Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Smart Man Task Groups Meet

The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE) is helping move Oman’s manufacturing sector forward by setting up a series of Task Groups that will focus on specific areas of concern to industry.

According to Ibtisam Al Faruji, PEIE’s Head of Marketing “The five Smart Manufacturing Task Groups cover: innovation and design; education and training; ICT; finance; and international trade. These groups have been established to ensure that promises made at PEIE’s annual Smart Manufacturing Conference held in April 2007 are followed through. Members from across industry and government are participating and we’re delighted with the sessions that have been held so far.”

Smart Manufacturing Task Groups met this week at PEIE’s Headquarters on Knowledge Oasis Muscat to discuss education and training, ICT and innovation and design. Al Faruji commented “The Innovation and Design Task Group is about helping Oman’s manufacturing sector to be more creative and innovative, particularly with best practices and product design. “For example, sustainable design is an area that the Task Group focused on,” said Al Faruji. “The use of recycled and recyclable materials; reducing pollution through cutting down on transportation, such as by using locally-sourced materials; making products which can be taken apart once they are discarded so that their parts that can be used again; and designing goods which use as little energy as possible while they are being made were all discussed,” remarked PEIE’s Head of Marketing.

Attended by key representatives from Oman’s higher education and industry, issues of specific concern to the Smart Manufacturing Education and Training Task Group include: changing the mindset of manufacturers towards management and workforce development, in effect, stimulating a culture change; tailoring training programs that meet the needs of manufacturers, particularly smaller firms; encourage dialogue between higher education and manufacturing; and promote the role of Oman’s Higher Education in providing training and R&D support to manufacturers.

“The intention is to take forward a number of pilot projects that have been identified by the various Task Groups and report on their progress at Smart Manufacturing in April 2008,” said Al Faruji.

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