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ITA launches ‘Sas Programme’
Source: http://main.omanobserver.om/node/156687
Source Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Oman (Sultanate of)
Created: Mar 13, 2013

MUSCAT — The Information Technology Authority’s (ITA) Sas Programme, a business development initiative designed to help promote small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s), was officially launched under the auspices of Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, at Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) in Al Khoudh yesterday.
The Sas Programme is for ITC (information, communication and technology) advancement and is ITA’s latest initiative. The minister, accompanied by Dr Salim bin Sultan al Ruzaiqi, ITA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed al Maskari, Director-General of KOM, Talal al Rahbi, Deputy CEO for Operations, ITA, and other senior officials and dignitaries, was shown around the state-of-the-art Sas Centre, where he spoke to the young entrepreneurs.
After several presentations given by young entrepreneurs for Digital Gulf LLC, Global Computers, Ki-Bro, Etijahat, and Muscat United, Dr Al Sunaidy, in the presence of Dr Al Ruzaiqi, presented all of the selected young entrepreneurs with their keys to their offices at the new Sas Centre. In his statement on the occasion, Dr Al Ruzaiqi said, “The Sas Programme is a key element of our strategy to develop ICT business incubation in Oman. The strategy was developed jointly with United Kingdom Business Incubation (UKBI) and Coventry University and now the programme is being officially launched from these prestigious premises in the KOM4 building.”
He highlighted how the Sas Centre will offer assistance to Omanis, by noting, “The aim is to create a business eco-system which will help to develop globally competitive ICT businesses here in Oman. ITA urges the private and public organisations to allocate 10 per cent of their projects to be given to SMEs, including the ones in the Sas Programme. The physical centre for Sas is now officially open, and we invite all Omanis, wherever they are based around the country and who feel that they have an ICT-based idea which can be developed into a business, to contact the Sas Team following this launch today.”
In his comments, Neil Hanna of UKBI said, he was honoured to be representing UKBI at the launch and praised the good performance of the ITA team. He noted, from 2011 they have been working on a new strategy for best practices, which is what they have been activating here. He said, the facility is a world-leading environment for business and that it is a globally recognised incubator offering an excellent research market for it. The programme must be at global level and must inspire, encourage and accelerate, added Hanna.
Following the opening ceremony and speeches during the official launch of the Sas Programme, there was a tour of the Sas Centre, where the services and facilities available, as part of the Sas Programme, were showcased. After the tour, another one of ITA’s initiatives, the ‘Centre of Excellence for eContent and Application Development’, was viewed by the guests. It is a new up-and-coming project aimed to assist with the business development of SMEs and operates with the support and collaboration of eon reality and ASM Technology.
There are three phases of the project: Firstly, the establishment of a training centre and Omani youth outreach; Secondly, assisting Omani youth to be pioneers in the Gulf region in the production of this type of content; and, Thirdly, attracting and implementing regional projects through the centre. For further information on the Sas Programme email sas@ita.gov.om.

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