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Involve in more Industry 4.0-related research, academia urged

KUALA LUMPUR, 15 May 2019: International Trade and Industry (MITI) Deputy Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming has urged education institutions in the country to involve in more research activities relating to Industry 4.0.

Dr Ong said one of the possible ways for academia to accelerate Industry 4.0-related research is by collaborating with national applied research and development centre MIMOS.

“As we all know we are already embracing Industry 4.0 where we see industry transformation with the application of advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT).  AI, for instance, can be incorporated in teaching and research activities.

“We encourage more educational institutions to involve in research relating to Industry 4.0, be it academic or applied research, that can benefit industry and the nation as a whole,” he said, adding that MIMOS has the technological capabilities to meet industry needs.

He said that during the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signing ceremony between MIMOS and SEGi University and the launching of SEGi-MIMOS Centre of Excellence in AI, at the university in Petaling Jaya, on Tuesday.

Dr Ong commended the partnership, saying it would hopefully benefit the nation in its research and development of AI technology.

Under the partnership, both parties will undertake collaborative research in relation to AI technology while the SEGi-MIMOS Centre of Excellence in AI would see both parties leverage on each other’s expertise.

The agreement will bridge the gap between basic research being undertaken by SEGi University and technology development in MIMOS through collaborative R&D; and will contribute to the development of a new talent pool with the right competencies in AI.

The agreement was signed by MIMOS Interim Chief Executive Officer Emelia Matrahah and SEG International Bhd Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Hew Moi Lan.  Also present were SEGi University Vice-Chancellor Professor Patrick Kee and MIMOS Chief Technology Officer Thillai Raj.

Thillai Raj said AI has become a game-changer in many sectors including manufacturing, finance, healthcare, and the service industry, as it helps them in optimising their efficiency and productivity.

“The fast-paced digital economy has left governments and industries with no choice but to adopt cutting-edge technologies such as AI in their race to add value for customers.  SEGi University has made a timely decision in setting up the AI Research Centre, which I foresee will push the boundaries of AI research.

“Our collaboration with SEGi University is in line with Industry4WRD (the national policy on Industry 4.0) where we want to build a strong pool of knowledge, skills, and talent towards increasing the country’s AI capabilities,” he said.

Professor Kee said the SEGi-MIMOS Centre of Excellence aims to conduct research and develop disruptive technology based on foundational AI that addresses operational problems and enables new products and services to the nation with a strategic roadmap established with MIMOS to ensure a phase-by-phase implementation.

“In 2015, SEGi University launched its first R&D Blueprint (2016–2020) focusing on three main phases that allowed us to drive successful research and innovation strategy with an impactful outcome for the community. We will internalise our research capability through effective collaboration among the public, university, business sectors and across national boundaries.

“SEGi is committed to adopting a global benchmark in producing world-class students and academics who could constantly evolve and generates the Malaysian economy to the next level. One of our main focuses is on preparing our academics and students for Industry 4.0, a new wave of industrial revolution.

“One of our focuses areas based on our R&D Blueprint is AI. The Centre will work on developments in machine learning, social robotics, business intelligence, computer vision, computational intelligence, brain-computer interface, data science, and information systems, as well as commercialisation of our research activities,” he added.