Muscat – The volume of expenditures on scientific research in the sultanate reached RO66mn
in 2018, according to the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation (MoHESRI).
Dr Sharifa bint Hamoud al Harthiya, director general of research at MoHESRI, said that the effective research capacity in Oman is approximately 400 researchers per million people.
“There are several challenges facing the financing of scientific research in Oman, such as the weak contribution of private sector companies in spending on research and development, and a shortage in the number of researchers, scientists and engineers working in research activities,” said Dr Sharifa.
She explained, “We need to encourage higher education institutions such as universities, colleges and private sector companies to allocate budgets within their strategic plans to finance scientific research and development activities and build national research and innovation capacities.”
Talking about funding scientific research, she said, “The institutional funding programme targets higher education institutions that contribute to scientific and knowledge production of scientific publications and patents, in addition to the programme directed to the government sector represented in strategic research and the programme directed to the industrial sector.”
“There is also the ‘Innovation Oman’ platform which aims to transform the outputs of scientific research into economic and social returns, and establish startups led by innovation and contribute to the industry of the national economy based on knowledge,” said Dr Sharifa.
She emphasised on the importance of enabling innovation incubators in schools, universities and society in all governorates of the Sultanate of Oman, stressing that the ministry, in this context, has begun establishing six schools in Oman.
Dr Sharifa urges the private sector to support and finance scientific research because its current contribution is estimated at only 30 per cent of the funding for scientific research in the sultanate, and its percentage is supposed to reach 70 per cent.