Digital technology as a powerful enabler


Prof Asma speaks on the current state of science, technology and innovation during the 24th Annual General Meeting,

ALTERNATIVE energy sources are fast becoming a primary option to power many countries worldwide.

The increasing adoption of alternative energy sources is further fuelled by concerns on energy security and climate change risks that are making headlines in recent years.

Malaysia is paving the way towards making alternative energy sources a viable power option for the country via several national policies, legislation and strategies.

To echo these national efforts, the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) has conducted several studies relevant to the energy sector and has published the following reports that provide input on hydrogen as an energy source: Advisory Report on Energy Usage and Energy Efficiency in Transportation, Carbon Free Energy: Roadmap for Malaysia and The Blueprint for Fuel Cell Industries in Malaysia.

These studies have often cited hydrogen as a potential climate-friendly energy source that could revolutionise the future of the energy sector for a sustainable Malaysia.

With that in mind, ASM organised the 12th General Assembly with the theme “Hydrogen Economy: What is the Way Forward for Malaysia” on April 27.

The topic was chosen to identify the current landscape of hydrogen economy in Malaysia and to discuss its advantages as well as issues faced in fully implementing this promising source of clean energy.

In the following 24th Annual General Meeting, ASM president Prof Datuk Dr Asma Ismail addressed the current state of science, technology and innovation (STI) of the country.

Prof Asma, who is also Universiti Sains Malaysia vice-chancellor, said that to achieve excellence in STI in pursuit of a progressive, harmonious, prosperous and sustainable Malaysia, the nation must exhibit the level of passion and devotion it had back in the early days, when it paved the way for Malaysia’s success in the commodities sector with oil palm and rubber, as well as the health sector through novel discoveries in tropical diseases.

Fast forward to the present, she highlighted the advent of emerging new fields in science, well-established disciplines being shaken up by new questions that challenge conventional knowledge and convergence of disciplines that result in new insights and astounding revelations.

Having the above mentioned passion and devotion would ensure Malaysia has the upper hand in finding our strength in STI to pursue and excel in them.

Prof Asma urged the nation to appreciate knowledge of science and technology and realise the power of digital technology as a powerful enabler for the country to embrace the digital economy.

She stated that it is imperative for Malaysia to have a strong political will to drive this agenda forward; ASM has elaborated extensively on the importance of a holistic and dynamic governance to create a robust STI ecosystem in its Science Outlook 2017 report.

In making this massive shift towards excellence in science, Prof Asma acknowledges that the growing pains will be inevitably experienced.

“Fundamental changes are sweeping the nation and new norms will make adjustments necessary.

“We need to think about what we missed in the past two decades when we failed to maximise the use of science and technology to develop and build a nation ready for a digital economy.” she said.


   

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