Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation for Higher Education, Ericsson and Oman’s Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation (MoHERI) celebrate the outstanding work by students in a ceremony at Oman’s Center of Excellence (CoE) for Advanced Telecommunications Technology and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The students worked on two projects: the IoT technical mentorship program and the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Innovation Challenge. The initiatives are ongoing, with further impressive results expected in the future. Both projects will support Oman and Ericsson’s commitment to social corporate responsibility (SCR), in-country value (ICV), and children in ICT (Information and Communication Technologies).
A selected group of talented students from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) participated in the IoT technical mentorship program at Innovation Park Muscat, where they learned how to leverage the latest IoT technologies to develop three IoT use cases relating to the nation’s agriculture and water sectors.
In total, 15 determined undergraduate and postgraduate students were successfully mentored by Ericsson’s professionals and IoT experts, mastering basic concepts and IoT applications, culminating in testing and implementation.
The six-month initiative covered a diverse variety of engineering disciplines such as Mechatronics, Telecommunications, Computer, Agricultural, and Architecture, plus Electronic Instrumentation & Control and Communication & Signal Processing. The students worked in multi-disciplinary teams, and project-managed using agile principles to deliver industry-standard prototypes.
Alongside the IoT technical mentorship program, the New York Academy of Sciences, Ericsson, and Oman’s Center of Excellence teamed up to offer Omani students the opportunity to collaborate globally on a STEM Innovation Challenge. Aiming to upskill Omani youths, two cohorts took place in 2022.
Teams of up to six students aged 13 to 17 were paired with a mentor – a STEM professional, a graduate student, or a post-doctoral fellow. The projects were varied under the theme: How can we use STEM to enhance communities?
A total of 194 Omani students took part in the Winter Challenge, focusing on smart home-related technologies. The enthusiastic teams designed smart homes that integrated IoT and artificial intelligence to collect, process, and store environmental and health data. That information was used to promote the sustainable use of energy and improve the physical and mental health of residents. Other teams used technology to boost Wi-Fi performance and the quality of life for people facing mobility challenges. Additional focus areas included exploring how virtual reality strengthens interactions with smart devices and incentivizes their use, saving families money.
The success of the Winter Challenge attracted a great deal of interest, leading to 453 international students being accepted to the Spring iteration, of which 79 students are Omanis. The challenge centered on the green redesign of cities using 5G and IoT technologies.
The Center of Excellence for Advanced Communication Technologies and the Internet of Things located in the Muscat Innovation Park, which was established in partnership between the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation, and the Ministry of Finance, the Swedish company Ericsson, and Oman Telecommunications Company – Omantel, seeks to provide a stimulating environment that qualifies the Omani cadres with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Internet of Things technologies to keep pace with the rapid developments in technology, alongside the launch of 5G networks and the increasing reliance on the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. Thanks to its programs the center constitutes an innovative environment to meet the national priorities in the areas of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, by focusing on creating smart paths that serve these priorities. The participating students were able to devise innovative solutions for future global aspirations such as green hydrogen, sustainable cities, and Internet of Things. We aspire to transform the scientific knowledge resulting from the outputs of these winning projects into innovative products by establishing startups that lead the knowledge-based national economy by enabling the inputs of scientific research and innovation to knowledge outputs.Dr. Saif bin Abdullah Al-Hadabi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation for Higher Education
The Center of Excellence in Innovation Park Muscat brings together Ericsson’s long-standing experience and expertise in the field of 5G-networked industries to contribute towards the digital future of Oman alongside our partners Ministry of Higher Education, Research & Innovation, and the Ministry of Finance, as well as our partner Omantel. The Centre of Excellence facilitated the Internet of Things mentorship program and the STEM Innovation Challenge. Bringing industry and academia together, the forward-thinking facility offers an incubating and stimulating environment for students, helping them turn ideas into reality and diversify Oman’s economy on the road to Oman Vision 2040.Fadi Pharaon, President, Ericsson Middle East and Africa
One of the learning experiences on offer at the Center of Excellence is Pluralsight, an online training platform to equip Omani youth with technical capabilities and knowledge, empowering them with job-related skills to become leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators. As part of that, Ericsson has so far provided 1,000 digital learning course licenses for students to use.