SOHAR signs MoU to supply UTAS Suhar with new AI lab

It is expected that the lab will start operations by end of Q1 2022.

SOHAR signs MoU to supply UTAS Suhar with new AI lab

SOHAR Port and Freezone signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS) in Suhar which will see the development of an AI Lab on campus.

Signed by HE. Dr. Saeed bin Hamad Al Rubaie, Vice Chancellor of the University Technology and Applied Sciences and Omar bin Hamood Al Mahrizi, Deputy CEO SOHAR Port and CEO of the Freezone, the agreement will see SOHAR supply the necessary equipment to develop artificial intelligent technology capabilities to benefit the community as well as improve efficiency within the port and freezone.  

SOHAR has strategically invested in new technologies to capitalize on its beneficial location and abundant resources to maintain its competitive advantage and drive growth in Oman’s industrial sectors. The use of cutting-edge technology throughout the complex will unlock new opportunities for tenants, maximize productivity and assist in the smooth running of the port and freezone as it continues to expand.

During the signing, HE. Dr. Said Al Rubaie said:

“This partnership feeds directly into our goals at  the University which aim to identify the right private sector partners and bridge our educational output with the technical requirements on the job. The upcoming lab in the Suhar is a testament of our advancement, as we continue to shape the future of education. By integrating AI into our academic curricular, we will be creating a generation with the right skillsets and knowledge that will contiiniously innovate. Furthermore, we are laying the foundation to develop new disciplines that will allow us to keep up with the rapid developments we see in technology, machine learning and robotics.”

Omar Al Mahrizi, DCEO of Sohar Port and CEO of the Freezone, said:

“The MOU with UTAS provides SOHAR with an outlet for talented students to develop AI applications and initiatives with a real-world purpose in mind. Ultimately, the adoption of technology will benefit the wider community, industries across the country and have a wide-reaching impact on the lives of people in Oman by creating a culture of innovation which will last long into the future. As we continue to expand, we will need intelligent solutions to increase efficiency and support evolving supply chains.” 

The collaboration between SOHAR and UTAS will build national capacities in the field of AI and technology, directly benefiting students as well as faculty, tehcnicians and researchers.  This will also bring the educational sector together with the manufacturing and industrial sector to nuture a workforce that will contribute in building a knowledge based society.

SOHAR already uses AI in its maintenance and observation routines, becoming the first port in Oman to adopt drone technology as part of the Port’s monitoring system. Underwater drones equipped with cameras also provide real-time observation and analysis of the infrastructure, security and environmental situation across the port by sending images to the quay where problems can be solved quickly and up-to-the-minute status reports can be compiled. The use of artificial intelligence has proven successful in predicting future maintenance through lifecycle reports and capable of reaching areas humans cannot while offering a new perspective of the entire complex.