Oman Observer

Suhar: Implementation Support and Follow up Unit (ISFU) has announced the establishment of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Metal Dies and Moulds Designing and Manufacturing plant. The two projects were established by Sohar University, in cooperation with Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The move comes within the framework of the government’s efforts to enhance in-country value (ICV), as well as part of the government’s projects and plans to enhance the economic diversification. Sohar Production aims to support manufacturing and industrial innovation and SMEs and strengthen its ability to attract investments in manufacturing sector, which will work on designing and manufacturing the products inside the Sultanate.

Prof Ghassan al Kindi, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, and the executive team lead for the initiative, stated that the Sultanate has focused on promoting the advanced manufacturing.

“Sohar Production” initiative is considered an essential step to move forward in transferring technology through showing the potentials of the projects and provide international partnerships for both projects from one hand, and with academic and industrial sectors in the Sultanate on the other hand, in addition to strengthening work of innovative environmental systems. The initiative will work on coordinating partnership mechanisms with manufacturing and research institutes to test and develop the technology and explore ways to market the products.

Al Kindi also indicated that this initiative is considered a crucial step in the academic level as it will provide academic and training qualitative programmes during the coming period. He also pointed out that these projects will work on finding and activating the integration between academic and industrial entities, so as to invest in the potentials and expertise available in the Sultanate. This will help students and graduates in building their capacities to work on the advanced techniques, and improve the skills of citizens working in plants or those who will be employed in the different manufacturing plants.

Further, Al Kindi clarified that 11 agreements, a cooperation programme and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) were signed with a number of industrial entities whether locally or internationally. Internationally, a number of agreements and MoUs were signed with different entities and companies to obtain the required technology, provide the technical support and establish specialised training centre to train Omani cadres. These cadres are trained to use designing and manufacturing systems CAD/CAM, and operate and programme specialised cutting machines (CNC), and development programmes for human resources to exchange knowledge and meet the requirements of engineering and industrial consultations.

Locally, memorandums of cooperation with a number of governmental and private companies were also signed to increase the ICV, localise technology and design moulds.

This step is part of the framework that aims to reach self-sufficiency in the demands for the moulds and within a shared working programme in plastic technology.

Sami al Sahib, Director-General of Industry in MoCI, stated that the ministry works on developing the industrial innovation, which is considered one of the most important enablers in the sector, through building human resources in innovation and establishing a manufacturing research centre, in cooperation with Sohar University.

In addition, the initiative will work on promoting Oman’s strategic relations with manufacturing and international research centres. The government has supported both projects through government grants, and provided all required facilitation. It is expected that the official opening will be in the third quarter of 2020.  

Al Sahib pointed out that this initiative will work on establishing manufacturing platform to incubate and develop the industrial innovations and support Omani innovators. ISFU provides support to the governmental entities that are in charge of the economic sectors, in the stage of implementing the projects and initiatives.

These projects and initiatives have been developed to contribute in establishing a national and sustainable economy through a clear governance system and work methodology that focus on resolving challenges, in cooperation with the relevant entities. — ONA