Siemens Mechatronic training laboratory opens

HALBAN The first Siemens Mechatronics Laboratory in Oman was inaugurated at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) on Wednesday 29 January. GUtech has dedicated a lab facility within its campus, equipped by Siemens. The laboratory will serve as a training center for students and professionals to complete two levels in the Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program (SMSCP).

“Siemens is dedicated to promoting human capital development and local capacity building to help in fulfilling Oman’s economic development plans and implementing Industry 4.0 solutions,” said Claudia Vergueiro Massei, CEO of Siemens in Oman while adding: “We are pleased to collaborate with GUtech to bring Mechatronic training to Omani youth, offering students the opportunity to pursue this globally recognized certification that will ultimately help them contribute to Oman’s development goals.”

Mechatronics is the combination of mechanical, electrical and computer software technologies as well as control and systems theory into a single system used in production and manufacturing. In practical terms, Mechatronics raises the bar for Industry 4.0 by offering a holistic, hands-on approach to automation that can improve efficiency, productivity and quality and ultimately decrease time to market. Industries that benefit greatly from a Mechatronics system include aerospace, materials processing, machine building, automotive, transportation, building technologies and mining.

To train students interested in advancing their skills in automation and manufacturing, two academic professors from GUtech have received the Instructor SMSCP Certification Course (Level 1 and 2) at the Siemens Sitrain Training Center in Nürnberg, Germany, in 2018. GUtech and Siemens began in 2017 their collaboration on the academic program that will provide advanced learning and certification opportunities for engineering students and professionals in the Sultanate. The Mechatronics Certification courses, designed to be integrated into the university’s existing curriculum, will be offered to GUtech students in two levels. Each level of the certification is based on a job profile, which is developed by Siemens in collaboration with other industry and public sector partners.

“We are celebrating a moment of academia-industry collaboration that aims to train school leavers, students, graduates and to upskill the industrial workforce in a state of art equipped lab. The awarded certificate, which is according to an industry-driven job profile, is recognized worldwide. As part of our commitment in supporting the community, we have decided to give a scholarship discount of 30-50% to the students. We want to contribute in capacity-building, preparing the local community for the transition towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mhanna, Head of the Engineering Department at GUtech.

The laboratory at GUtech includes all the equipment needed to complete the first two levels of Siemens’ internationally recognized certification program. Students who complete the first level will be gain the Siemens Certified Mechatronic Systems Assistant, with skills that would help them carry out their work at plant assembly sites, workshops or in connections with service operations which utilize complex mechatronic systems. Level 2 holders will be Siemens Certified Mechatronic Systems Associate, and they can manage, investigate, repair and troubleshoot mechatronic systems, with the aim of operational efficiency and cost and process control. They would usually carry out their work at production facilities, workshops, or in service sites that use complex mechatronic systems.

Siemens is the only global industrial company to offer this program in cooperation with partner colleges and universities throughout the Middle East, Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. Under the agreement, GUtech will be the first university in Oman to offer the training and join an international network of advanced technology partners in education and industry working with Siemens to deliver these certifications.

Hydrologists from GUtech published their scientific research in the Urban Water Journal

HALBAN Scientists from the Department of Applied Geosciences at GUtech, together with a colleague from the Netherlands have published a scientific research paper in the ‘Urban Water Journal’, published by Taylor and Francis Online. The research report by Prof. Dr. Holzbecher and Dr. Hadidi is entitled ‘Flood mapping in face of rapid urbanization: a case study of Wadi Majraf-Manumah, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.’ The research has been financially supported by The Research Council (TRC).

“The continuous construction of infrastructure, as well as residential and industrial areas, can shift the spots and add higher risk of flooding to existing or newly urbanized regions. For that reason, it is of high importance to update flood and risk maps regularly,” said Dr. Ahmed Hadidi, hydrogeologist at GUtech.

