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‘Industries must link with varsities’

‘Industries must link with varsities’

07 Mar 2024

Industry players should work with universities – not only for primary research but also for the commercialisation of products, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

Dr Wee, who is TARC Education Foundation board of trustees chairman, said this is one of the ways to bridge the gap between industry and academia.

“Research (done at universities) can be very theoretical. Industries know the preferences of their customers. For industries to do research is not easy because they are not trained.

“Industries making use of universities to do research and universities at the same time understanding industrial requirements and public demand is something that will help,” he told the media after attending Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology’s (TAR UMT) InnoGratitude Day 2024 held at its main campus in Setapak here yesterday.

Dr Wee, who is also MCA president, said the ratio of research and development (R&D) spending to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is currently very low.

“Malaysia should increase its investment in R&D.

“Industries should come up with more initiatives and work with universities to upgrade knowledge and adopt the latest technologies,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, Dr Wee said industry collaboration is an important aspect in the growth of TAR UMT as outlined in its 10-year roadmap.

“One of the university’s aspirations is to be a leader in innovative academia-industry collaboration.

“This gathering is meaningful in celebrating the diverse innovative collaborations the university has forged with 83 industry partners,” he said.

Apart from producing practical industry-relevant solutions, Dr Wee said academia-industry collaborations enrich educational experiences, as students gain exposure to real-world problems, industry best practices and potential career pathways.

“This is the essence of TAR UMT’s Beyond Education philosophy, which focuses on the other important aspects of students’ development, including industry-ready skills and relevant experiences,” he said.

At the event, Dr Wee unveiled the university’s Academia Enterprise Partnership logo and also presented awards of appreciation to industry partners.

He also visited an exhibition by the university’s faculties titled “Collaboration and Innovation Through Time: Shaping the Future Together”.

Also present at the event were TAR UMT board of governors member Datuk Chong Sin Woon and president Prof Dr Lee Sze Wei.

In his closing remarks, Prof Lee expressed his hope that more collaborations will be established in the future to bring the university to the next level.

“Being a university that is very focused on its role in the socio-economic development of the country, we are very proud to forge partnerships with our industry partners and make an impact in nation-building,” he said.

Separately, in a message posted on his Facebook page after the event, Dr Wee highlighted TAR UMT’s collaboration with Technology Visionary Sdn Bhd, which is one of the university’s 83 industry partners from various industries, including finance, business and accounting, technology and engineering, food and beverage, media, applied sciences and education.

“Its chief executive officer Jeyashanker RK is very pleased to have conducted the internship programme in his company,” Dr Wee wrote in his post.

TAR UMT – with five branch campuses in Penang, Perak, Pahang, Johor and Sabah – started as a community college in 1969 before being upgraded to university college status known as Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) in 2013.

It gained its full-fledged university status upon receiving a certificate of registration from the Higher Education Department on Nov 7, 2022.

Source: The Star