To underline latest trends in the field of science and technology parks, and to achieve an overall sustainable development in this area, the IASP-Asian Division Workshop commenced yesterday (Wednesday) under the auspices of H.E. Dr. Hilal bin Ali Al Hinai, Secretary-General of the Research Council at the Grand Hyatt Muscat. Hosted by Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) in cooperation with the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP), the two-day event is held under the theme “Propelling the STP impulse”.
Delivering the opening speech, Eng. Mohamed Al Maskari, Director General of KOM, emphasised that the Knowledge Oasis Muscat always strives to enrich the vital areas of science and technology, which represent important pillars built upon the economy in general and the knowledge-based economy in particular.
“The workshop comes in collaboration with the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP), which is known as one of the vital international organisations concerned with the development of science parks and areas of innovation, and it currently embraces around 398 members from 70 countries,” Al Maskari said, adding: “Knowledge Oasis Muscat was selected to head the West Asia division of this significant and influential international organisation. In fact, KOM was chosen for its continuous efforts to advance the knowledge-based economy.”
Speaking on behalf of IASP, Mr. Luis Sanz, IASP Director General, noted that the Sultanate is witnessing a notable progress observed through several initiatives in the fields of science, technology and innovation. “These fields are highly regarded and recognised worldwide; and our association always endeavours to promote science, technology and innovation fields,” Sanz commented.
The IASP-Asian Divisions Workshop brings together three eminent speakers to deliberate and debate on focal topics under the main theme in the presence of STP experts, entrepreneurs, academia and public and private sector representatives. Kick-starting the event, Dr. Abdullah Al Zakwani, Executive Director, Industrial Innovation Centre of Oman, shared his opinion on the ways the development of STPs will aid entrepreneurial pursuits as well as local companies and thus enlighten attendees on how STPs serve entrepreneurs and foster local successful businesses.
He was followed by Dr. Abdulbaqi Al Khabouri, Director of Science Parks at TRC, who provided attendees insight into long term STP infrastructure planning and thus set the thought process in motion as to how one may build, create and sustain STP infrastructure in the long term.
Today (Thursday), Dr. Abdulaziz Al Dusari, CEO, Riyadh Techno Valley – King Saud University will oversee the third workshop focusing on STP governance (ownership and management) where he will elaborate on STP governance strategies, detecting STP strengths, weaknesses, management profiles and competences and relationship management with STP stakeholders.
The workshop receives strong support from Omantel as Gold Sponsor; Oman Arab Bank and Innovation Park Muscat (IPM) as Silver Sponsors and Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) as Partner.