UTM-AU to Design Best Practices of R&D Commercialization for Malaysia and UK Universities

JOHOR BAHRU – A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and University of Aberystwyth (AU) and Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus (AberInnovation) from United Kingdom (UK) on 16 December 2020.

The online signing ceremony took place in the Main Meeting Room (BMU) of UTM Johor Bahru campus with Prof. Datuk Ts. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail who is the acting Vice-Chancellor of UTM signing on behalf of the university.

Meanwhile, the co-signatory parties were the Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Treasure and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AberInnovation and Enterprise Campus, Dr. Rhian Hayward.

Prof. Fauzi in his speech highlighted the aspects of commercialisation which is the importance of drawing an effective strategy as a catalyst for technological commercialisation excellence especially in a prosperous innovation ecosystem with many experts, intellectual property, financial assistance, and conducive incubator platforms.

“There is no single strategy that fits all, however, the feasibility of universities’ R&D commercialization strategy particularly in Asian countries showed to have weak viability due to their weakness of implementation.

With this MoU, UTM in collaboration with the AU and AberInnovation, have agreed to conduct a joint research and lab starting with the biorefining industry including its exploitation through commercialization,” said Datuk Fauzi.

By having this new objective to command a new design of commercialization strategies, both parties have synergistically agreed to share successful approaches and learn from each other within the specific areas of natural product extraction and formulation under the education initiatives of British Council and Malaysia.

“This initiative will approach the best practice for strategic partnering, licensing, contract research, and spin-off company formation and business incubation which could be benefited at best by all.

To benefit society and global sustainability, this collaborative effort will ensure its success and sustainable benefits so that it can be extended to various walks of life”, said Datuk Fauzi during his speech.

Several associates who witnessed the MoU were Director of UTM Innovation and Commercialisation Centre (UTMICC), Assoc. Prof. Ts Dr. Noor Azurati Ahmad@Salleh, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research, Knowledge Exchange and Innovation) of AU, Prof. Dr. Colin James McInnes, and Industrial Research Development Manager of AberInnovation, Dr. Rebecca Charnock.

The expected results of this initiative were hoped to be extended to other stakeholders who will benefit and cooperate towards developing this noble endeavor including HiCoEs such as Institute of Bioproduct Development (IBD) and Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC).

Datuk Fauzi (middle) and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Azurati Ahmad (third left) after the MoU signing ceremony held at UTM Johor Bahru. This MoU between UTM and AU was conducted online with the Aberystwyth University (AU) Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Treasure and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AberInnovation, Dr. Rhian Hayward appearing on the screen.

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