NEWLY-APPOINTED Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) adjunct professor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai has called on local universities to push its research and development plans with the private sector.
The Star Media Group Bhd group managing director and chief executive officer said such collaboration should be part of a university’s programme.
(Wong (left) presenting a memento of recognition to Prof Mohamed Mustafa.)
He said by virtue of its existence, the academia with its readily accessible knowledge, expertise, infrastructure and research capacity, was a research and development centre unto itself.
“For decades, businesses have been relying on third-party consultancy firms for research and development work.
“While this model has been tried and tested time and again, we have yet to test the function and realise the full potential of the academia as a research and development centre,” he said in his inaugural lecture at UUM’s Industry Networking Dinner 2015 themed Enhancing Academia-Industry Collaborations: Exploring New Frontiers For UUM at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur recently.
Wong, who will teach at the Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business, said it was an excellent opportunity for UUM to improve its revenue stream by providing research and development services to its industry partners, in return for research grants, as an example.
(Malaysian Institute of Translation’s book translation and training department head Siti Rafiah Sulaiman, Aeon Co. (M) Bhd managing director Nur Qamarina Chew, Inland Revenue Board (IRB) risk management division deputy director Dr Marhaini Mahmood, IRB deputy CEO (policy) Noor Azian Hamid and KPMG Chartered Accountants executive director Monsy Siew)
He also said the industry sector was continuously seeking innovations which research and development work was capable of delivering.
“Through existing structures such as the Centre for University-Industry Collaboration (CUIC), UUM actually has the added advantage to give professional research and development consultancy firms a run for their money by establishing joint ventures with its industry partners.
“UUM must also be proactive in conducting its own market research on current consumer needs and trends,” he said
Wong added media companies would welcome universities coming up with media research as there was a need for one that could compete with the AC Nielsen Media Index.
Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said to further enhance the sustainability and effectiveness of UUM programmes, the role of industry partners certainly cannot be denied.
“UUM is a gateway to a myriad of opportunities and university-industry collaboration.
“To this end, UUM has established its own University Industry Advisory Council comprising industry experts across multiple sectors.
“It works to provide guidance on the university-industry collaboration agenda in the interest of keeping its programmes relevant to the current needs of the industry,” he said in his speech.
He also noted that this year, the employability rate of UUM graduates rose to 80.9% from 79.8% last year.
“This achievement is undoubtedly the result of multiple strategic approaches and programmes led by UUM, including the roles played by its adjunct professors and industry partners,” he said.
At the event, the Industry Centre of Excellence (ICoE) Appreciation Award was presented to Mydin Mohammed Holding Bhd, Emkay Group Bhd, Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) and Aeon (M) Bhd while the Rising Star Award was awarded to Sime Darby, Shell Business Centre Sdn Bhd, CIMB Group and Warisan TC Management Service.