KUCHING: Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus has entered into research partnerships with three organisations as part of its commitment to deliver meaningful research to the community and industries.
It signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sarawak Forestry Corp Sdn Bhd (SFC) for a research project to formulate growth-enhancing microbial fertiliser for forest plantations, particularly for kelampayan (Neolamarckia cadamba) and Eucalyptus pellita trees.
The Sarawak Timber Association (STA), which will provide RM580,000 for the three-year research project, formalised the funding through a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Swinburne Sarawak.
The research will assist replanting efforts which have been hampered by fungal diseases, insect infestation and difficulty in applying effective fertiliser.
Swinburne Sarawak researchers have formulated a plan with STA and SFC to address these issues through the cultivation of naturally-occurring microbes to provide young trees with nutrients and resistance to disease.
Also signed was a memorandum of agreement between Swinburne Sarawak and Daitoku Sdn Bhd for the development of sustainable bio-fertiliser from oil palm biomass waste.
Last year, the university signed an MoU with Daitoku to jointly explore developing natural bio-fertiliser from oil palm waste.
The research team will now assess the effectiveness of these formulations with the aim of substituting chemical fertilisers with an environmentally-friendly natural alternative.
The MoA signed will provide the research team with support towards their work.
“The signing of the three research agreements shows the maturity of Swinburne Sarawak’s research efforts and that we are making a real statement about the potential of Sarawak for world-class research here at Swinburne Sarawak,” the university’s deputy vice-chancellor and CEO Prof Anthony Cahalan said.
Senior officers from the three organisations signed the agreements while Cahalan signed for the university.
The signing was witnessed by Swinburne Sarawak board director Mersal Abang Rosli, who is also Yayasan Sarawak principal assistant director (investment and property).