Oman Observer

MUSCAT, A total of 95 large-scale research projects addressing real-world issues in sustainable social and economic development have been funded by His Majesty’s Trust Fund since its establishment in 2001. This was revealed at the third edition of the forum on Projects Funded by His Majesty’s Trust Fund for Strategic Projects held at the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) on Tuesday under the auspices of Dr Hilal bin Ali al Hinai, Secretary-General of The Research Council. His Majesty’s Trust Fund for Strategic Research is a key enabler of innovative, high-impact research at SQU and across the Sultanate.

While College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences conducted the maximum number of 23 projects, the College of Science and College of Medicine and Health Sciences did 18 and 15 projects, respectively. Other institutions that conducted the researches included the College of Education at 11, the College of Arts and Social Sciences 9. This is followed by eight research projects at the College of Engineering, seven at the College of Economics and Political Science, one at the College of Nursing, and three projects conducted by various research centres at SQU. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Rahma Ibrahim al Mahrooqi, SQU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, said that establishment of the fund is the result of His Majesty’s generosity and foresight.

The projects supported by His Majesty’s Fund have the country’s strategic development goals as their foundation. They are conducted for social, cultural and economic enhancement of Oman and its people. “In its quest for sustainable growth, Oman remains committed to economic diversification, knowledge generation and development of human capital across strategic fields,” Dr Rahma said. Projects supported by His Majesty’s Fund are selected for their innovative, multi-disciplinary nature and their ability to contribute to long-term strategic development objectives.

One of the main aims of the Fund is to support projects that have high potential of generating innovative knowledge, products and services that result in significant socio-economic benefits for the Sultanate. The knowledge created by these projects often stands on the cutting edge of theoretical understandings and practical approaches both within and across fields. “As a result, they not only contribute to the university’s innovative output in terms of research papers, patents and licenses, but also help provide the nucleus of SQU’s centres of excellence across strategic fields,” the deputy vice chancellor said. This is evident in the university’s 14 research centres and growing number of research chairs in addition to the advancement of its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, Dr Rahma added.

In 2018, His Majesty’s Trust Fund awarded six research projects. Of these, two projects each have been awarded for researchers working on projects in the College of Science and the College of Education, in addition to one project each for the College of Medicine and Health Sciences and the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences. The forum consisted of nine presentations by research team leaders, question-answer sessions and awarding of certificates. The event was sponsored by Oman LNG Development Foundation as a silver sponsor.