Muscat: As part of the private sector initiative, aimed at spreading a culture of innovation among different segments of society, Her Excellency Dr. Rahma Al Mahrouqi, Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation visited the Oman Arab Bank Innovation Lab, the first-of-its-kind facility in the banking sector within the Sultanate. Rashad Al Musafir, CEO of OAB, and Leen Al Atassi, Head of Innovation at OAB, welcomed Her Excellency. The visit also saw members of the Executive Management of OAB and officials from the Ministry in attendance. The visit included a tour of the Lab’s facilities, during which the Minister was briefed on the services it provides to students and entrepreneurs.
Welcoming the guests, Rashad Al Musafir said, “We are pleased to receive Her Excellency Dr. Rahma Al Mahrouqi at the Innovation Lab and give her an insight on the Bank’s efforts to promote a culture of innovation among students, entrepreneurs and OAB employees. We wish the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation all the best in their national project of establishing a comprehensive Omani platform aimed at nurturing and empowering innovation.”
Leen Al Atassi gave a presentation, during which she highlighted the various facilities and services provided by the Lab to members, students and entrepreneurs. She also spoke about the annual competition organised by the Lab, entitled the ‘Innovation Hub’, which is one of the largest hackathon events aimed at driving innovative thinking within the youth and helping them turn it into viable products. The idea of establishing the Lab stemmed from the belief of the Bank that it was vital to foster innovation in every aspect, in order to enable the youth to keep pace with rapid developments in various fields. Since OAB is one of the institutions that invest heavily in employing modern technologies and innovative new solutions to enhance customer experience, the management decided to establish the Innovation Hub. This way, the Bank can provide talented youth with a professional platform and simultaneously support their innovative efforts. Additionally, the Bank signed several agreements and entered into partnerships with companies and institutions specialised in new technologies and various means of self-development, both within and outside the Sultanate. This way the Bank was able to provide the targeted segment of society with access to their services. The Lab is committed to ensuring sustainability and continuity, in accordance with the Sultanate’s efforts to promote innovation. Following Leen’s presentation, the guests were given a tour of the various facilities present within the Innovation Lab.
Commenting on the objective of the visit, Her Excellency Dr. Rahma Al Mahrouqi said, “At the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation, we are working to establish a national digital platform that will support and promote innovation among students of higher education as well as within all segments of society. As part of this strategy, the Ministry continues to visit various institutions in the public and private sectors, to gain insight into relevant experiences and develop a comprehensive plan for the digital platform. We are pleased with OAB’s initiative to set up this specialised Learning Hub, which is well-equipped with facilities that are needed to provide an innovative environment and is capable of inspiring and motivating participants to discover their creativity. A number of specialised consultations are also available to help participants meet their desired objectives. We hope to work together with OAB and through the Innovation Lab, to bring about a comprehensive unified platform targeted at innovative individuals. This way, we will be able to establish a foundation and support them in transforming their creative ideas and solutions into practical products to help improve operations, processes and solve challenges that are faced by various sectors.”