The rapid urbanization observed in many parts of the world creates new challenges. Aims are the protection against flash floods and the diminution of flooding. In the research paper a case study is presented concerning the region adjacent to Wadi Majraf-Manumah in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. A team of BSc students was involved in ongoing research. Using Differential GPS they conducted a survey campaign to refine the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) in the vicinity of GUtech, located in the region. The site is characterized by rapid urbanization in the past decade. This requires a priori use of a flood simulation tool and the option for regular updates. To evaluate flood risks, it is necessary to use computer models to simulate flooding events. Regularly updated flood maps can be used for planning purposes. Advanced flood simulation tools are available that deliver accurate results in a short time, with high-resolution information and advanced capabilities to model hydrodynamic processes and that can also be used for managing actual flooding events. The hydrodynamic model 3Di, presented in the paper, is served from a GIS environment. It enables users to construct flash flood scenarios and run them in a cloud environment.

“The information about changed streamflow due to urbanization can help communities reduce their current and future vulnerabilities to floods, mitigate flash flood hazards and manage activities during disasters. Besides updating flood maps continuously, our further recommendations to reduce the flooding are to avoid urbanization activities in the flood risk zones defined by the flood maps and to improve drainage construction around these hot spots.” Said Dr. Ahmed Hadidi.

Currently, the team of researchers at GUtech are developing a prototype of an early warning system. Such Decision Support System (DSS) system could help the authorities to restrict traffic on dangerous parts of the roads,” said Dr. Ahmed Hadidi.

The Dean’s List: 153 GUtech students awarded for their academic achievements

HALBAN A total of 153 students were awarded during the Dean’s List ceremony held at GUtech yesterday afternoon. “We introduced the Dean’s List as a way to recognize outstanding academic achievements that you have made in the last year. Congratulations,” said the Deputy Rector for Academic Affairs, Prof. Dr. Armin Eberlein while adding that the students are top-class students in their Bachelor of Science study-programmes: Urban Planning Architectural Design, Applied Geosciences, Computer Sciences, Logistics, International Business and Service Management, Mechanical Engineering, Process Engineering and Environmental Engineering.

“You should be proud of this. You worked hard, attended many lectures, and in addition, spent many hours studying on your own or in a group, and it paid off. Your efforts were worth it. However, efforts alone are not sufficient to get on the Dean’s List. You also need to have the intellectual abilities that are needed for this distinction. You need to have the skills to work through complexities, solve problems, find solutions and communicate them well,” said Prof. Armin Eberlein.

Asma Ali Al Hasin, 3rd-semester BSc Applied Geosciences was part of the Dean’s List. “It was difficult, especially during the first semester of my studies. I always have to study many different subjects including life-skills and the German language. We always have to manage our time wisely. Physics and Chemistry were easy for me but all subjects related to Geosciences were more difficult. I have to manage my time wisely and I study in the library after our seminars, usually until 7 pm. I enjoy studying in the library and within the study area. The atmosphere there helps to learn,” said Asma.

To be part of the distinguished group of the Dean’s List, students have to be among the top 10% of the students in the cohort and fulfil several other requirements such as achieving an IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. In his speech, Prof. Dr Armin Eberlein added words of appreciation and thanks to late HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said. GUtech was the only private university that late HM Sultan Qaboos visited in 2012. “We are proud of his recognition of our achievements. It shows how late His Majesty valued us as individuals, our university, our educational ethos and the benefits that we as an institution bring to the Sultanate of Oman. Ultimately, it is through you, our students that GUtech contributes to Oman. You get a superb education at GUtech. But this education is not an end in itself. In a few years, you will join the workforce, you will be the ones who add value to the Omani economy. And this is what makes me proud of being part of GUtech. It allows me to not only to educate individuals for the sake of getting a degree, but I can help develop the future leaders of Oman. This is a real privilege,” said Prof. Armin.

(c) GUtech/ Text: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet; Photo: Umaima Al Zadjali

IAESTE Internship at GUtech – A Female German Mechanical Engineering student at GUtech

HALBAN To promote exchange and understanding with international students, the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has been accommodating a number of international interns within their departments each year. Franziska Mittermeier who is doing her MSc in Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich in Germany (TU Munich) is one of them. She has conducted an IAESTE internship organized by the (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience) at GUtech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering in the past four months. “We are pleased to support international students with technical training experiences at our university. These students are usually very engaged in the everyday operations of the university and support our professors in teaching, projects and workshops” said Prof. Dr. Armin Eberlein, Deputy-Rector for Academic Affairs at GUtech. Throughout her time at GUtech she has played an active role in the Department of Engineering. Reflecting on her experiences she said: “I have met a lot of very nice people here in Oman. I have been mainly involved in project work in all fields of Engineering taught at GUtech. It is great to meet all different students. I enjoy the overall quiet atmosphere on campus. It is very comfortable. I also like the Tuesday events that are held as well as the football tournament and the yoga classes on campus,” she said. Previously, Franziska conducted internships at a Logistics Consultancy and at a Turbine Engine Company in Germany. Initially, IAESTE offered her an internship opportunity in Oman or in China. She opted for Oman and for GUtech.

