Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in collaboration with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) will launch a special scholarship offer for postgraduate students majoring in Artificial Intelligence (AI) program.

The scholarship or known as MyIndustry AI Scholarship Program aims to enhance the utilization of AI technologies in Malaysia for future benefits.

The Deputy Chair of School of Graduate Studies (SPS), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Siti Zaleha Abdul Rasid said that under this pilot program, 10 recipients of the MyIndustry AI Scholarship would be given special privileges for over a period of 2 years.

“Under this program, MDEC will jointly fund the tuition fees with UTM to provide tuition exemption for 10 postgraduate students.”

“In addition to accepting tuition fees exemption, the above scholarship recipients are also eligible for sponsorship in the form of RM2, 500.00 of monthly life-supporting allowance for 24 months from the participating industries in this program,” she said.

Among the participating industries are All-Asian Satellite Television and Radio Operator (ASTRO), CIMB Bank, Green Packet Berhad, G3 Global Berhad, Intel Corporation, IRIS Corporation Berhad, Poladrone Solution Sdn Bhd, Hartelega Sdn Bhd, and 123RF.

In addition to UTM, the MyIndustry AI Scholarship Program is also participated by  University of Malaya (UM), Multimedia University (MMU), and Monash University.

Commenting on UTM role in this program, Dr. Siti Zaleha said that UTM would provide qualified candidates as well as supervisors for the purpose of monitoring research activities carried by the candidates.

“As for the MDEC, this agency will play an important role in facilitating, supporting, and linking UTM postgraduate students with the industries that require candidates to provide solutions to their companies”.

“The companies involved will provide a statement of problems faced by them to the prospective students who will be conducting AI research for the solutions. These companies will also provide project supervision services with UTM as well as share Intellectual Property (IP) with the university when the project is successful,” she said.

According to Dr. Zaleha, discussions among MDEC, participating industries, and UTM experts was held between December 2019 to April 2020 with the aim of finding a reconciliation point between the industries and their respective experts.

Among the research topics proposed by the industries were Smart Scheduling System for staff, COVID-19 Tracking System, Automated Packing System, and Face Recognition System.

Dr. Zaleha said that the biggest benefit that will be obtained by UTM through this project is becoming the largest contributor of quality human capital in the field of AI towards the development of the country’s economy and society in the future.

“This collaboration also can serve as an effective platform to initiate more strategic collaborations between UTM and industries in terms of research and strengthening the community network,” she added.