KUCHING: Sarawak welcomes collaboration with international experts in its efforts to develop a digital economy and become a high-income state by 2030.
Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said the state had a lot of work to do to catch up and leapfrog from Industry 2.0 (mass production) to Industry 4.0 (smart manufacturing).
“That is why we try to get various agencies like IBM to help us work towards the digital economy, because we are just starting.
“With all the experts available throughout the world, I don’t think there is any shortage of expertise provided we are willing to work with them and get them to come here,” he said after closing the IBM Corporate Service Corp (CSC) consultancy programme here yesterday.
Manyin said the IBM CSC programme was a good example of collaboration with a worldwide organisation of experts.
Under the programme, a team of 15 IBM CSC consultants from 10 countries provided pro bono consulting and volunteer service activities with the Sarawak Skills Development Centre, Sarawak State Library, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) and Kuching North City Hall (DBKU).
Manyin said the state government was also in the process of finalising a research collaboration between Cambridge University and SBC in therapeutic science.
“They have come up with certain proposals to work together on research for three years and five years. We are still looking into the proposals,” he said.
In his speech earlier, Manyin said Sarawak was accelerating towards the digital era and welcomed recommendations from industry leaders such as IBM which could act as a catalyst towards the state’s digital transformation.
“The IBM CSC projects are not only innovative but beneficial and a case of using technology for the good of Sarawak.
“With the strategies and action plans developed by the IBM CSC team, I am confident that the four agencies will have a fast start in transforming their organisations to take advantage of the opportunity that digital transformation presents and to better serve and impact their beneficiaries,” he said.
The IBM CSC team worked with the Sarawak Skills Development Centre to develop a data-driven marketing strategy to encourage young people from rural areas to take up technical and vocational training and education.
The team also designed an action plan for the state library to use data analytics to better understand and engage with the public to use the library’s services and improve literacy.
At SBC, the team outlined a roadmap to improve the management of traditional biodiversity knowledge with a view of using analytics to speed up the discovery of medicinal uses of plants.
The team also built an action plan for DBKU to develop a digital platform that will engage the community to collaborate and participate in crime prevention.
During the month-long programme which started on Feb 23, the IBM CSC team also conducted an artificial intelligence workshop for secondary school students, shared advice at the Sarawak Career and Training Fair, taught students how to use technology for research and co-organised a forum for young women leaders.