At GUtech, Franziska has been working with students in the Engineering workshop. For example, she was involved in assisting students with building an hydraulic excavator. “I help the students in the workshop. I initially explain to them the different equipment such as measurement tools, fixtures, the drilling machine, the jigsaw or the grinder. I also supervise the students on the safety standards in the workshop. In the Thermodynamics Laboratory, I have supervised the students on the pressure measurement bench operated by Process and to Environmental Engineering students. I have also supported the supervision of technical drawing exams, and the assignments of mid-term exams.”

“It is very important for us at the Department of Engineering to host international students with a diverse educational background as well as solid basic knowledge as interns to enrich the overall didactic experience,” said Prof Dr. Emmanouil Bouzakis, Internship Coordinator at the Department of Mechanical Engineering. During her free time, Franziska has been conducting tours along with other interns from GUtech. They visited Omani wadis, the Sharquiyah Sands desert as well as Musandam. Franziska likes the landscape in Oman and she would like to come back to explore more of the South of the Sultanate. During her travels and at work, she has been surprised about the kindness of the Omani people. “At GUtech, everybody is very helpful and friendly. During a trip, we had a flat tyre. Immediately an Omani stopped and helped us to get to the next workshop. I think this would not be the case in Germany,” she said. Because of her numerous positive experiences, she would like to come back to Oman and explore the country again as a tourist.

IAESTE is an association of national committees representing academic, industrial and student interests. The Association serves around 4000 students, 3000 employers and 1000 academic institutions each year through career-focused professional internships abroad, social and intercultural reception programmes, international networking and other career and employer branding activities in more than 80 countries worldwide.

(c) GUtech

Founding Ceremony of the “Oman Hydrogen Centre” to shape Oman’s role in the global energy transition

A Competence Centre at GUtech for Green Hydrogen Research, Technology, Education, Application and Economy to develop and enable Oman´s Competencies for the Green Hydrogen Economy

HALBAN Approved by the Ministry of Higher Education, yesterday, on January 27th, 2020 in a ceremony at the History of Science Centre of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), the  “OMAN Hydrogen Centre” was launched today morning. In the launch ceremony Dr. Hussain Al Salmi, Deputy-Rector for Administration and Finances at GUtech, welcomed many high-ranking guests, which further underlined the importance of this new centre. The ceremony was held under the auspices of H.E. Azza Al Ismaili, Minister of Technology and Communications, and among other dignitaries H.E. Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas. Also present were the Ambassadors of Germany and Japan as well as several representatives of local and international industry.

The OMAN Hydrogen Centre is the first of its kind and will serve as the centre of knowledge in hydrogen technology in Oman and beyond – regionally in the GCC. Green Hydrogen – produced from renewable energies – is of central global importance as a new energy carrier in the changing global energy industry. Both as a supplement to and, especially in the long term, successively replacing oil and gas.

This perspective was emphatically confirmed by national and international experts at the “First Oman Hydrogen Symposium” at  GUtech on October 9th, 2019 demonstrating a market volume perspective of up to  20 billion US$ in 2050 for the local economy. Oman’s geographical position and geological structure offer the chance to position  Oman as a leading global producer and supplier for green hydrogen satisfying the fast-growing worldwide demand.

The production, domestic use and export of green hydrogen can be fundamental for the economic future of Oman and will play a key role for the economic diversification and job creation efforts in the local energy industry and economy in general.

Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech, explained in detail the role, tasks and objectives of the Oman Hydrogen Centre. As a competence hub, it will create hydrogen expertise and knowledge in Oman in all relevant fields to support the future participation of Oman in the fast-growing global hydrogen market. In this role, the centre will provide decisive impulses, guidelines and roadmaps for industry and government and bundle forces for the development of a hydrogen economy involving the production, storing, transporting, utilizing and exporting of green hydrogen.

