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Published: Thursday November 15, 2012 MYT 7:37:00 PMUpdated: Thursday November 15, 2012 MYT 7:55:03 PM
GOLD COAST: The Malaysian Scientific Diaspora Network (MSDN), which was launched here Thursday, will serve as a key platform to connect Malaysian scientists worldwide and promote collaborative research in their areas of expertise for the country's benefit.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is on nine-day working visit to Australia, said the initiative is part of the national agenda to tap local talent abroad to contribute to the country.
Speaking at the launch with about 100 of Malaysia's best minds in Australia, Muhyiddin said the global Malaysian scientific community could use the network to discuss general scientific and research issues and represent the voice of the Malaysian scientific community across the world.
They could also use the network to provide valuable collective ideas to improve scientific research and development in Malaysia, promote research collaborations and knowledge sharing, and provide guidance for young researchers, he said.
"We believe that this scientific diaspora network is a valuable source of talents that can be tapped to enhance knowledge and skills transfer, and in turn, strengthen scientific research in Malaysia.
"Indirectly, Malaysian scientists working abroad can contribute to our national progress and development through their collaborative work with Malaysian researchers," he said.
Muhyiddin said it was a new approach to get the best Malaysian minds to reinvigorate scientific research in Malaysia and help transform the country into a high-income developed nation by 2020.
"This innovative way of 'brain gain' will of course, be mutually beneficial for both Malaysian scientists working abroad and those working in Malaysia.
"With the strength of one million diasporas abroad based on the World Bank Report, where about 120,000 of them are in Australia, Malaysia was looking at a new way to tap those talents for the interest of the nation.
"The Malaysians overseas work as professionals in various sectors of the economy including banking, engineering, medicine and some of them work as lecturers or researchers in universities, and many others run their own businesses," he said.
The deputy prime minister said, the MSDN offered strategic benefits which included global exposure to education, technology and business, providing inputs for the formulation of national strategic plans and policies, opportunities for collaboration and partnership, participation in academic and business forum, consultation, seminars and dialogues.
The network would also allow researchers to utilise resources beyond individual organisations and provide strategic direction in the development of human resource capability towards enhancing national competency, he said.
Muhyiddin said it was envisioned that the newly-launched MSDN would comprise Malaysian researchers working in Australia, non-Malaysian researchers working in Australia who are interested to collaborate with researchers in Malaysia, and Malaysian and non-Malaysian researchers working in Malaysia.
For the Australian chapter, the network aimed to connect with prestigious scientific community in Australia such as the Australian Academy of Sciences, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, he said.
Expressing delight that Malaysia's higher education ministry had taken the initiative to establish the MSDN, Muhyiddin hoped the network would be strategically managed and utilised to allow Malaysian scientists to contribute effectively to knowledge transfer and growth in Malaysia.
"Malaysian diasporas are great assets to our country, an asset that we would like to continuously nurture and develop for the benefit of our nation," he said. - Bernama
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