Muscat, 2 Aug (ONA) --- Oman Research and Education Network (OMREN) of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MoHERI) in collaboration the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) have announced a call for action to recognize and foster the role of National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) across the Arab regions during their annual conference. The call of action focused on addressing the official authorities in the Arab countries, including ministries concerned and stakeholders, in addition to joint Arab action institutions led by the Arab League to work on developing and improving the infrastructure for research and education at the national and regional levels in the Arab region.
The set of recommendations, as announced in the conference, stressed the necessity and urgency for developing an NRENs in each of the countries that currently are without NREN. This should be associated with governance and sustainability plans and actions. It also called for supporting existing NRENs in the Arab countries by providing them with the required capacities, capabilities and funding successful NRENs models in some Arab countries.
The conference also called for the necessity and urgency for supporting the development of a regional Pan-Arab Research and Education Network to facilitate research and education (R&E) collaboration across the Arab countries and beyond by endorsing the ongoing mission of the Arab States Research and Education Network.
The set of recommendations also called upon NRENs in the GCC region to join forces among each other and with ASREN for optimized national/international Internet capacity deployment, for creating an Arab-wide sharing and learning community and for ensuring participation in discussions and activities of the global R&E networking community.
Asserting on the importance of this call of action, Dr. Saif al-Haddabi, Undersecretary for Research and Innovation at MoHERI, said, “We are proud of OMREN’s achievements and what it has provided for the development of research and education in the Sultanate and beyond. This confirms how the Sultanate recognizes the importance of supporting and developing the infrastructure for research and education, enhancing its capabilities and providing it with the necessary resources. We call on all the Arab countries to work on developing their infrastructure. We are pleased to share the experience of Oman for those who wish to benefit from.”
Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of ASREN, praised the cooperation with OMREN by saying “There are Arab countries that have achievements in the field of research and education infrastructure, and we call on other Arab countries to build research and education networks and strengthen them with the necessary resources and equipment to ensure their sustainability and development, especially in the fields of open science, open access and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’’.
During the conference, the Ministry and ASREN recalled the role of the late Dr. Abdulmonem al-Kharusi, Director of OMREN (2014-2021), with his significant contribution to OMREN and to the Arab NRENs as well.
OMREN conducted its annual OMREN Technology Summit (OTS) on 31 May 2021 under the patronage and support of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and with the participation of ASREN. The event attracted more than 500 participants from 20 countries, featuring 26 speakers.
The discussions at the event laid emphasis on enhancing research and education, through the development of a robust, sustainable and reliable research and education (R&E) infrastructure typically provided by the Research and Education Networks at both regional and national levels.