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Higher Education Announces Winners of 8th National Research Award




Muscat, 15 Dec (ONA)--- The 8th edition of the Annual Research Forum organized by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation took place today at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat.


The event was held under the patronage of Dr. Said Mohammed Al Saqri, Minister of Economy in the presence of Dr. Rahma Ibrahim Al Mahrooqi, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.


During the event, winners of the 8th National Research Award and the 5th Upgrade program were announced.


The forum began with a welcoming speech by Dr. Al Mahrooqi, who stressed the importance of the National Research Award which comes in alignment with the goals of Oman Vision 2040 as it seeks to raise the quality of research and knowledge output at the national level.


Then, 13 winning research projects out of the 243 projects submitted this year for the National Research Award (NRA) were announced.


The winner projects divided 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 (non-PhD holder) category.


Under the PhD category, (A Centralised Cloud Services Repository (CCSR) Framework for Optimal Cloud Service Advertisement Discovery from Heterogenous Web Portals) by Dr. Asma Al Kalbani from the University of Technology and Applied Sciences Ibri won in the information and communication technologies sector. In the energy and industry sector, the award went to (exploring the potential of solar, tidal, and wind energy resources in Oman using an integrated climatic-socioeconomic approach) by Dr. Mohamed Hereher from the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU). Two teams won in the Cultural, Social and Basic Sciences sector; (management strategies for supply risk dependencies: empirical evidence from the gulf region) by Dr. Zainab Al Balushi from the SQU) and (mapping road traffic crash hotspots using GIS-based methods: A case study of the Governorate of Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman) by Dr. Amira Al Aamri. Lastly, in the environmental and biological resources sector, the award went to (investigating the efficiency of greenhouse production in Oman): A two-stage approach based on data envelopment analysis and double bootstrapping by Dr. Nawal Al Mezeini. Under the Young Researcher’s category, ‘Detection and Trust Evaluation of the SGN Malicious node’ by Faisal Al Yahmadi from Military Technological College took the award in the Information and Communication Technologies sector.


For the education and human resources sector, the award went to (The Situation of Entrepreneurship Education and Future Technology in Omani Schools) by Yasir Al Shuhumi from the Ministry of Education. (A novel and selective multi-emission chemiluminescence system for the quantification of deltamethrin in food samples) by Iman Al Yahyai from the SQU took the award in the cultural, social and basic sciences sector, while (Operational modifications of a full-scale experimental vertical flow constructed wetland with effluent recirculation to optimize total nitrogen removal) by Buthaina Al Wahaibi. (Oman Wastewater Services Company SAOC) was awarded in the environmental and biological resources sector.


In addition to announcing the winners of the NRA, the forum also announced the three winning teams of the 5th edition of Upgrade program, which transforms the best graduation projects in the 4th Industrial Revolution technologies into successful ICT startups to bring socio-economic benefit to the Sultanate of Oman.


Upgrade is a collaborative partnership between the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Omantel, Oman Technology Fund (OTF), Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, Sas Center of the Ministry of Technology and Communications and the Authority for SME Development.


The winning projects of this year’s Upgrade program were awarded to (Industrial IoT for Operational Efficiency Improvement) by Ahmed Al Ghadani from the National University of Science and Technology, (Development of AI based Arabic Natural Language Processing of sentiment analysis application software for national security and planning) by Ali Al Harthi and Safiya Al Harthi from the Middle East College and (Thermal Infra-Red Imaging Assessment of Solar PV Modules) by Al Qaisar Al Aamri, Majid Al Omairi and Sultan Al Shabibi, SQU.


Eng. Aladdin Baitfadhil, Vice President Consumer Business Unit at Omantel, said “Entrepreneurship constitutes one of the most important areas of focus for government efforts aimed at creating job opportunities and self-employment for Omani youth. For this purpose, Upgrade seeks to benefit from graduation projects in the areas of the 4th Industrial Revolution in various universities and colleges, which seeks to find innovative solutions to the challenges and problems we face in our daily lives and turn them into innovative entrepreneurial projects by providing the required funding for the winning projects and incubating the projects in Omantel Innovation Labs, as well as providing the necessary guidance, training in addition to other services”.


The forum also included signing a cooperation agreement on “Oman Innovate Platform”, which is a unified digital platform that transforms ideas into direct and indirect profits through the integration of efforts and the establishment of an effective digital environment that contributes to building a knowledge-based society and economy.


The agreement was signed among the founding parties, namely the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Omantel, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), Oman Information Technology and Communications Group of Oman Investment Authority, the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn) and the Authority for SME Development.


The Annual Research Forum concluded on a note about the importance of enhancing the research and innovation culture in the Sultanate of Oman, promoting creativity and entrepreneurial potential among Omani citizens, as well as developing new ways to turn Oman into a knowledge-based economy and society in lines with Oman Vision 2040.