At its second meeting in March 2014, The Research Council approved the results of a study prepared in cooperation with Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres on the establishment of the Institute of Advanced Technology Integration (IATI). The institute hopes to become a new model in the Sultanate, aimed at helping establish a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the fields of research and science.
The institute is set to function as intermediary between the industry and business sector and the academic sector, targeting scientific research that can be developed into new, marketable technologies and innovative products.
The objective behind establishing the institution is also to create a stimulating research environment for academic and expert researchers, enabling them to conduct research in Oman’s economic development sector. This will help the Sultanate meet market demands and tackle current challenges.
IATA will also focus on innovation, addressing scientific and technical challenges communities are facing, with a team of researchers working based on different key sectors. In coordination with public, private and academic institutions, TRC concluded that there are three key sectors which form the framework for IATA:
(1) Water (2) Renewable energy (3) Oil and gas
Three collaboration agreements were signed with three research centers linked to Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres that allow research in the water and renewable energy sector throughout the early phase of establishment.
With growing demands for water in light of Oman’s multi-faceted social, economic and touristic development, research on water is especially important.
The first project is set to track water movement and determine ways to control pollution in marine environments. Project number 2 aims at purifying and processing water from non-conventional water sources using decentralized systems, far from central sewage systems. The third project corresponds to the Sultanate’s current policies on renewable energy, looking at the utilization of solar and geothermal energy as potential source to store energy, generate electricity and reduce the use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions.