Oil Minister Leads Industry-Academia Initiative to Build Cooperation on Research, Innovation.
Development Oman (PDO) and the Research Council have ratified the
2017 Oman Energy Industry-Academia Research and Development
(R&D) Protocol in an effort to build a vibrant research ecosystem within
the country that can deliver the solutions that the energy industry
requires to sustain output through to 2040 and beyond.
Over the last decade, Oman has demonstrated a commitment to
innovative research, which has successfully stemmed, and reversed, a
decline in domestic oil production. More of that pioneering spirit and
partnership, combined with new technologies, will be needed going
forward as the country prepares to tap more of its heavy and complex
crude oil reservoirs, and hard to access gas reserves, to sustain and
further advance production levels.
"Embedding academia into industry and vice-versa is a great idea.
When I was teaching at Sultan Qaboos University, the most useful part
of my experience were the days that I spent in PDO as they taught me
how to teach and learn the real-world application of petroleum
engineering," said Dr. Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy, Minister of Oil
and Gas. "We need to find areas for collaboration, and we can start
now by identifying professors throughout Academia who can spend
time in industry," Dr. Al-Rumhy added at the signing of the Protocol in
his office today.
The R&D Protocol, which was harvested from a series of
industry-academia workshops facilitated by Gulf Intelligence through
2015-16, calls upon companies and universities that ratify the
agreement to adhere to a series of recommendations, which are
designed to develop a mission critical research ecosystem working on
behalf of Oman's energy industry. Much of the country's oil reserves
are classed as 'heavy oil' and require specialist technology to maximize
production, such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies.
Bridging the gap between Oman's energy Industry and
Academia to develop a vibrant research and development culture of
collaboration could take three to five years to embed, according to
almost two thirds of the 150 stakeholders polled in a GIQ Survey
conducted late last year.
"The alignment between Oman's Industry and Academia must be
improved in order for Oman to deliver an enhanced R&D ecosystem
that fosters efficient public-private partnerships," said Raoul Restucci,
Managing Director of PDO. "It is important to better integrate and lever
Academia and to ensure a full and seamless understanding of the
challenges industry faces in technology, innovation, and even
legislative or economic hurdles-- and work with private and public
companies to find solutions".
"For many years, PDO has embraced innovation and worked diligently
with our partners and stakeholders to develop talented Omani
students, professionals and businesses in areas of operational,
technical and commercial delivery and value creation and this
agreement will give this work added impetus".
While Oman has been improving its R&D infrastructure, many
observe that most new innovative technologies are still imported
through international partnerships and not developed locally in the
Sultanate. In order for this trend to change, it is necessary to bolster
the national capacity for R&D by developing and deepening
collaboration between industry, academia, and government throughout
"Academia cannot do research for research sake; efforts have to be
focused in order to deliver applied results that are useful to the
profitability of Industry and to Oman as a whole," said Dr. Hilal al-Hinai,
Secretary General of the Research Council. "Leveraging the
considerable opportunity in Oman is a journey that must be equally
shared by Industry and Academia. The success of these partnerships
is integral to Oman's economic health, as oil and gas production
accounted for the vast majority of government revenues in 2015," Dr.
al-Hinai said after signing the Protocol document with Restucci.
The R&D Protocol will be implemented through a digital platform
where industry, academia, and government can connect around
research and innovation activities, based on an uber like virtual market
place model. The platform will be managed by the Institute of
Advanced Technology Integration (IATI) formed by the Research
Council and PDO.
The platform will provide numerous resources for both industry
and academia, such as access to a researchers' directory, which will
contain searchable profiles of researchers and institutions in Oman. It
will also provide access to a 'staff mobility' scheme that facilitates
secondment from academia to industry and vice versa, and access to
an application process to utilize industrial facilities for the purpose of
research and innovation.
Copyright (C) 2017. Oman News Agency. All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. ( Syndigate.info ).
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|Publication:||Oman News Agency|
|Date:||Jun 5, 2017|
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