Shumookh Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), which is affiliated to Shumookh Investment and Services, the investment arm of the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates – Madayn, has signed a cooperation programme agreement with Sultan Qaboos University to support scientific research and innovative ideas in SQU and transform them into successful commercial projects with economic returns.
The cooperation programme was signed by Hilal bin Hamad al Hasani, CEO of Madayn and chairman SIDF, and Dr Rahma bint Ibrahim al Mahrooqi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research at SQU.
Commenting on the agreement, Hasani stated that SIDF and SQU are collaborating to establish a joint framework through which innovative ideas and new research that are conducted by SQU’s students, academics, and researchers from various colleges and research centres can be transformed into commercial projects that are economically feasible and able to add value to the market.
“Such efforts aim at achieving one of the objectives of SIDF which is to boost industrial development and entrepreneurship awareness through financing industries, building their production capabilities, and creating links between universities, research institutes, and manufacturing units to transfer new ideas, business projects, and advanced technologies to the industrial sectors,” Hasani pointed out.
Dr Rahma said that the programme is derived from SQU’s keenness and constant endeavours to enhance investment in knowledge and employ the qualitative outputs of scientific research and innovation, and intellectual activities that are conducted at the university. “By maximising the benefits of these activities and transforming them into emerging companies that provide valuable products and services to the market, this will play a role in creating new job opportunities for the youth, accelerating growth and economic diversification, and achieving a knowledge-based economy in the country,” she said.
“This will be done according to clear criteria and mechanism agreed upon under the cooperation programme with SIDF. All the submitted projects will go through several evaluation phases, which include assessment of the project’s scope, preparation of a feasibility study, among other phases, and the final phase will incorporate securing potential investors for each project,” she added.
The Shumookh Investment and Services – the investment arm of Madayn – established SIDF in cooperation with Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) aims at investing in companies associated with the industrial cities in the sultanate. SIDF also aims to achieve the objectives of these companies, enhance their growth, and consequently achieve economic returns that contribute in boosting gross domestic product.
The fund invests its capital in these companies using a pre-defined exit strategy for an investment period ranging from four to six years in a variety of opportunities. SIDF complements the efforts of Madayn to develop companies within its industrial cities and achieve its objective in diversifying income sources of the national economy.