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University Malaya Achievements Posted: 08 December 2009; Category: Achievement

Institution's Achievements & Activities in Research

The setting up of the Institute of Research Management and Consultancy (Institut Pengurusan Penyelidikan dan Perundingan, IPPP) was agreed by the University Senate on 23rd August 2000 and approved by the University Board of Directors on 11th October 2000. IPPP functions as a ‘one-stop’ centre to manage all research related activities in the University of Malaya. The Institute’s involve primarily planning, organizing, promoting, monitoring and evaluating research conducted by researchers in the University. It also provides services in the transfer of technology and commercialization of research outputs and products including providing consultancy services to the public and private sectors. The Institute is intended to realize the University’s desire to be a world class research university. Functions of the Institute are:

• To inculcate a research culture and develop comprehensive research activities based on international standards.
• To strengthen research training programmes and infrastructure in the University.
• To enhance research quality, quantity and outputs in the University which contribute to the development of educational programmes within the University, nationality and internationally.
• To encourage and manage commercialization of research outputs.
• To encourage collaborative research within the University, with other universities or parties including the internationalization of research activities.
• To disseminate the findings and achievements of research in the University.

To carry out its responsibilities effectively and efficiently, the Institute is organized into various units as follows:

Director’s OfficeThe Director’s Office is the centre of IPPP which partakes all the planning, execution, monitoring and assessment of research activities, consultancy, technology transfer and commercialization. This office is also responsible for leading the efforts in policy making and undertaking main research activities.
Research Development Unit (UPP) • To increase staff contribution in research activities
• To identify research areas
• To seek potential funding agencies
• To encourage and establish international linkages
• To disseminate information about research
• To organize exhibitions, seminars and discussions on research outputs as well as compilation of related publications
Sponsored Research Unit (UPDiT) • To enhance research opportunities and facilities
• To manage research grant accounts
• To administer the appointment of research assistants
• To manage “on-line” research information system
• To coordinate international research programmes
Consultancy Unit University of Malaya (UPUM) • To provide consultancy and contract research work to various government departments and industries
• To offer professional services and sources to public and private sectors
• To enhance greater interaction with industries
• To promote various academic and professional expertise available from the University
Technology Transfer and Commercialization Unit (UPTK) • To commercialize the findings of UM scientific and technological research
• To serve as the centre for information on all matters related to business development in UM
• To generate income for UM through commercialization of technology, education, research and infrastructure
• To oversee all activities involving commercialization and joint ventures
• To assist in inculcation of science culture and technology to the society through technology transfers
Radiation Protection Services Unit (UPPS) • To manage the application, renewal and amendment of the Radiation Protection Licence
• To implement efficiently and effectively a comprehensive programme of radiation protection in the University
• To identify, plan and conduct training at the various levels required in radiation safety
• To manage and maintain records of radiation workers, purchasing of radioactive materials and radioactive equipment and its maintenance in the University
• To identify new methods and requirements for the management of radioactive equipment

Scientist from UM have received numerous awards for their outstanding accomplishment and substantial contributions to the development of S&T with a total of 815 national awards and 214 international awards in 2004 – April 2008. Some of the awards are:

YearName of The Awards
2001• ASEAN Outstanding Scientist and Technologist Award (Professor Looi Lai Meng)
• National Science Award (Professor Ir. Dr Mohd Ali Hashim) & Professor Dato’ Lam Sai Kit)
• National Young Scientist Award (Assoc. Prof. Dr. Siti Aishah Haji Alias)
2004• MTSF Science & Technology Award (Professor Dr. Kurunathan a/l Ratnavelu)
2005• MTSF Science & Technology Award (Professor Dr. Wong Chiow San)
• Life Ball Swarowski Crystal of Hope Award (Professor Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman)
2006• Mahathir Science Award, Academy of Sciences Malaysia (Faculty of Medicine)
2007• MTSF 2007 Science & Technology Award (Professor Dr Harith Ahmad & Professor Dr. Thong Kwai Lin)

Significant Research Currently Undertaking

Being a comprehensive university, research conducted at UM spans the whole spectrum of areas. The research areas can be generally categorized as Medical and Allied Health Sciences, ICT, Biotechnology & Biological Sciences, Physical, Chemical & Mathematical Sciences, Engineering Science & Technology, Humanities and Social Sciences.

