International science fair returns to spur innovation

(From left) Yoon, Ramasamy, Chow, Ooi, Solomon and Chief Minister Incorporated head S. Bharathi during a press conference at Lebuh Light, Penang. – LIM BENG TATT/The Star.

AFTER a two-year hiatus, the 10th Penang International Science Fair (PISF 2022) will be held from Dec 3 to 10.

Penang Science Cluster (PSC) chief executive officer Datuk Ooi Peng Ee said there would be 10,000 fun and hands-on workshop slots during the fair.

“We have three main venues: Butterworth Arena on Dec 3 and 4, Arus Academy in Bukit Mertajam and Penang Skills Development Centre on Dec 10, from 9am to 4pm, which are open to schools and the public.

“It will also be held at SMK Permai Indah, SMJK Sacred Heart and Vitrox Makerspace on various dates for schools only,” he said.

Ooi added that the fair would feature 35 exhibitors and schools.

“There will be 32 activities, over 23 career talk sessions, as well as virtual company tours.

“There will be three competitions during the PISF, including the ‘Coolest Projects Malaysia 2022’ which is an international-level competition.

“We received over 600 projects from Malaysia and South-East Asia, including 12 international projects,” he said.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the PISF, since its establishment, has been a significant event organised by the PSC with the strong support of the state government, the industry, organisations and institutions.

“The PISF had to be cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. It was then held virtually for the first time in 2021.

“This year, PSC will introduce a new hybrid format for PISF 2022, incorporating both virtual and physical activities.

“This includes a travelling science fair, virtual company tours, industry workshops, workshops by MakerLab schools and career talks,” he said during a press conference at the state assembly building in Lebuh Light.

Chow said the annual event served to spark interest and inspire innovations in science and technology among students in Penang and the northern region.

“The many programmes implemented by PSC and companies leading to the Science Fair over the years are helping to create a pipeline of future technical talent to support our industry and economy in Penang and Malaysia.

“Penang, despite being the second smallest state in Malaysia, is the economic powerhouse of the country, and this is evident with the trade and investment performances of the state throughout its 50-year journey of industrialisation.

“This pipeline of talent is critical as Penang continues to attract many new multinationals to set up their operations here, as well as expansion plans and reinvestments by existing companies in Penang,” he said.

Chow added that talent development and economic growth go hand in hand.

“If we only have a sizeable pool of talents without a thriving economy, our talents will migrate.

“Similarly, the economy will shrink if we have an economy without a sizeable pool of talents,” he said.

Also present were Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy, PSC director Datuk Yoon Chon Leong and Motorola Solutions Malaysia vice-president and managing director of Penang operations Solomon Lorthu.

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