The seventh Annual Research Forum organised by the Research and Innovation Sector of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation took place on Monday at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat, under the patronage of H H Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham bin Tarik al Said, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth.
At the event, which was held in the presence of H E Dr Rahma bint Ibrahim bin Said al Mahrouqiyah, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and a number of ministers, researchers and academics, the 12 winners for the National Research Award (NRA) were announced.
H E Dr Saif bin Abdullah al Haddabi, Undersecretary for Research and Innovation in the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, highlighted the main objectives and achievements of the sector and stressed on the importance of maintaining the harmony between the research and innovation sector, the National Strategy for Research and Development 2040, the National Innovation Strategy and Oman Vision 2040 in terms of vision, goals and strategic directions.
As part of the forum’s activities, the Oman Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Centre launched its new identity and brand name ‘Mawarid’.
The National Research Award winners were selected in the best published research led by a PhD holder or equivalent (senior specialist or higher in the medical field) category and the best published research led by a young researcher (a non-PhD holder) category.
Under the PhD category, Prof Constantinos Chryssou from Muscat University won in the Education and Human Resources field for his project titled ‘University–industry interactions in the Sultanate of Oman: Challenges and opportunities’.
Two teams won in the Information Systems and Communication Technologies field – Dr Hedi Haddad from Dhofar University for his project ‘Transportation Service Redundancy from a Spatio-Temporal Perspective’ and Dr Ashraf Saleem from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) for his project ‘Cooperative Cruise Controller for Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Vehicle Platoon System’.
In the Environmental and Biological Resources field, the award went to ‘Enhanced power generation and desalination rate in a novel quadruple microbial desalination cell with a single desalination chamber’ by Dr Tahereh Jafary (SQU, International Maritime College Oman), while in the Health and Social Service field, the award went to ‘Clonal copy-number mosaicism in autoreactive T lymphocytes in diabetic NOD mice’ by Dr Maha al Riyami (SQU).
As for the Energy and Industry field, Dr Chaham Alalouch from SQU took the award for his project ‘Energy saving potential for residential buildings in hot climates: The case of Oman’.
Under the Young Researcher’s category, Hanan al Burashdi from the Ministry of Education took the award for her project ‘The effectiveness of using the Course Lab program in improving the academic achievement and the attitudes toward science among 10th grade students in Oman’ in the Education and Human Resources field.
In the Information Systems and Communication Technologies field, the award went to ‘AMACoT: A Marketplace Architecture for Trading Cloud of Things Resources’ by Ahmed al Rawahi from the University of Technology and Applied Sciences Nizwa.
Two teams won in the Environmental and Biological Resources field: ‘Fungal Diversity in Tomato Rhizosphere Soil under Conventional and Desert Farming Systems’ by Elham Kazerooni from SQU and ‘Detecting Dubas bug infestations using high resolution multispectral satellite data in Oman’ by Dr Rashid al Shidi from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources.
For the Health and Social Service field, the award went to ‘MOVEdiabetes: A cluster randomised controlled trial to increase physical activity in adults with type 2 diabetes in primary health care in Oman’ by Dr Thamra al Ghafri from the Ministry of Health, while ‘Investigating the technical feasibility of various energy carriers for alternative and sustainable overseas energy transport scenarios’ by Mohammed al Breiki from Hamad bin Khalifa University took the award in the Energy and Industry field.
The award for the Cultural, Basic, and Social Sciences field was withheld this year for both the PhD and Young Researcher’s categories. The National Research Award in 2020 saw 218 research applications.