University-wide focus on teaching and research, implementation of specific curricula for innovation and entrepreneurship, commercialization of systems and practice, and integration with the society are the prerequisites of an entrepreneurial university,” said Prof Kevin Hindle, famous consultant and researcher in entrepreneurship, and CEO of Mentor Entrepreneurship Group (MENTREG). Prof Hindle was giving a talk on “Can SQU become an entrepreneurial university; should it?” at a seminar organized by Academic Innovation Assistance Program (AIAP) at SQU under the patronage of Dr Hilal al Hinai, Secretary General of the Research Council (TRC). Prof Hindle said that entrepreneurship is the process of evaluating, committing to and achieving, under contextual constraints, the creation of new value from new knowledge for the benefit of defined stakeholders.
His talk focused on what SQU actually does and does not do to make its overall approach to teaching and research innovative or staid. “In this regard an important consideration goes beyond the university’s walls to the whole system of tertiary education at the national level. The university must adopt and commit to basing its innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) programs on research-based definitions of the relationship between, innovation, entrepreneurship, opportunity evaluation, new venture creation, business model and business plan”, he said. The seminar was attended by top officials of SQU including the vice chancellor, the deputy vice chancellors, deans and assistant deans of the colleges and directors of research centers.
The main objective of the AIAP, instituted by TRC jointly with SQU is to promote the culture of innovation and create conducive environment for innovation driven research and development in Oman higher education institutions. In order to encourage faculty and graduate students to consider the market and societal relevance of their research, Sultan Qaboos University is putting in place a series of measures to encourage entrepreneurship among its faculty and students, and facilitate university-industry collaboration.