An intensive full-cycle incubation programme, called GlassPoint Innovation Spur will provide aspiring Omani entrepreneurs an integrated ecosystem of scientific, technical and business support
Mentorship and effective incubation programmes play a key role in honing the skills of entrepreneurs and help them grow their ideas into sustainable businesses. Oman has a lot of institutions and relevant government bodies who have the potential to act as a catalyst for mutating innovative ideas into successful business models by boosting them with scientific and technical knowhow. But the country requires an integrated ecosystem for bringing all these services under one umbrella.
A promising step in this direction is a recently announced corporate social responsibility initiative by GlassPoint Solar. The leading supplier of solar energy to the oil and gas industry has entered into a collaboration agreement with a host of partners such as The Research Council (TRC), Innovation Park Muscat (IPM), Public Authority for SME Development (Riyada) and Sharakah to drive sustainable initiative in Oman’s renewable energy and water management sectors.
An intensive full-cycle incubation programme, ‘GlassPoint Innovation Spur’ will provide aspiring Omani entrepreneurs an integrated ecosystem of scientific, technical and business support. The two-year programme will equip participants with valuable skill sets through coaching and mentorship, as they transform their innovations into implementable businesses.
Vigorous screening, selection, and testing criteria are in place to ensure originality and economic feasibility. Selected entrepreneurs will receive practical support to further develop their inventions and establish businesses before being linked to investors.
Creating green business
Signing the agreement on behalf of GlassPoint was Ben Bierman, COO and acting CEO: “GlassPoint is committed to driving innovation for a sustainable Oman. That is why we are launching the GlassPoint Innovation Spur, to act as a catalyst and create green businesses. It transcends typical business-related programmes because it goes beyond conceptualisation and training and focuses on knowledge transfer.
“Thanks to the contributions of our partners, we are able to offer a full-fledged mentorship and incubation program that promises to hone the business acumen of Omani entrepreneurs and help them grow their inventions into feasible and sustainable businesses,” he added.
“The Research Council recognises the significant role of entrepreneurship in promoting a culture of innovation and research among Oman’s young talent. This is an initiative that stands out for its unequivocal focus on transforming innovations into genuinely valuable and needed commercial products and services,” Dr Hilal Ali Zaher Al-Hinai, secretary-general of TRC, remarked.
Representing IPM at the signing ceremony was Dr AbdulBaqi Ali Al Khabouri, director of Science Parks. He noted, “Through IPM, we look forward to providing Oman’s ambitious, innovative and talented entrepreneurs the required tools to unlock their full potential and ensure a sustainable and successful future for these fledgling businesses.
“There is certainly tremendous entrepreneurial spirit in the Sultanate, but bringing an innovation to market and creating a sustainable business is a complicated process. Well-researched and thoroughly planned, this programme is a rigorous, motivating and realistic preparation for the commercial journey,” he pointed out.
Signing for Riyada was Khalid bin Al Safi Al Huraibi, the acting CEO of the organisation. “Riyada is proud to lend its expertise to the participants and help them take the necessary first steps to ensure the sustainable success of their innovations,” stated Al Huraibi.
“Sharakah is proud to partner in this programme to develop new innovative and research-based renewable energy and water management start-ups in Oman. We are confident that the foundation and direction this programme provides will equip Oman’s young eco-entrepreneurs for both domestic and international success,” Abdullah Al Jufaili, general manager of Sharakah, stressed.
GlassPoint has developed its own proprietary solar technology that has been deployed in oilfields in California and the Middle East. Its unique technology harnesses the sun’s free and renewable energy to produce steam for heavy oil extraction.
The company is currently building Miraah, one of the world’s largest solar plants, in partnership with Petroleum Development Oman in the Amal oil field in the south of Oman. The one-gigawatt project is helping transform the renewable energy sector in the Sultanate, spurring employment opportunities and positioning Oman as a hub for innovative solutions.
GlassPoint supports the Omani government’s economic diversification strategy and is committed to the development of a world-class solar industry in the Sultanate.
The GlassPoint Innovation Spur will begin accepting applications shortly. The first-of-its-kind initiative is an exciting opportunity for higher education students and entrepreneurs looking to transform their innovative ideas into real businesses.