IIC plays leading role in stimulating industrial innovation
Knowledge economy: The Centre is presently focused on driving innovation in four distinct economic fields: Food & Beverages, Fish Processing, Animal and Fish Feed, and Mining
MUSCAT, FEB 8
Mentorship support provided by the Industrial Innovation Centre (IIC) at Al Khoudh in Muscat has helped as many as 40 Omani entrepreneurial and business start-ups fine-tune their commercial operations. They include a number of small and mid-scale factories that add value to Oman’s natural resources.
In a statement to mark Industry Day, which is celebrated annually on February 9, Dr Abdullah al Mahrouqi, CEO, said the Industrial Innovation Centre plays a vital role in helping Omani entrepreneurs take their industrial innovations to full-blown commercial start-ups.
As many as 360 young Omanis have benefited from the centre’s technical support and expertise over the past three years. With the help of the centre, their intellectual property surrounding their innovations has been copyrighted as well, he noted.
IIC’s training capabilities are presently concentrated in four distinct economic fields: Food & Beverages, Fish Processing, Animal and Fish Feed, and Mining, said Dr Al Mahrouqi. These clusters are supported by related government and public sector organisations.
The Mining Unit, for example, has the support of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, while the Implementation and Follow-up Unit of the Vision 2040 Programme has provided RO 4 million in funding support for the initiative. Expertise provided by the unit helps Omani entrepreneurs exploit small and mid-scale commercial opportunities centring around Oman’s mineral wealth.
This year, the Unit will explore opportunities surrounding the Sultanate’s abundant clay and basalt resources for commercialisation, he said, adding that 15 investment opportunities have been identified stemming from the exploitation of clay resources.
The centre has also organised a series of specialised workshops focusing on innovations in fish processing, food industries and marble processing, which have benefited a total of 536 Omani participants.
The workshops have also focused on technology transfer and knowledge enhancement — which are key to the success of any innovation-driven sector. International experts from Malaysia, Turkey, Italy, South Korea, the United Kingdom and India among others have been involved in the workshops.
Over the past three years, as many as 56 Omanis have secured employment as a result of the Centre’s training initiatives, while 73 others received on-the-job training opportunities provided to graduates of higher education institutions.