Muscat – The fifth edition of the Upgrade programme hosted the last stage of evaluation before announcement of the winners on December 15 at Innovation Park Muscat of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation recently.
The programme transforms the best graduation projects utilising Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies into successful ICT startups for the socio-economic benefit of Oman.
For the final evaluation stage, ten teams qualified to present their ideas to a panel consisting of experts and specialist in the field. The jury will select three teams as winners of this year’s programme who will be announced in the Eighth Annual Research Forum and Upgrade ceremony on December 15. The winning teams will be provided incubation services, business and marketing consultation, and networking and mentoring opportunities. Workshops and lectures will be held for the winning teams at the ministry’s incubation centre.
Upgrade is a competition-based programme in which the winners are assisted in transforming their graduation projects into startups in the ICT sector.
Topics included in the Upgrade programme include Smart Cities, Internet of Things, Information Security, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Blockchain.
It is a collaboration between the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, which is involved in the programme’s management and regulation, Omantel that looks into seed funding and financing, and Oman Technology Fund that is responsible for training and investment preparations.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth looks into professional and leadership development, Sas Centre for Entrepreneurship of the Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology is involved in mentoring, coaching and consulting services, and the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development provides commercial, financial and marketing guidance to the winning teams.