Oil and Gas - - SPECIAL EDITION -

Petroleum De­vel­op­ment Oman (PDO) has part­nered with Omani in­vest­ment group Phaze Ven­tures to set up a new plat­form to boost lo­cal en­ergy start-ups and at­tract com­pa­nies from around the world to the Sul­tanate.

The “SparkLabs En­ergy Ac­cel­er­a­tor,” to be hosted in Oman, is an in­ten­sive six­month pro­gramme de­signed by global busi­ness in­cu­ba­tor group SparkLabs. The pro­gramme of­fers start-ups fund­ing, co-work­ing space and men­tor­ship to help grow their busi­nesses, and de­velop cut­ting-edge prod­ucts and ser­vices for the en­ergy sec­tor.

The En­ergy Ac­cel­er­a­tor also of­fers ac­cess to a global net­work of en­trepreneurs, ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists, an­gel in­vestors and ex­ec­u­tives, as well as the op­por­tu­nity to test the vi­a­bil­ity of early so­lu­tions within the real-world set­ting of PDO’s op­er­a­tions.

PDO Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Raoul Res­tucci said, “Re­new­able en­ergy presents an enor­mous op­por­tu­nity for Oman. PDO is com­mit­ted to play­ing its full part in help­ing to po­si­tion the Sul­tanate as a re­gional leader and to de­velop the na­tion as a re­new­able en­ergy cen­tre of ex­cel­lence and tech­nol­ogy hub. We are al­ready in­cor­po­rat­ing so­lar re­new­able en­ergy in our op­er­a­tions and work­ing closely with both academia and in­dus­try to pro­mote, iden­tify, de­velop and pro­fi­ciently de­ploy key in­no­va­tions and en­ablers. This an­nounce­ment fo­cuses on en­ergy tech­nolo­gies and ef­fi­cien­cies and is an­other im­por­tant build­ing block in our Com­pany’s strat­egy.

“We look for­ward to work­ing closely with SparkLabs and Phaze Ven­tures to meet our shared am­bi­tions for this coun­try.” Res­tucci added, “PDO is keen to pro­vide a plat­form that at­tracts en­trepreneurs from Oman as well as in­ter­na­tion­ally to sup­port knowl­edge trans­fer be­tween start-ups, cor­po­rate part­ners and gov­ern­ment alike. It will keep PDO, and the wider Omani in­no­va­tion ecosys­tem, close to emerg­ing global trends, sup­port lo­cal ca­pac­ity build­ing and es­tab­lish a pipe­line of high­po­ten­tial in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the en­ergy field.”

Phaze Ven­tures Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer and Co-founder Ab­dul­lah Al Shaksy said: “Our goal is to un­lock the full po­ten­tial of our re­gion’s tal­ent and youth through strate­gic in­vest­ments, and work­ing to­gether with for­ward­think­ing cor­po­rates, lo­cal gov­ern­ments, and in­ter­na­tional part­ners look­ing to add value in the re­gion. We are in­cred­i­bly ex­cited about our roadmap for Oman, with the SparkLabs En­ergy Ac­cel­er­a­tor, in part­ner­ship with PDO, mark­ing the first chap­ter of Oman’s fu­ture as a cen­tre for in­no­va­tion.”

SparkLabs is the big­gest Pan-Asia ac­cel­er­a­tor group, with ac­cel­er­a­tors in Korea, China, Tai­wan, Hong Kong and Aus­tralia and is bring­ing its ex­pe­ri­ence to Oman, with the En­ergy Ac­cel­er­a­tor fo­cused on scal­ing start-ups of­fer­ing so­lu­tions to the fu­ture en­ergy needs of the re­gion and the world. SparkLabs En­ergy will be work­ing with PDO and Phaze Ven­tures to iden­tify and help scale start-ups from Oman, and sup­port­ing com­pa­nies from around the world to ex­pand in the Mid­dle East via the new en­ergy tech­nol­ogy hub in Oman.

SparkLabs Group Gen­eral Part­ner Eu­gene Kim said, “We specif­i­cally de­signed the Sparklabs En­ergy pro­gramme with PDO and Phaze

Ven­tures to ben­e­fit from Oman’s drive to be­come a lead­ing global tech­nol­ogy hub for fu­ture en­ergy needs and ef­fi­cien­cies. We al­ready have strong ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­grammes in Fin­Tech, the In­ter­net of Things, Smart Cities and Agri­cul­tural Tech, and the SparkLabs En­ergy pro­gramme brings en­ergy start-ups into the SparkLabs ecosys­tem as well.”

“We are look­ing to de­velop Oman’s best en­ergy start-ups, to­gether with bring­ing some of the world’s most im­pact­ful early stage en­ergy start-ups to the re­gion, thereby gen­er­at­ing a flow of in­for­ma­tion and in­no­va­tion be­tween start-ups, cor­po­rates and gov­ern­ments that will help trans­form the re­gion’s en­ergy sec­tor.”

The six-month pro­gramme will con­clude with a “Demo Day”, open to in­vestors, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, cor­po­rates and aca­demics from across the world. Ap­pli­ca­tions are now open to start-ups. To ap­ply or learn more about the SparkLabs En­ergy Ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gramme, visit the of­fi­cial page: www. spark­lab­sen­

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