S’wak takes a leap of faith as semiconductor hub through partnership with British companies

SMD Semiconductor Sdn Bhd CEO Shariman Jamil (second left) exchanging the MOU documents with Riverbeck Ltd sales director Kevin Hudson (second right), witnessed by state Education, Innovation and Talent Development Minister Datuk Seri Roland Sagah (third right) and British High Commissioner to Malaysia Ailsa Terry (third left). - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak is taking another step towards becoming a semiconductor hub by establishing partnerships with two British companies.

State-owned SMD Semiconductor Sdn Bhd exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Riverbeck Ltd and Big Innovation Centre on Thursday (Feb 1), marking the beginning of a collaborative venture in the semiconductor industry.

State Education, Innovation and Talent Development Minister Datuk Seri Roland Sagah said the partnerships would spark innovation and foster collaboration towards the creation of new ideas and products.

"As we see these MOUs being exchanged, let's recognise how important this collaboration is.

"It's not just about the partnership but building a connection between countries, showing how well we can work together in advanced technology," he said at the ceremony here.

He also thanked British High Commissioner to Malaysia Ailsa Terry for her support in cultivating meaningful partnerships between Sarawak and Britain.

SMD CEO Shariman Jamil said the MOU with specialised chip design company Riverbeck was for a joint initiative to develop a cutting-edge radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) tailored for satellite applications.

He said this was aimed at meeting the demands of the global aerospace market, with Turkish Aerospace Malaysia as a potential partner.

"Moving forward, we will also engage with British Aerospace to explore a partnership in the application of this new radio frequency chip," he said.

On the second MOU, Shariman said SMD would collaborate with Big Innovation Centre to develop a framework for pioneering a holistic sustainability approach and circular economy strategy for semiconductors in Sarawak.

Big Innovation Centre is a London-based think tank in artificial intelligence, big data and sustainability.

The MOU exchange was held in conjunction with the closing of SMD's train the trainers programme to develop talent in semiconductor and chip design.

In light of this, Sagah called on local universities to include integrated circuit (IC) design in their curriculum.

He said this would not only equip graduates with state-of-the-art skills but also play a significant role in positioning Sarawak as a focal point for innovation and technology.

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Sarawak , Semiconductor , MOU , Roland Sagah , SMD


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