This will be achieved through cooperative research and international exchange of knowledge and experience, network building, academic and industrial training and study concepts, consulting for institutions, applied research, exploring technical innovations and new application scenarios as well as the development of economic models. In this way, the centre supports the development hydrogen of competencies, the significant creation of new in-country jobs and can develop into a leading force of the hydrogen economy in the Gulf region.

The centre will be responsible for creating domestic and international academic, industrial, economic and transdisciplinary partnerships which will attract international experts to the country. Using these partnerships, in particular, educational programs to generate the best-skilled workforce in hydrogen technology on all levels will be established – for researchers as well as hydrogen plant and process designers or plant operators. Undergraduate and graduate courses will be developed and the centre will provide seminars and workshops to train personnel from industry and government in different field of hydrogen technology.

HE Thomas Friedrich Schneider, German Ambassador to the Sultanate said that currently the share of renewable energies in Germany’s electricity supply has reached 45%. The target of 65% in 2030 can only be achieved by importing Green Hydrogen from countries as Oman. The Ambassador also highlighted the importance to enter an Oman-German Energy dialogue.

The founding partner and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Hydrogen Rise AG, Olav Carlsen, provided an overview of the long-term economic potential of green hydrogen for Oman. He described the impending global change in the energy industry, its triggers and consequences and the need for building local competencies in Oman to compete with similar efforts all around the globe. He pointed out the urgency for concerted action between government, research and industry, as a central success factor in this change.

© GUtech

GUtech will hold an International Symposium on Contemporary Earthen Building

HALBAN GUtech is pleased to announce the 1st International Symposium on Contemporary Earthen Building in Oman to be held at GUtech on 10 and 11 February. Registration is now open.  “Our upcoming symposium aims to be a platform for an informative exchange. It is the first event in a larger initiative on Earthen Building in Oman which was recently launched at GUtech to create awareness about earth as an abundant, sustainable and beautiful building product,” said Assistant Professor Wayne Switzer from the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) at GUtech. “Earth is a material with deep historical relevance in Oman. Yet, despite the countless examples of earth buildings in the region, it is hardly discussed, let alone permitted, as a material for present-day construction. This despite the proven benefits to air quality, recyclability and low-embodied energy,” said Prof. Wayne. The first day will feature presentations from experts, roundtable discussions, and critical reflection. The second day will feature hands-on demonstrations and a participatory workshop.

The Symposium will include architects, governmental officials, and industry partners who will have the opportunity to discuss the potentials for Earthen construction to enable a healthy, sustainable building industry. “Guest experts from Germany, Spain, and Belgium will be on hand to demonstrate and present how these techniques are already being implemented and regulated,” said Prof. Wayne Switzer.

For more information and to register for the Symposium please visit: or follow us @ebi_oman

UPAD students study circular construction and examples of revitalization in architecture

HALBAN Sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), a group of 15 students from the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design (UPAD) recently travelled to Europe to study the potentials of reusing or revitalizing existing architecture built in Europe. The group led by Assistant Prof. Wayne Switzer, visited metropoles like Berlin and Brussels as well as smaller German cities like Cologne, Düren and Aachen. “Our students were encouraged to think in a circular, rather than linear way.  We identified and visited not only buildings but also architectural practices which are engaged in resourceful design to minimize waste and embrace historical change,” said Assistant Prof. Wayne. At GUtech’s German partner-university RWTH Aachen University, the students were involved in a three-day workshop along with Master students from the chair of Cycle-Oriented Construction, Department of Architecture. During this collaboration, the students experimented with natural substances such as reed, hair or clay as a building material, which reinforced creative solutions when regarding the sustainability of buildings. “No buildings ever disappear, rather they are either disassembled and re-used or they become someone else’s problem, in the form of waste,” said Assistant Prof. Wayne.  “It was great for us to see all the buildings in reality that we have been studying since the first semester. Every day we visited a different place. This widened our perspectives on the architecture and on sustainable construction,” said Noorayn Al Busaidi, 4th year UPAD student.

