Muscat: The Industrial Innovation Centre (IIC) signed an agreement with Al-Mudar Al-Ahlia Foundation to establish an innovation unit to promote and invest in the clay innovative industries sector of the Sultanate.
It is aimed at supporting entrepreneurs from among craftsmen and developing traditional crafts in line with the requirements of the times. This will help in the promotion of crafts in the country.
The agreement is meant for equipping and operating the clay innovative industries. The Industrial Innovation Centre will finance the project. The Al-Mudar Al-Ahlia Foundation will supervise the unit and support the craftsmen and entrepreneurs who want to make craft products through the production lines which will be provided by the unit.
On behalf of the Industrial Innovation Centre, Dr Abdullah bin Mohammad Al Mahrouqi signed the agreement with Chief Executive Officer of Al-Mudar Al-Ahlia Foundation, Youssuf bin Abdullah Al-Jahwari.
The first phase includes financing the innovation project at Al-Mudar Al-Ahlia Foundation and coordinating with the authorities concerned to provide Omani clay for research and development, providing available research, contributing to innovations meant for the development of joint products with added value, research and development for suitability of using Omani white clay on pottery products and submitting periodic reports in cooperation with the centre. This is in addition to the expansion of Al-Mudar Al-Ahlia Foundation to increase production capacity and meet the growing demands, undertake construction and civil expansion works, as well as the operation and management of the institution and marketing products in a manner that achieves financial returns for both sides.
The second phase includes financing the setting up of the unit for clay innovative industries under the umbrella of the unit for innovation in minerals and mining of the centre. This section will specialise in pottery products. Therefore, the unit will have a management room, display of products and consumable items, an educational laboratory, a laboratory for development and designing, a modelling laboratory, a mini production lines unit and a storage facility for raw materials.
The cost will be determined based on the outcome of the feasibility study, the recommendation of the supervisory committee, preparation of an appendix to this agreement to include the cost of financing of the second phase, and the method of payment and the time frame etc. Soon after receiving the feasibility study, the space for the purpose will be made available to ensure the production and administration rights.
The foundation will help in the feasibility study process and its recommendations.
Al-Mudar Al-Ahlia Foundation is committed to supervising the setting up of the unit for clay innovative industries, and training programs and workshops for entrepreneurs. It will also adopt Omani craftsmen and entrepreneurs who want to resell and utilise production lines to establish their own start-up companies in the clay innovative industry. This is in addition to managing and operating the innovation section and providing manpower to operate equipment in a manner that they will be responsible for all direct and indirect costs related to workers.
It also involves the preparation of a feasibility study with the help of the centre to establish the unit under the umbrella of the unit of innovation in minerals and mining of the centre, and innovation in cooperation with the centre to achieve financial returns to ensure sustainability and profitability of the project and its growth.