The Ministry of Technology and Communications (MTC) has announced the formation of a Technological Innovation Committee to counter impacts of COVID-19.
The committee will be headed by H E Azza bint Sulaiman al Ismaili, Minister of Technology and Communications, and comprise representatives from the Ministry of Health, Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, Sultan Qaboos University, The Research Council, Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn), Oman Technology Fund (OTF) and Oman ICT Group.
The step comes in coordination with the Supreme Committee for dealing with COVID-19 and in line with the government’s efforts to limit the impact caused by the spread of the virus. The committee will supervise all IT initiatives directed to counter COVID-19, identifying priorities and requirements to ensure diversity of initiatives and avoid repetition.
‘It will also organise and direct specialised national capabilities to provide innovative IT solutions to curb the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) through several aspects such as rapid diagnostic and epidemiological investigation, provision of medicine and remote healthcare in addition to providing health and medication supplies and prevention techniques. The committee will also work to promote quarantine and social distancing measures and find a unified mechanism to enhance social solidarity,’ a statement said.
A specialised team will be formed by the committee which will include Omani competencies in the field of innovation and business analysis and work on evaluating the proposed ICT projects.
It will also be responsible for granting funding approvals for the projects and providing them with the required support after getting the approval from the technical team along with strengthening the partnership between the government and private sectors to support manufacturing and production of the technologies of urgent priority.
In addition, it will work to find a mechanism to improve the competitive advantage of the innovative national technologies, ensuring their continuation in local markets and developing and implementing awareness programmes to ensure wider use of these solutions and applications.
H E Azza stated, “Nowadays, modern technologies play an important role in providing solutions to many challenges faced by people throughout the world and we have witnessed many experiences in a number of areas including: the health sector. We have noticed during the past weeks a number of technological initiatives from some individuals and companies as ICT solutions to tackle some of the repercussions of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and here lies the role of this committee to streamline and support all the national technological innovations to complement the efforts made by the Ministry of Health.
“Therefore, we call on all innovators in the field of emerging technologies, whether individuals or private sector companies to contact us through the MTC website to provide them with the consultancy and support for their initiatives to become technological solutions contributing to mitigate the severity of coronavirus outbreak.”
She added, “We are fully confident that the young Omani talents with their capabilities will excel and impress us with their innovations.”
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