Bell has signed an agreement for the launch of a new innovation centre in Oman as part of an offset agreement with the Omani government, the company confirmed to Jane's .
The agreement, signed with the Omani Authority for Partnership for Development (OAPFD), sees Bell partner with Techshop Global to deliver a 1,000 m² makerspace modelling centre at the Muscat Innovation Park in Oman.
The facility is expected to be ready by the middle of 2019, with all the associated equipment, personnel, and support already established and trained. The venue will focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths) education, and will also allow individuals to access training and skills courses to enhance users' capabilities.
"The training is really a key component to the innovation workshop. Folks that can come off the street and have little experience in fabrication can … get training courses on any one of those [STEAM] areas, and really it's about putting the inventors' hands on the equipment and getting them to put their project in real life, quickly, and being able to iterate on that process and build better inventions," Brian Vollmer, Senior Manager for Offsets and Industrial Cooperation at Bell, told Jane's .
As part of the launch, Bell hosted various focus groups from SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises), industry, and the university, and the purpose was to identify all the different nodes within the "maker" community.
"The makerspace is intended to support the community as a whole, and uplift all the number of folks that are already making great strides in innovation in Oman," Vollmer said.
"It's a great opportunity for sharing innovation. We at Bell invest a lot in supporting our local communities with STEM education, so it really is a great fit for us to support the Omani community," he added.
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