JOHOR BAHRU, 10 April 2023- The Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today.
The MoU titled ‘Record of Discussions for MJIIT UTM 3rd Phase Technical Cooperation Project was signed by the Vice-Chancellor of UTM, Prof. Datuk Ir. Ts. Dr Ahmad Fauzi Ismail and his counterpart, Mr Ingaki Yoshitaka, Chief Representative of JICA Malaysia Office.
The session was organized to commemorate the long-standing partnership and cooperation between UTM through the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) with JICA.
In his welcoming remarks, UTM Vice-Chancellor has said that this ceremony will mark the beginning of a Project Period of five years between MJIIT and JICA, known as the Enhancement of Malaysia-Japan Linkage (MJL) Office at MJIIT.
“The First Phase of the Project was initiated from 2010 until 2017, whilst the Second Phase continued from 2018 until April 2023.
“Meanwhile, the Third Phase of the Project, or Malaysia-Japan Linkage (MJL), will continue from July 2023 until 2028. MJL aims to make MJIIT UTM a prominent Japanese Industrial and Education Hub between ASEAN and Japan. In other words, MJL is strengthened as a sustainable platform for collaboration with Japanese universities and industries,” said Prof. Fauzi.
Prof. Fauzi said that the MJL focuses on three main pillars: the official establishment of MJL as a sustainable window unit at MJIIT, collaboration expansion with Japanese industry and Japanese universities in education and research.
“Among the initiatives to be implemented by both parties include academic and research collaboration, talent development programs, joint seminars, workshops, and conferences.
“There are six sponsorship laboratories, and eleven MJIIT contracted research with Japanese companies to date. MJIIT has identified only 8 ikhoza (36.4%) that are likely to collaborate with industries,” said Prof. Fauzi.
By 2028, MJL aims to heighten the number of MJIIT–industry linkages through sponsorship laboratories, contracted research or MoA/MoU with a Japanese company, expecting 80% of ikhoza to have joint projects.
According to Prof. Fauzi, MJL will also focus on strengthening relationships with selected Japanese University Consortium (JUC) partners and international institutes to enhance the proposed new emerging areas programs such as Disaster Preparedness and Prevention, Food security, as well as Halal and Green Technology.
“The program will involve a staff exchange program with JUC partner through cross-appointment or postdoctoral appointments and other activities which would ensure the sustainability of the collaboration.
“MJIIT is expected to become the leading laboratory and testing institution that offers a vast array of opportunities for standout research & knowledge exchange in engineering and science,” said Prof. Fauzi.
The special laboratories will be utilized as International Open Research Centre in the ASEAN region, contributing to promoting R&D capabilities in Malaysia, promoting joint research with researchers inside and outside Malaysia, and assisting in providing advanced science and technology to other ASEAN countries.
“At this stage, the laboratory in MJIIT is equipped with the most advanced technologies in Malaysia. Currently, MJIIT has four services laboratories (Advanced precision, Analytical, microscopy and water laboratory) and six industry joint laboratories.
“These laboratories are fully equipped with a highly sophisticated range of equipment to meet all the needs of our clients and research associates. To become the central laboratory in ASEAN, MJIIT will establish a variety of labs from wet biology and chemistry to engineering labs to dry computer science facilities,” said Prof. Fauzi.
Recently, MJIIT has organized Japan Day 2022 to strengthen MJIIT’s collaboration with various stakeholders and to create a network for new synergy purposes.
The Japan Day 2022 was officiated by the Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia, His Excellency Mr Takahashi Katsuhiko, on 27 December 2022 at the Grand Banquet Hall, Level 6, Residensi UTMKL, Kuala Lumpur.
With the overarching theme “Connecting Industry through Innovation”, a special forum entitled “Japanese Core Values & the Reformation of Minds and Behaviors in Malaysia” was the highlight of the unique event.