AHIBS Experts Entrusted for AI Roadmap and Talent Development in Malaysia

Prepared by: AP. Dr. Rossilah Jamil

Two experts from Azman Hashim International Business School (AHIBS) have been awarded grants to shape the Artificial Intelligence (AI) roadmap and IR4.0 talent development in the country.

Prof. Ts. Dr. Rose Alinda Alias, Head of AHIBS Information and Service Systems Innovation Research Group (ISSIRG) was awarded RM400,000 research grant from the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI) National Science and Research Council to formulate the National AI Roadmap for Malaysia (2021-2025), which was recently completed and presented to MOSTI.

The roadmap outlined six strategies and 22 strategic initiatives to develop an AI innovation ecosystem for AI-powered transformation that will expedite Malaysia in achieving its goal to become a high-technology nation. The AI innovation ecosystem includes an AI innovation hub that leverages quadruple helix collaboration between academia, industry, government, and the public to expedite the implementation of national AI use cases that would place Malaysia on the global AI map.

Prof. Rose, who expert in Information Systems and Digital Transformation, led a multidisciplinary team of 20 UTM experts from five faculties in UTM: AHIBS, Faculty of Engineering, Razak Faculty of Technology and Informatics, Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology and Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, in collaboration with two industry consultants from PIKOM to develop the National AI Roadmap.

All activities involved were carried out virtually in a 6-month period which was during the phases of Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO) due to COVID-19 pandemic. The activities included a three-week nationwide survey, one virtual conference, four virtual focus group discussions and 10 syndications with industry. Progress of the project can be accessed at airmap.my.

Another AI industry grant worth RM600,000 has been awarded to AHIBS’ senior lecturer, Dr. Sabrinah Adam by HDA Future Tech Sdn. Bhd. Dr. Sabrinah will lead a team to develop digital talents to meet the demands of sharing economy. The one-year project involves collaborations of several academic and industrial partners including from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, HDA Future Tech Sdn. Bhd. and Johor Education Communities.

Under the project, participants consisting of final year students, graduates and alumni from public universities will go through industry-driven structured training programmes and gain professional certifications in AI. With the grant, Dr. Sabrinah hopes to improve the practical capabilities and employment competitiveness of the Malaysian workforce. 

The project is awarded as part of Johor IR 4.0 economic transformation to propel the state into the digital era. The first pilot webinar which was recently held, had succeeded in attracting interest from over 200 crowds from various Malaysian higher education institutions and received positive feedback from various sectors.