Taking place over the weekend of 27-28th September, the event will give the would-be eco-entrepreneurs the chance to build their genetic resources based business ideas under the guidance of expert mentors and business professionals from leading institutions and organisations across Oman.
Ensuring the teams have the necessary background knowledge to make the most of the demanding two-days of Manafa’a, OAPGRC held an intensive pre-ideathon one-day workshop with an agenda that covered topics intellectual property and innovation protection, product development and prototyping, and start-up marketing.
Speaking at the workshop, OAPGRC Executive Director Dr. Nadiya Al Saady said: “The Manafa’a organizing team is already impressed by the attitudes and enthusiasm of the teams and how receptive they were to the complex subjects presented to them today. We’re all very much looking forward to seeing them develop their innovative ideas during Manafa’a itself and excited to see exactly how they use Oman’s wonderful biodiversity as the basis for their business ventures.”
The Executive Director continued: “I should like to add that while Manafa’a is certainly a fun event and a great learning experience, its goals are very serious. We want to encourage responsible use of Oman’s genetic resources - our plants, animals, marine life and microbial world – to create value for society, contribute to the diversification of the economy, and promote informed discussion, understanding, experimentation and investment in the Sultanate’s biodiversity start-up space. Indeed, through this event we hope to open up the eyes of many other innovators and entrepreneurs to the rich potential our incredible natural assets hold.”
Held at the Grand Millennium Muscat, the Manafa’a Ideathon will culminate in team presentations to a panel of specially selected judges drawn from the public and private sector as well as enterprise and academia. The four winning teams will be announced on 1st October at a ceremony at the Oil and Gas Institute.
The lead sponsors for the two-day event are the Oman LNG Development Foundation and Oman Fisheries Company SAOG. Meethaq Islamic Bank is the Manafa’a financial sponsor. And partnering with OAPGRC for the event are Sultan Qaboos University and the Innovation & Technology Transfer Center along with Outward Bound Oman.