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NEXPO’23: Empowering Cross-Sector Collaboration and Partnership

31 Oct 2023 – The Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Nexus Expo 2023, organized by the UTM Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation Department, brought together innovators, researchers, industry players, government agencies, students, and the public under one roof to showcase and discuss their innovation and potential research. The event, which placed significant emphasis on research and innovation, provided a platform for inventors from various departments and centers to demonstrate their creativity and intelligence. The UTM Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation has mandated the UTM Innovation and Commercialisation Centre (UTM ICC) Taskforce to conduct several activities, including a two-hour Industry Connectivity and Networking (ICON) Talk on Hi-Tech on the first day (October 25, 2023), four sharing sessions entitled ‘Maverick Slots’ on Day 1 and Day 2, gathering ten researchers from research centres and UTM’s spin-off companies to showcase their innovations that have reached Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7–9, and managing the parallel pitching session for the internal funding program (SME Intech Accelerator Fund) on Day 2. The Strategic Officer, UTM ICC, Ts. Dr. Norhayati Mohamed Noor, and the UTM ICC Director, Assoc. Prof. Ts. Dr. Noor Azurati Ahmad @ Salleh, are closely monitoring the task force.

ICON Talk on Hi-Tech

The first opening program of NEXPO’23 titled “High Tech Global: Empowering Cross-Sector Collaboration and Partnership”, was a success. The ICON Talk on Hi-Tech was conducted on Day 1 with the objective of bringing together professionals from various backgrounds in the high-tech industry, agencies, and universities to promote networking. UTM ICC Director Assoc. Prof. Ts. Dr. Noor Azurati Ahmad @ Salleh moderated the discussion. The event featured four experts from different fields, including Mr. Thiagesh K Lingam, Senior Director of Business Partnership and Commercialisation at the Malaysian Institute of Microelectronic Systems (MIMOS), Mrs. Mariatini Othman, Senior Vice President of the Malaysian Technology Development Centre (MTDC), Dr. Mohd Adib Sarijari, UTM researcher and founder of Innates PLT (UTM’s spin-off company), and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nor Ashikin Mohamed Yusof, Policy Studies Research Group Leader of Perdana Centre of STI Policy, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. The main goal of the talk was to promote collaboration and partnership among industry experts, researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs to drive innovation.

Maverick sharing sessions by UTM experts

In addition to the ICON Talk, four different research areas successfully presented the Maverick Slots during the two-day event. These areas of research were Water, headed by Associate Professor Ts. Dr. Juhana Jaafar, who is the Director of Advanced Membrane Technology Centre (AMTEC); Smart Transportation, chaired by Associate Professor Dr. Mohd Farid Muhamad Said, who is the Chair of Innovative Engineering Research Alliances; Blockchain, headed by Ts. Dr. Nur Haliza Abdul Wahab, who is the Head of Pervasive Computing Research, and Nano-tech, headed by Associate Professor Ts. ChM. Dr. Nik Ahmad Nizam Nik Malek, the Director of Ibnu Sina Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (ISI-SIR).

Some of the innovations from UTM inventors

In addition, UTM ICC has compiled a list of ten innovative products that have reached TRL 7-9 from various fields to showcase their advancements. The list includes GuardExpert Pro Advanced, AIxpert Tool and 3D Towermind, NK Age Reverse Cleanser, Membrane Water Filter Straw (JerneH2O), Bee Modular Box, Portable Visual Signal Device for Deaf Sports Athletic, Dual Antibax, Eco Green Brick, SPO-GPS: Self-Power Global Positioning Device and Monitoring System, and Scalebone.

SME Intech Accelerator Fund Pitching Session

On Day 2, UTM ICC was responsible for the parallel pitching session for the internal funding of the SME Intech Accelerator Fund. The SME Intech Accelerator Fund received four proposals, which were evaluated by Subject Matter Experts and Jawatankuasa Dana, managed by UTM ICC. The aim of the funding is to address industry problems using innovative technologies. Innovation should be incorporated into the improvements of a product or process to make it more competitive in the market.

Some of the UTM Innovation and Commercialisation Centre Taskforce involved in NEXPO’23

The program has successfully brought together players from government agencies, universities, industry, and the community. Innovation flourishes in an environment of collaboration and connectivity, rather than isolation. NEXPO’23 has not only provided a platform for inventors and entrepreneurs but has also cultivated a sense of community among the public.

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