Universities and other centres of research will be encouraged to set up ‘technology transfer offices’ to strengthen links between researchers and industry under a new scheme. This comes under the institutional and social integration pillar of the National Innovation Strategy that has been approved by the country’s cabinet.
“Rather than do theoretical research, the aim now is to encourage applied research. The technology transfer offices will be links between universities and industry.
Through them, universities can showcase to the industry their research and innovation which can be licensed for commercial use. In a similar way industry can let universities know of problems they face and solutions can be found,” said Dr Ali Amur Al Shidhani, Director of Research Centres and ICT Research, on Wednesday.
This will encourage funding of research and bring students, faculty and researchers into the technology transfer ecosystem, he added. For example he said, at Sohar University the research would meet the needs of nearby industry and Dhofar University would do research on areas like properties of frankincense, as it was available there in plenty.
Dr Ahmed Mohsin Al Ghassani, Dean of College of Banking and Financial Studies, said that the national strategy was the responsibility of all in Oman and this included ministries, institutions in government and private sector. Rules should be simplified so that ideas can bloom and innovation would lead to diversification and help overcome challenges, he said.
Shidhani said there were several programmes to achieve institutional and social integration. For instance, every organisation would have an ‘innovation champion’ who would be a catalyst for innovation in that body, said Shidhani, adding that each institute and champion would have freedom to decide how best to play this role.
Mahid Al Mazrooei, DG of follow up, governmental services, Communications Centre for Government Services, General Secretariat to the Cabinet was also present at the presentation.