In the German capital Berlin the group visited a number of old and new buildings including the ‘House of Statistics’ (in German: ‘Haus der Statistik’), a multi-purpose building in the central district of Mitte that was used as the State Central Administration for Statistics of the GDR. A community action group that includes politicians, city planners and architects have regenerated the buildings that have been empty for over a decade. Now concerts, experimental theatre and exhibitions are conducted there. The group also visited the ‘Chapel of Reconciliation’ (in German: Kapelle der Versöhnung) built on the grounds of the former path of the Berlin Wall using earth from the very site of a formerly demolished church. In Brussels, the group met with a group of architects called ‘Rotor’, who sell salvaged building components and also reclaim buildings that are not used.

The group of students will exhibit their work and findings of the excursion during an exhibition held at GUtech’s architectural studios, from the 1st of January onwards. The exhibition will run throughout the semester.

(c) Text & Photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet and Prof. Wayne Switzer


Remote work: Computer Science Students work in various projects for the Finnish Company Trimedia

HALBAN Two Computer Science graduates have recently started their remote work at GUtech on web-based projects with the Finnish Online-Marketing company Trimedia in Jyvaskyla, located in the Mid-West of Finland. “Through our work, we gain some more work experiences and understanding of the local GCC, the Finnish and European market,” said Maram Mohammed, GUtech CS alumna.  Maram and Maha Al Busaidi have started their ‘remote internship’ beginning of December. They work on website and mobile applications and web development. GUtech has opened up a small office for the students to work remotely for the Finnish company Trimedia.

“Initially, the students had to apply with their CV, a motivational letter, and prepare a presentation that will demonstrate their technical knowledge and soft skills. Also, the students had to pass the first interview and the technical test in GUtech. Then, the student will be qualified for the second interview with our partner, Trimedia. Our Computer Science alumna have shown the exceptional abilities to analyse technical issues, to quickly understand the core of problems and they were able to develop solutions within short time. Also we need to mention that our students have impressed our partner with their work attitude and with meeting the highest quality standards. They have also shown their ability to work independently with great creativity and enthusiasm with very little supervision,” said Ali Al-Humairi, Computer Science Department at GUtech.

“We are pleased to involve GUtech alumna in our company. This is our first experience with remote work,” said Arto Saksola, CEO of Trimedia who is currently on a visit to GUtech. Oman Educational Services (OES), the mother company that owns GUtech has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Trimedia Finland in October last year. The main objective of the cooperation is to support GUtech’s efforts to link the Department of Computer Sciences with international companies. “With our cooperation with Trimedia we would like to promote start-up businesses in Oman and in the region, while fostering inter-cultural exchange between Oman and Scandinavia. Finland is one of the European leaders in start-ups, especially in the field of computer programming and gaming. We wish that our students gain hands-on experiences and apply and multiply their knowledge here in Oman,” said Ahmed Al Salmi, CEO of OES. Mr Arto initiated the internship along with Ahmed Al Salmi, Ali Al-Humairi from GUtech and Juho Alpua from The Finland Oman School (FOS). In the next six months, the Computer Science graduates will work on different projects. “In Computer Sciences it is very common to work remotely. We have regular conversations online and we are always there to help the students whenever they have a question. So far, we are very pleased with the outcome of the first internship month,” said Arto Saksola.

The students also enjoy their work experience with the Finnish company. “It is not difficult for us being away from the company. We are part of GUtech. The tasks given to us have been a lot of fun and a very good experience,” said Maram. “Working remotely can be less stressful compared to working within a company,” said Maha who remembers her internship time at Oxy Oman, where she worked on rick scheduling for two months. For the Finnish company it is a new intercultural experience to welcome two Omani students within their team. “99% of the time, we are speaking Finnish at our office,” said Arto, who added that he and his colleagues have been impressed by the students’ language, communication and programming skills. “We are also planning to send the students to Finland in order to experience first-hand our work-environment,” said Arto. The students Maha and Maram are also planning to continue their studies with a MSc programme, at GUtech or abroad. Within GUtech the students are supervised by Ali Humairi from the CS Department.

German Poetry Competition and Learning about Christmas Traditions

HALBAN The German Language Unit (GLU) of GUtech has invited a group of students from Al Amal School in Barka to meet with GUtech students and learn more about Christmas traditions in Germany. The visit of Al Amal School to GUtech is part of GUtech’s continuous efforts to connect with the community in Oman. “Our GUtech students and students from Al Amal School were involved in a German poem competition. I am also very proud to welcome Lubna Al Balushi, an Omani poet, who has been writing German poems since she started to learn the language. Lubna accepted my invitation to read the first poem of her book to our students and staff,” said Dr. Florina Dauberschmidt, German Lecturer and Coordinator at the GUtech German Language Unit.