In its effort to maintain a rich culture of innovation and remain competitive, UM has formulated a strategic plan to focus on more comprehensive research clusters covering areas such as biotechnology, information and communication technologies, advanced materials and nanotechnology within the field of medical/allied sciences, engineering agriculture and the environment. These clusters function as the innovation hub within the university and are supported by researchers that cut across faculties and disciplines. The biotechnology cluster, for example, comprises centres such as Centre for Research in Biotechnology for Agriculture (CEBAR), Centre for Research in Natural Products and Drug Discovery (CENAR), Centre for Biotechnology Strategy and Policy (CenBios), Centre for Research in Industrial Biotechnology (INBio), Centre for Medical Biotechnology (CenMed) and Centre of Research for Computational Science and Informatics for Biology, Bioindustry, Environment, Agriculture and Healthcare (CRYSTAL). In another example, the Advanced Materials cluster is made up of the Centre for Nanotechnology, Precision and Advanced Materials, Centre for Surface Science and Nanoscience, COMBICAT and the Glycolipids S&T Group. The establishment of these cluster groups offers opportunities for partnerships and strategic alliances both at local and global levels.

In addition to the emphasis given to the identified clusters, ‘curiosity-driven’ and fundamental research are also encouraged to promote a vibrant culture of knowledge acquisition and innovation in the university. The university is continuously refocusing and strengthening its research and academic position by enhancing linkages and promoting internationalization through participation by foreign postgraduate students, researchers, universities and private sector establishments.

In 2007, research activities in UM has been realigned into several clusters as below:
• Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing
• Advanced Fundamental Research
• Advanced Material & Technology
• Biotechnology
• Health and Allied Sciences
• Humanities & Ethics
• Information & Computer Technology
• Social & Behavioral Science
• Strategic & International Relations
• Sustainability & Environment

These research clusters are further supported by Centres of Research at both national and international levels. Some of the more prominent Centres of Research in the university include:
• Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences
• Centre for Research in Nanotechnology and Catalysis
• Glycolipids Research Centre
• Photonics Research Centre
• Centre of Research and Training in HIV
• Centre for Tropical Infectious Diseases Research
• Oral Cancer Research and Coordinating Centre
• Centre for Research in Biotechnology for Agriculture
• Centre for Natural Product and Drug Discovery Research
• Centre for Poverty and Development Studies
• University of Malay Centre for Ionic Liquids
• Centre of Ionics University of Malaya

Commercialisation of Research

Commercialization is the process of turning an idea or technology (Intellectual Properties –IP) into a product or service which generates revenue to the inventor or research institution. The research commercialization process takes over university research results after evaluating their patent-and market-potential, patents them, and finally works to transfer the technologies to industry through provision of information to businesses, carrying out marketing, licensing them to the most suitable companies. The profits of research commercialization are to be given back to universities to be used for research purposes. During the commercialization process, universities will address an adequate financial support from governments, industries and other stakeholders. Universities will also make an effective innovation management with academic entrepreneurship as research commercialization is a crucial aspect of technological innovation and is a complex socio-economic and technological process.

To increase wealth creation and technology content of large corporation via commercialization, Technology Transfer and Commercialization Unit – UPTK, has been responsible for the technology transfer and commercialization activities for the university. UPTK has been actively engaged in commercialization of University of Malaya intellectual property assets which are derived from research and innovative ideas. It also includes the commercialization of university assets such as infrastructure facilities and technology know-how. UPTK plays the role to encourage researchers and techno-preneurs to commercialise research findings of local universities /research institutions. Besides that, the unit also encourage Malaysian manufacturing companies to acquire high and promoted technologies to improve their operations.

The unit organize workshop regarding technology licensing and commercialization for UM researchers, provide information for grant application, technology licensing and commercialization and also analyze UM potential projects for grant application, technology licensing and commercialization. The unit coordinates, processes, evaluates and recommends fund applications. After the funds were disbursed, UPTK grant management team monitors the performance of projects undertaken by the grant recipients. Up to date, there are several potential products were identified and commercialized by UPTK through IP licensing to other companies. For example, Rovski Sdn. Bhd. has licensed an IP from UM by paying RM 100,000 license fee during 2005. Besides that, the total amount RM 26 million of TechnoFund grant was funded by MOSTI to support 12 potential projects from University of Malaya in collaboration with other companies.

The University of Malaya oil palm research estate in Ulu Sedili, Kota Tinggi, Johor and the UM-PKNS Innotech Park were both developed by UPTK for the purpose promoting research associated activities towards commercialization. UPTK is also managing the university company, UM Holdings Sdn. Bhd. for the purpose of commercialization activities and the collaboration with private sectors for increasing the capability and capacity of Malaysian Government Research Institutes (GRI) and Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) to undertake market driven R&D and to commercialize the R&D outputs through spin-offs/ licensing.

As conclusion, UPTK has play the role to be the information centre for all matters related to business development in UM and to help establish a society of academicians and researchers who are knowledgeable in intellectual property management, technopreneurship and commercialization and development.

List of University of Malaya’s Collaborative Projects with Private Sectors and Status of Application for UM Intellectual Properties in UPTK (As of December 2007) as attached in Appendix 1.