SOHAR Port and Freezone have signed a memorandum of understanding with Suhar University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS), which will see the development of an AI lab on campus.
Signed by SE. Dr. Saeed bin Hamad Al Rubaie, Vice Chancellor of the University of Technology and Applied Sciences and Omar bin Hamood Al Mahrizi, Deputy Director General of SOHAR Port and Free Zone CEO, the agreement will see SOHAR provide the equipment needed to develop artificial intelligence technological capabilities to benefit the community and improve efficiency within the port and the free zone. It is expected that the lab will begin operations by the end of the first quarter of 2022.
SOHAR has strategically invested in new technologies to capitalize on its advantageous location and abundant resources to maintain its competitive advantage and stimulate the growth of Oman’s industrial sectors. The use of advanced technologies throughout the complex will open up new opportunities for tenants, maximize productivity and help keep the port and the free zone running smoothly as it expands.
Upon signing, SE. Dr Said Al Rubaie said, âThis partnership directly feeds into our goals at the University of identifying the right private sector partners and linking our educational output to the technical demands of the job.
âThe upcoming lab in Suhar is a testament to our progress, as we continue to shape the future of education. By integrating AI into our academic program, we will create a generation with the right skills and knowledge that will continuously innovate. In addition, we are laying the groundwork to develop new disciplines that will allow us to keep up with the rapid developments we see in technology, machine learning and robotics.
âThe MOU with UTAS provides SOHAR with an outlet for talented students to develop AI applications and initiatives with a real goal in mind. Ultimately, the adoption of the technology will benefit the community at large, industries across the country and have a far-reaching impact on the lives of the people of Oman by creating a culture of innovation that will last. long in the future. As we continue to expand, we will need smart solutions to increase efficiency and support evolving supply chains, âsaid Omar Al Mahrizi, DCEO of Sohar Port and CEO of Freezone.
The collaboration between SOHAR and UTAS will strengthen national capacities in the field of AI and technology, directly benefiting students as well as professors, technicians and researchers. It will also bring the education sector together with the manufacturing and industrial sector to form a workforce that will help build a knowledge-based society.
SOHAR already uses AI in its maintenance and observation routines, becoming the first port in Oman to adopt drone technology as part of the port surveillance system. The underwater drones equipped with cameras also provide real-time observation and analysis of the infrastructure, security and environmental situation across the port by sending images to the dock where issues can be resolved quickly and Updated status reports can be compiled.
The use of artificial intelligence has been shown to be effective in predicting future maintenance through life cycle reports and able to reach areas humans cannot reach while providing a new perspective of the whole of the complex.