JOHOR BAHRU, 22 July 2018 – Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is committed to produce more successful entrepreneurs. Some of the startups that were founded by either UTM staff or students that have made it to the news including international exposure recently are DF Automation & Robotics, Rundcloud, Charby and a few others.
However, there is still a big gap to produce sufficient successful companies in this region. Thus, UTM should provide a more supportive business ecosystem if it wants to produce more successful entrepreneurs from its graduates.
Commenting on this matter, researchers, academicians and UTM robotics entrepreneurs, Dr. Yeong Chee Fai said in order to ensure the success of this agenda, UTM must be brave to take bold steps and make major changes to several matters.
Dr Yeong who was met at his office today has highlighted five steps namely to publish the past graduate entrepreneurs success stories, reduce focus to pursue the international university rating systems, brush up new talent, simplify the policy of product commercialization and to work more closely with industrial partners.
Dr. Yeong said that the international university rating system might be unrealistic as it is based on the quantity of research and publications that sometimes do not meet local requirements.
“In order to gain a special position in the international rating system, there are a lot of things to be prepared and looked into by the participating universities such as research and publications.
“What’s the point of having so many research and publications while at the same time you cannot use your research findings to solve local problems and producing positive impact on Malaysians in general,” he said.
As a result of this policy practised earlier, many research projects final reports usually end up in the form of paperwork as well as compilation of adverse reports and being stored in the library for reference and viewing purposes.
“We cannot deny the importance of fundamental research for mankind but we should also put our resources on the application of research. There must be a balance between fundamental and applied research.
UTM should also begin to start polishing existing talents as well as intensifying efforts to find and train new talents in this entrepreneurial field.
“More entrepreneurial competitions and seminars should be organized to identify and groom as many new talents as possible” said Dr. Yeong.
Mentioning about the commercialization of the research product, Dr. Yeong said that it is essential for the products to be pushed for commercialization as some of them may worth millions of ringgit.
“For the sake of commercialization, I suggest that the university should not be too rigid with the commercialization policy. By loosening this policy and not relying heavily on the practice of patenting the product, more win-win situations can be created to provide more spaces to the industry in going for product commercialization, “he said.
He also pointed out that the industrial relation should be strengthened as only those parties are aware of current demand for products in the market.
“Collaboration with the industry is also needed not only in our efforts to commercialize our products but also to guide UTM students who will become successful entrepreneurs.
“To make this agenda a reality, I see that UTM needs to have an entrepreneurial entity or committee consisting of industry players, researchers and professional instructors,” he said.
This is to enable the future development of prospective entrepreneurs from UTM to be carried out more effectively and in line with the current needs of the local industry while maintaining the scholarly values of a university.
Apart from serving as a senior lecturer at the School of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Dr. Yeong is also engaged in manufacturing and installing robots for industrial use.