Kuala Lumpur, 29 November 2021 – The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), in collaboration with Intel Malaysia and the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC), successfully organised a virtual launching of the Intel Artificial Intelligence for Universities (AI4U) Programme today. The event is a continuation of Intel’s pilot Artificial Intelligence for SMEs (AI4S) Programme, launched earlier in January 2021.
The AI4U Programme is an initiative that is set out to introduce an ‘AI-based machine vision’ to the university community. Parallel to the Malaysian Government’s aspirations of preparing the country and its youths for the future, the programme supports the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP) to advance digital economy, normalise digitalisation for inclusive development, accelerate Research, Development, Commercialisation and Innovation, as well as to capitalise on emerging technologies.
As a commitment under the recently tabled Budget 2022 to improve the quality of education, the AI4U Programme is a testament to Intel Malaysia’s continuous commitment in bridging the gap between the needs of the industry and the supply of young local talents. This is expected to benefit young graduates and the underprivileged further through technical and vocational education and training.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Investment Promotion and Facilitation, MIDA, emphasised the importance of cultivating an ‘AI mindset’ among university graduates, especially those without a background in computer science. Effectively, the programme is expected to shatter the traditional notion that AI is only for ‘techies’.
“I am confident that this initiative developed by MIDA, Intel and MPC will serve as a catalyst to the local universities and education centres in proactively creating a new generation of AI-savvy Malaysians who are primed to propel the nation towards achieving Industry 4.0,” he said.
Mr. Sivasuriyamoorthy further expressed his hopes that the AI4U Programme will also inspire other MNCs in Malaysia to emulate Intel’s goodwill in contributing back to the talent ecosystem in Malaysia, not only on the prospects of increasing talent capabilities overall but the enhancing of their own value proposition as well.
MIDA has stepped up its efforts in preparing local talents for future jobs, sharpening the country’s competitive edge to become the preferred investment destination. Being the government’s principal investment promotion and development agency, MIDA has been collaborating with academic institutions, policymakers, and industry players to undertake initiatives that will drive the right skilling and continuous technology grading of the local talents.
To drive this is Intel, a leader in artificial intelligence solutions, specialising in both software and hardware. The renowned company has a well-documented passion towards connecting its partners together in technology and knowledge exchanges, thus aiding in the development of the local manufacturing ecosystem in Malaysia. Intel will be supporting the programme by laying the groundwork for these modules to be executed, including training to the lecturers.
“The AI4U programme is yet another collaborative initiative between Intel, MIDA and MPC to prepare our future workforce for the AI world, after the launch of the AI for SMEs (A14S) and AI for Youth (AI4Y) programs. It has been inspiring to work together with MIDA and MPC to address the AI gap in Malaysia, and through programs such as AI4U, we hope to bring AI technology and knowledge to all students regardless of their specialisation, as part of our overall goal of equipping a wider segment of the population with AI skills”, Aik Kean (AK) Chong, the Managing Director of Intel Malaysia commented.
At the enterprise, sectoral and national levels, the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) has organised programmes aimed at catering to the country’s needs for highly-skilled and well-trained human capital. This is to steer a new workforce generation towards higher-value and knowledge-based activities, subsequently fulfilling the nation’s aspiration to become an advanced economy.
YBhg. Dato’ Abdul Latif Hj. Abu Seman, Director General of MPC, said along with MIDA & Intel, this AI4U program is a follow-up program from the success of our AI Machine Vision for SMEs, also known as AI4S. As the Operational Partner of this AI4U Project, MPC will be managing the entire training process with technical support from Intel.
“With the introduction of AI4U program, MPC is confident that the academic community will gain as much knowledge as possible on AI-based machine vision technologies and its applications. MPC is delighted to be a part of this program together with MIDA and Intel Malaysia,” added Dato’ Latif.
This launch featured a line-up of 5 public and private universities namely, Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) and Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU). These institutions were awarded with Intel’s AI Kits needed to establish their respective AI Labs and will serve to empower students of all faculties to learn and adopt AI-based machine vision systems.
The representatives of each university, from chancellors to presidents and deans, welcomed the programme, citing not only how it will benefit their respective institutions but the prospects of raising an AI-conscious generation. Considering the normalisation of AI across multiple industries, the universiti representatives expressed their confidence that the AI4U programme is the way forward for Malaysian youths and their gratitude for being the institutions chosen to partake in the programme.
Intel Malaysia was the first offshore site for Intel Corporation, with more than RM22 billion invested since 1972. Today, Intel Malaysia employs more than 12,000 employees including the country’s largest design and development centre and one of only two Intel shared services hubs supporting HR, Finance, Procurement, IT, and Supply Chain operations to Intel sites globally. Intel Malaysia is also Intel’s largest assembly and test manufacturing site that produces Intel’s latest products utilizing smart manufacturing techniques.
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About Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC)
Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) is a statutory body under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). MPC promotes productivity, quality and competitiveness to the industries and organisations in Malaysia. MPC’s vision is to be the leading organisation in productivity enhancement for global competitiveness and innovation.
About Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA)
MIDA is the government’s principal investment promotion and development agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to oversee and drive investments into the manufacturing and services sectors in Malaysia. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur Sentral, MIDA has 12 regional and 20 overseas offices. MIDA continues to be the strategic partner to businesses in seizing the opportunities arising from the technology revolution of this era. For more information, please visit www.mida.gov.my and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube channel.
For more information or media queries, please contact:
Tripti Dahiya (Ms.)
PR Manager – Southeast Asia
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +65 84366612
Aizah Abdullah (Ms.)
Industry Talent Management and Expatriate MIDA
Email: [email protected] Tel: 03-2267 3529
Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC)
Lee Wan Wei (Ms.)
Productivity & Competitiveness Development
Email: [email protected] Tel: 03-7955 7266
Intel Artificial Intelligence For Universities (AI4U) Programme Empowers Tertiary Students With Future-Ready AI Capabilities