Entrepreneurship and Innovation Department

Convergence Zone

  • Overview

    On February 27,2023, the opening of the convergence zone initiative was held. The initiative aims to promote collaboration and transdisciplinary research and innovation among experts across sectors. This initiative with a collaboration with Oman Royal Hospital.

  • Convergence Zone Mechanism and Timeline

  • Convergence Zone : March 2023- May 2023 Challenges

    1.Nuclear medicine Recycling 18O-Enriched Water for [18F]-Fluoride Production: A Collaborative Approach

    Water that is enriched with 18O to a degree of over 90% is utilized as a target material in a cyclotron for the creation of the radioisotope 18F. This radioisotope is crucial for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and the production of [18F]-labeled 2-deoxyglucose (FDG). However, due to its limited availability, high demand, and elevated cost, there is an increasing interest and necessity to recycle the used water to serve as a target material for [18F]-fluoride production in clinical and research settings. The recycled [18O]-water must possess high chemical and microbial quality, as well as the greatest possible enrichment grade and purity. Unfortunately, most cyclotron facilities globally store 18O-enriched recovery water as waste.

    The objective of this work is to devise a cost-effective, coherent reprocessing and recycling plan for [18O]-water that is suitable for routine production. The desired outcome is to recycle the [18O]-water while maintaining the enrichment grade via the designated approach. The future plan is to recycle the [18O]-water from another country and market it as a product that has been recycled in Oman. To achieve this, collaboration with other institutions such as the pharmacy college and SQUH chemistry lab is required to conduct a preliminary experiment. Following this, we can partner with a quality control laboratory outside of Oman to obtain a quality certificate for recycled 18O-enriched water.

    2. Chemical waste Promoting Sustainability in Healthcare: Reusing Methanol in Laboratories for Cost-Effective and Safe Practices

    As a health sector, managing hazardous chemicals is a top priority in order to minimize the risk of exposure. Methanol is one such chemical that is utilized in the Analyzer (Anility HS) within the hematology department for fixing, as well as a component in the stain for all slide makers and manual staining procedures. Although it is essential for producing results in the lab, methanol is considered a hazardous liquid waste when used in combination with other materials to color slides. Annually, approximately 500kg of methanol is discarded, which costs 1000 OMR. However, reusing this chemical would contribute to reducing the overall cost of purchase and disposal.

    It is important to note that methanol cannot be replaced with other materials due to its effectiveness in producing accurate results, as well as the short time period and high number of samples that can be processed in one day.

    The objective of this work is to explore the feasibility of reusing methanol within our facility or to provide it to other laboratories for research and studies. By doing so, we can reduce the cost of purchasing and disposing of this hazardous chemical while also promoting sustainability in the healthcare sector. This initiative will require close collaboration with other departments within the healthcare facility, as well as with external research partners to ensure the safe and efficient reuse of methanol

    3.Clinical waste Reducing Medical Waste: Focus on Infectious, Cytotoxic, and Sharp Waste in Healthcare Facilities

    Medical waste, which can be contaminated with blood, body fluids, or other potentially infectious materials, poses significant risks to human health and the environment. This project will focus on managing infectious, cytotoxic, and sharp waste in healthcare facilities. In 2015, a study was conducted to identify the factors responsible for the high generation of medical waste and to evaluate the amount of medical waste generated. The high production of infectious, sharps, and cytotoxic waste results in expensive treatment and safe disposal, costing up to 600 OMR per kilogram.

    In 2015, the average rate of medical waste generated ranged from 3.8 to 4.1 kg/bed/day. As a result, the cost of waste management was high, and the project team sought ways to reduce costs. Over the last eight years, the annual cost savings have been significant, with a reduction from 802,341.80 OMR to 508,853.6 OMR. This represents a saving of about 428,618.8 OMR.

    Next steps : • The next steps in this project involve finding alternative solutions for selecting environmentally friendly items and identifying a local company to treat infectious waste for recycling. By adopting sustainable waste management practices, healthcare facilities can reduce costs and contribute to a healthier environment for all

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