Muscat: The creation of a company to manage the Innovation Park Muscat (IPM) was approved by The Research Council Board on Sunday.
The approval came during the second meeting of the TRC Board for 2016, chaired by His Highness Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq Al Said, Advisor to His Majesty the Sultan and Chairman of TRC.
The meeting, held at the headquarters of TRC in Al Othaiba,discussed a number of reports submitted to the board, and approved projects and proposals that are expected to expand TRC’s efforts in supporting research and innovation in the Sultanate.
The board, in principle, approved the establishment of a company for the management of the Innovation Park Muscat (IPM), with the aim of determining the best governance and management model of the IPM, in accordance with the nature of science parks.
The IPM will be the home for TRC buildings and also contain workshops and business incubators, as well as specialised centres. It focuses on four research areas, including energy, health, water and food. It also contains land that was allocated for the investment in research and innovation fields.
The TRC Board also approved a model for the management of research centres, after discussing the available options for the governance and management of those research centres that have been established by TRC, such as the Oman Animal and Plants Genetic Resources Centre (OAPGRC) and the Institute of Advanced Technology Integration (IATI).
Additionally, in a bid to convert students’ graduation projects into start-up businesses in the Information and Communications Technologiessector, the TRC Board approved a challenge programme which focuses onsupporting students’ graduation projects through transferring them into promising start-up businesses, in collaboration with the private sector.
In addition, the board supported a proposal on finding strategic partnerships to enable the operation of Oman Research and Education Network (OMREN), Virtual Library and the National Digital Repository, in collaboration with the private sector. OMREN aims at developing the level and competence of research, education and electronic scientific communications. OMREN is considered a gateway to similar global networks. It functions as a high speed and competence network for connecting research and academic institutions.
Additionally, the TRC Board approved, in principle,a proposal submitted on the execution of the Annual Research Forum (ARF), now in its third year, that also includes awarding winners of the National Research Award (NRA), based on available allocated financial resources.
TheARF is held annually with the aim of providing an environment for knowledge transfers and expertise exchanges among researchers, in addition to the announcement of NRA winners.
The TRC Board also approved the report of the 9th meeting of the International Advisory Board.
TRC Board members were also briefed on specialized reports on the progress of work of the Chair of Nanotechnology for Water Desalination at Sultan Qaboos University, and its achievements during past years.
The TRC Board also followed-up on the implementation of its decisions made during its first meeting last February.