In line with Oman Vision 2040: Preparing the Annual Research Forum and announcing the National Research Award winners
HE Dr. Saif bin Abdullah Al Hiddabi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation for Research and Innovation, said: The preparations for the establishment and organization of the seventh edition of the Annual Research Forum have been completed, with the winners of the National Research Award in its seventh edition will be announced next Monday January 18, 2021.
His Excellency stated that the seventh edition of the Annual Research Forum coincides this year with the Sultanate’s celebrations of the first anniversary of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq’s rule of the country, who emphasized in his February 23 2020 speech the importance of research and innovation in the Sultanate, as the ministry is working to prepare its national strategies in line with Oman Vision 2040 under the leadership of His Majesty.
HE Dr. Al Hiddabi indicated that the forum this year will be under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Dhi Yazan bin Haitham Al Said, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, and in the presence of Her Excellency Dr. Rahma bint Ibrahim Al Mahrouqi, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and a number of ministers, researchers, academics and National Research Award winners. His Excellency confirmed that the forum will be conducted both offline and online through various virtual programs and social media channels in compliance with the COVID-19 regulations.
His Excellency emphasized in the press statement: The current edition of the National Research Award has witnessed great competition from researchers to participate in it, and this was evident in the high number of competitors in the various fields of the award. The award also witnessed the participation of researchers from outside the Sultanate in cooperation with Omani researchers. Moreover, the fact that that the award winners are from various academic and scientific institutions is a clear indication that the mission of scientific research, innovation and development has reached different sectors of the county in line with Oman Vision 2040, which focuses on education, learning, scientific research and innovation as its first strategic goal.
In his statement, His Excellency pointed out that the ceremony program will include a virtual keynote speech by one of the international figures in the field of scientific research and innovation, discussing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the role of scientific research and innovation in facing this type of crisis. The Research and Innovation Sector will also give a presentation on aspects of the executive plan of the National Strategy for Research and Development 2040.
In regards to the importance of the National Research Award, His Excellency maintained that the award aims to motivate researchers to conduct research of high quality and national importance to the Sultanate, and to train national cadres capable of competition. He stated the award is divided into two categories; best published research led by a PhD holder or equivalent (senior specialist or higher in the medical field) and best published research led by a young researcher (a non-PhD holder), while the research fields include Education and Human Resources, Information and Communication Technologies, Health and Social Services, Cultural, Social, and Basic Sciences, Energy and Industry, and Environmental and Biological Resources.
It is worth noting that the statistics of the applications submitted in the various rounds of the award until the 2020 edition indicate a gradual and continuous increase in the number of applicants in the various categories of the award, as 218 scientific publications were received, an increase of 34.6% over the previous version. For 2020, there has been 152 competitors in the PhD category, an increase of 44 competitors from the last edition, while the number of competitors in the Young Researcher’s category has also increased, reaching 66 competitors, which is 12 more from the last edition. The total number of competitors in this edition therefore exceeded the two hundred competitors for the first time in the history of the National Research Award, reaching 218 competitors, which reflects the stability of the foundations on which the award was based, and its great importance to researchers.
The number of competitors in the National Research Award was divided according to the award’s six fields, as follows, with the number of competing research in the Cultural, Social, and Basic Sciences field reaching 31 research, in the Education and Human Resources field reaching 49 research, in the Energy and Industry field reaching 30 research, the Environmental and Biological Resources field reaching 31 research, the Health and Social Services field reaching 44 research, and lastly in the Information and Communication Technologies field reaching 33 research.