime and the methods criminals employ, emphasizing its impact on victims and society. The report also detailed the efforts of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, covering areas like legislative measures, methods of trafficking, and programs for the care and rehabilitation of victims.

The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research plays a pivotal role in promoting research and innovation in Oman. It licenses numerous programs at the master’s, doctoral, diploma, and bachelor’s levels, aligning with the country’s rapid technological growth. The ministry aims to build a knowledge-based economy by connecting higher education with the requirements of economic development, fostering scientific research and innovation, and strengthening collaboration with regional and international institutions. It seeks recognition for its programs and specialties, encourages student exchange, and plans to host international scientific and cultural events to benefit from global experiences and enhance collaboration in education, research, and innovation.

The director-general of private universities and colleges at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Mariam bint Balharab Al-Nabhani, highlighted the importance of Sultan Haitham’s commitment to empowering the higher education, scientific research, and innovation sector. She expressed gratitude for the royal belief in the role of educational and research institutions at all levels as the foundation for scientific and knowledge-based progress. Dr. Al-Nabhani praised the positive impact of His Majesty’s commitment on the ministry’s roles, promoting coordination with research centers, academic and training institutions, and government and private sector partners to provide nationally competitive capabilities. She emphasized ongoing efforts to strengthen integration and partnership between higher education and the industrial sector, aiming for a knowledge-based economy.

The significant importance of the issuance of the Higher Education Law by the Royal Decree (27/2023) for governing the higher education sector and developing the organizational and legislative structure was also highlighted. This law aims to create a renewed and resilient educational environment that keeps pace with internal and external changes. The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research plans to officially open the Innovation Complex in Muscat, the largest scientific free zone bringing together the government, private, and academic sectors.

In conclusion, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, in alignment with Sultan Haitham’s vision, continues its dedication to building a knowledge-based economy, fostering scientific research, and encouraging innovation and collaboration in education at national, regional, and global levels.

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