UNIVERSITI Tenaga Nasional (Uniten) is gearing up to turn its Putrajaya campus into a smart “city” in an effort to create a “smart society”.
Dubbed the Uniten Smart UniverCity, the entire project is expected to be implemented by January 2018, says Uniten Strategic Planning Centre Smart UniverCity project manager Dr Norziana Jamil.
Among the elements of a smart university, she adds, is to provide a unique campus experience by enriching staff, students and visitors experience through the usage of technology.
One way the university plans on doing this, she says, is by using a soon-to-be-released mobile application that will show bus schedules, available parking spaces, a map of the campus and food on offer at nearby cafes and restaurants.
There are also plans to have cashless transactions throughout the campus.
Besides these, Uniten plans on creating a micro smart-grid that will also allow the university to generate its own electricity using solar panels and biomass.
“This will also help reduce our carbon footprint and we can sell the electricity to Tenaga Nasional,” she adds.
All 11,500 students and 1,135 staff members will benefit from the smart city concept, says Dr Norziana.
“Students and lecturers will enjoy a unique learning experience in Uniten including having smart classrooms,” she adds.
During a kick-off and hi-tea event to woo partners to the project, Uniten vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Kamal Nasharuddin says the objective of the Smart UniverCity is to make the university’s campus an innovation platform and hub for ideas to create a more sustainable future.
“Through Smart UniverCity projects, Uniten can explore more opportunities with industries and government agencies so that everybody can share the benefits while playing roles to deliver quality services and technology to the community,” he adds.
Prof Kamal says the idea also came about during a working visit to Amsterdam, a city known for being open to innovation and creativity.
“We would like to have a similar approach, but in Uniten Smart UniverCity, we will try to provide testbeds for our researchers and students to make use and leverage (on what’s available) for creating more innovations.”
He also says that the university is committed to applying smart technology to improve their students’ lifestyles.
The hi-tea was also to form stronger strategic partnerships between the industries and Uniten for matters pertaining to research and innovation.