Among the winners of the poetry competition was Aisha Al Nasseri from Al Amal School, 12 grade. She wrote a poem about herself. “My mother encouraged me to write and it was a great experience to write in German,” she said while adding that she would like to study abroad, maybe in Germany and to become a medical doctor or a pilot later on. Arwa Al Farsi, Environmental Engineering Student at GUtech wrote a poem about the sea: “The sea is my favourite place to relax,” she said. “All poems of the students were really good, it was difficult for us to select the winners,” said Dr. Florina.

The German lecturers prepared different activities for the students. On various locations within the German Unit, the students used their different senses and learnt more about German traditions during Christmas time such as baking cookies, singing Christmas songs such as “Oh Tannenbaum” and smelling typical ‘Christmas spices’ used for various food preparations and throughout winter-time such as cinnamon and cardamom.

(c) GUtech / Text & Photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet & Umaima Al Zadjali



4th EU-GCC Business Forum held in Muscat: ‘Technology and Education’ and ‘Women in Technology’

GUtech participated in panel discussions on ‘Technology and Education’ and ‘Women in Technology’

MUSCAT Under the auspices of H.E. Dr. Ali Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, the 4th EU-GCC Business Forum was held at the Conference and Exhibition Centre in Muscat on 11 December. The Business Forum was attended by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce, H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Dheeb, as well as the Chairman of the Oman Chamber of Commerce, the EU Ambassador in the GCC and Ambassadors from EU countries including Germany and the GCC. From GUtech, Dr. Manuela Gutberlet, PR Manager and Alyaa Al Shanfari, GUtech alumna in BSc Computer Sciences and CEO of Beennova Oman, participated in a panel discussion on ‘Women in Technology’. Dr. Manuela Gutberlet also moderated the first panel discussion on ‘Technology and Education’.

“We had an inspirational discussion on the role of technology in education and that educators should be trained continuously and embrace technology as a life-long learning tool. Using new technologies can mean to leave the comfort zone, while empowering people in education to change, disrupt and teach differently. It was an enriching event and a great opportunity to meet business people and policy-makers from EU and GCC,” said Dr. Manuela Gutberlet. The panel on ‘Technology and Education’ included Claudia Massai, CEO of Siemens Oman as well as Sebastiano Toffaletti, Secretary-General of the European Digital SME Alliance and Mervi Jansson, CEO of Omnia Education Partnerships in Finland.

During the panel discussion on ‘Women in Technology’ different topics were discussed, e.g. on how to promote more women to lead as role-models in the field of Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Alyaa Al Shanfari, CEO of Beenova Oman and the founder of the Google Developer Group and advisor to the National Youth Commission shared her experiences in setting up her own business in Oman and in networking with others. “We also spoke about diversity at work, which includes not only women but various nationalities, educational backgrounds and age-groups. To empower more women in STEM, the introduction of a female quota in companies, institutions and universities is suggested along with a family-friendly work-environment with child day-care and more flexible working hours would help to promote and encourage more women to pursue their dream careers,” said Dr. Manuela Gutberlet. At GUtech the majority of the students studying STEM programmes are females, whereas in Europe many STEM programmes are male-dominated. 

Overall, the EU-GCC Business Forum was entitled “Technology as an enabler for future growth and prosperity” and served as a major platform for EU-GCC B2B engagement. It was held in cooperation with the GCC Secretariat, the Omani Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Technology and Communications, Oman Supreme Council, Ithraa and Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and all GCC Chambers of Commerce. The main objectives of the EU-GCC Business Forum were to facilitate an open dialogue between EU and GCC stakeholders, to improve mutual understanding of business practices and policy processes, to facilitate information on business and investment opportunities in the GCC and in the EU, to allow the sharing of information and expert recommendations among businesses and policy-makers as well as to facilitate market access and business cooperation. Moreover, to provide EU and GCC companies with a platform to facilitate networking and encourage them to identify and establish new and lasting trade and investment opportunities and to create an opportunity for participants to share, discuss and learn from other policy and business success stories and best practices. 

(C) GUtech: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet