Stronger cooperation with Oman
Representatives of the Helmholtz Association and The Research Council (TRC), Oman’s research funding body, signed an agreement in Berlin last night in which they reiterated their plans to build a technology centre in Oman.
Research at the new institute will focus on improved oil and gas extraction, water resources technology and renewable energies. Four Helmholtz Centres are involved in this cooperation so far: GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam ‒ German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
The Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres is further expanding its international cooperation. Prof. Jürgen Mlynek, President of the Helmholtz Association, and H.E. Dr Hilal Ali Al-Hinai, Secretary General of TRC, signed a letter of intent on the joint construction of a research centre in Oman.
In this statement, the two organisations confirmed their intention to work together in planning and developing an Institute for Advanced Technology Integration in Oman and to support the negotiations with the Helmholtz Centres involved in this initiative.
“We are pleased that we have now confirmed our planned cooperation with The Research Council in writing,” Mlynek said. “We would like to support the establishment of the institute in various ways, including education and further training of scientific staff, planning of the laboratory equipment required and the joint development of a suitable research programme.”
The Helmholtz Association’s main role will involve providing support to TRC by sharing its extensive expertise in developing and running large-scale research institutes, as well as in designing strategic research programmes. The participating Helmholtz Centres and TRC will then finalise the details of the implementation plan and initiate joint pilot projects, which are due to start at the beginning of 2013.
This rapid launch of projects in the fields of energy, water resources and new extraction technologies is designed to create the staffing, technical and structural basis for the development of the institute. The Sultanate of Oman is planning to invest a three-digit million figure in the long-term establishment of the institute.
The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving major challenges facing society, science and the economy with top scientific achievements in six research fields: Energy; Earth and Environment; Health; Key Technologies; Structure of Matter; and Aeronautics, Space and Transport.
With almost 34,000 employees in 18 research centres and an annual budget of approximately €3.4 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organisation. Its work follows in the tradition of the great natural scientist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894).
Angela Bittner | Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft
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