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MENA Innovation 2019 is rapidly shaping up to be a high-level gathering of technology entrepreneurs, cross-industry leaders, institutional regional investors and forward-thinking government officials, first in its class to be held within the Middle East and Northern Africa.

The forum will facilitate the today-necessary exchange of ideas, ICT innovations and administrative best practices as but examples, the key to effectuating the MENA region’s push for a definitively ‘future-proofed’ education infrastructure.

The purpose of this year’s forum, held under the patronage of the Oman Ministry of Higher Education, is to proactively assess the opportunities and challenges that the global economy’s digital transformation presents Oman and other Middle East, Northern Africa & Gulf countries, with particular focus on fuelling the potential of the region’s brightest and best of the next generation. This includes addressing prospects for Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) innovation, deliberating upon how best universities and colleges in the region are adapting and accordingly, how, through the help of proud partnerships in governance and the private sector, they can advance critical thinking in their institutions to advocate for greater innovation in future, while championing entrepreneurship.

MENA Innovation 2019 will also focus on measuring the present gap between the offerings of the region’s educational institutions and the future demands of the global digital socio-economy. According to Mr John Glassey, CEO of MENA Innovation, “…the forum will empower the region’s young, passionate and entrepreneurial innovators by connecting them with the industry and ministerial leaders who share their vision for a modernised, ‘future-proofed’ labour force. What’s more, the forum will be the pretext for the scheduled ‘Best Innovator’ competition, a friendly contest that is sure to produce a range of new ideas from inventive minds and inspire future, mutually beneficial partnerships between investors, civil society organizations and ministerial leaders.”

The competition, as well as the forum, is remarkably prescient of the modern challenges and opportunities facing Oman and the region, and is designed to be the staging area for mapping the region’s collective response, which, according to a recent report from the World Bank, will depend on proactive human capital investiture from governments and private sector entities alike. In this light, the Sultanate of Oman has recently initiated its Oman Vision 2040, the sweeping economic diversification plan which has already delivered promising results, making MENA Innovation 2019 a logical next step.

With the support of investors and ministerial leaders, the advancements in artificial intelligence, broadband infrastructure, online teaching resources and other ICT technologies to be exhibited, MENA Innovation 2019 will ultimately enhance the quality and reach of education and information throughout the region. It will effectively equip the public with critical thinking skills, science and technology education, and familiarity with digital technologies needed to keep pace with the global economic revolution.

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