Muscat – The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation (MoHERI) marked the successful conclusion of the inaugural Oman Innovation Festival on Saturday at the Muscat Innovation Complex.
Over the six days, the festival served as a hub of creativity, culminating in the announcement of winners across multiple competitions including the Energy Hackathon, Governorates Innovation, and the Together We Innovate contest.
The festival’s highlight, the Energy Hackathon, saw the Stellar Team from Oman clinching first place with their innovative self-cleaning solar panel system designed to enhance energy efficiency by combating dust accumulation using smart technology.
Following closely were the EcoSat team from the UAE with their AI and satellite imagery-based air pollution measurement solution, and the Carbo-EcoGen System team from Oman and Qatar, introducing a device to convert air-borne carbon into methane for electricity generation.
In the field of regional innovation, South Sharqiyah governorate took the top spot in the Governorates Innovation Competition with a bio-insecticide project to fight the palm weevil using AI, showcasing Oman’s commitment to integrating technology with traditional sectors like agriculture.
The festival also shone a spotlight on individual innovators, with Dr Khalsa bint Hamad al Bahariya’s ‘Virtual Science Laboratory’ project winning the Together We Innovate competition for best overall innovation. Other notable projects included Naqla in tourism, Eternal Days in education, and several others in sectors such as cybersecurity, food security, and energy.
Ibrahim bin Ahmed al Balushi, Director of the Oman Innovation Festival, reflected on the festival as a melting pot where innovators connected with both governmental and private sector supporters.
The event fostered discussions on innovation-enabling legislation and challenges, aiming to devise actionable solutions for the future.
The festival’s comprehensive agenda featured an exhibition of innovations, the Bridge Program for startup investment opportunities, and the Innovation and Knowledge-Based Economy Forum in partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Notably, the festival facilitated dialogue on innovation, signed several research and cooperation agreements, and offered extensive training and workshops to over 1,500 participants, underscoring Oman’s proactive stance in nurturing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.
As the festival closed, H E Dr Saif bin Abdullah al Haddabi, Undersecretary for Scientific Research and Innovation in the MoHERI, honoured the winners, celebrating the festival’s role in propelling Oman towards a future of innovation and knowledge-based economy.
With over 50 activities, the Oman Innovation Festival not only highlighted the nation’s creative potential but also strengthened its position as a hub for scientific and technological advancement in the region.