Muscat: The Research Council (TRC) Board yesterday held its first meeting for 2013 under the chairmanship of Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq Al Said, Advisor to His Majesty the Sultan and Chairman of the TRC.
The meeting discussed a number of items listed on the agenda. The Board approved the minutes of the third meeting for 2012 and reviewed a report on the decisions taken at the last meeting for 2012.
During the meeting, the Board approved the Omani network for scientific and education research project with a budget of OMR11 million over a period of over five years.
The setting up of this network comes within MIS strategy. The network is also an addition and a vital project to promote the services rendered by the TRC for scientific research and education professionals.
The Board also approved the special document on the social observatory programme, which was established by the TRC in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development and a number of establishments interested in social aspects in a bid to survey the social changes and analyse them using the scientific research methods. The estimated cost for the observatory programme is set at OMR5,039,505 and will span over five years.
The document, which includes the action plan for the observatory during the next stage, focuses on three themes, namely the data, which aims at creating an infrastructure for data sources that include social indicators that serve as reference for researchers. The plan aims at guiding and conducting scientific research works to monitor and analyse social changes, develop the national research capacities in social work and create links and relations with Arab and international observatory, universities and research centres.
The third theme for the social observatory is publication, which aims at publishing the outcomes of the recommendations of the research works and raising public awareness of society and institutions.
The Board also approved the application submitted by Nizwa University to create a research chair in material and minerals science in collaboration with Cambridge University of U.K at a cost of about OMR5.5 million, for five years.
The support of the research chair comes within the research chairs programme through which the TRC supports the creation of research chairs that achieve strategic aims, namely, transfer of technology, building research capacity, ensuring excellence and creating links.
The Board also reviewed a number of issues, including the project on the design of the new identity for TRC to keep pace with the rapid developments in knowledge and technology and meet the local, regional and international requirements for scientific research.