Innovation Hub (I-Hub) is a fully activated pilot project to spearhead the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and unleash new possibilities for economic diversification, wealth and job creation. It acts as an innovation platform to support local innovators to transform their ideas into business by funding, mentoring, linking and knowledge networking, and facilitating the commercialization process.
Through the Innovation Hub, The Research Council has initiated the Individual Innovation Competition Scheme, which aims to support individuals by fostering entrepreneurship driven by science, technology and innovation. The main scope of this competition is to convert original ideas with clear commercial potential into a working prototype; and technology validation/process standardization for new product development at the local level.
The competition is open to all Omani individuals above 18 years of age, including but not limited to students, entrepreneurs, faculty from academic institutions, jobseekers, etc., who apply as the principal applicant. Co-applicant(s) can be non-Omani nationals/ residents.
The entry process starts with I-Hub registration. All entries will have to identify and avail the services of suitable prototyping service providers for their project. These agencies include, but are not limited to, research institutions, prototyping agencies, machinery developers, etc., either local or international.
The competition has two rounds of filtration, based on assessment of the short proposal and a comprehensive proposal. Principal applicants before the final filtration are invited to make a pitch to the national evaluation committee.
The fundamental evaluation criteria are the innovation component, business opportunity, its capacity for commercial success in the near future and overall technological and socio-economic benefit to Oman.