CoE to groom university- based researchers for Sarawak DE agenda

KUCHING, Aug 18: The Sarawak Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Digital Economy will serve as a catalyst to groom and develop high impact translational university-based researchers to help solve problems and provide solutions to further realise the Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2022 agenda.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had recently launched the CoE, which consists of University KeyLabs, CoE OpenLab and Digital Economy Testbeds, located at the Centre of Technical Excellence (Centexs) in Santubong here.

The CoE OpenLab, which is fully funded by Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), will be managed by the newly formed Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC).

SMA general manager Dr Zaidi Razak emphasised that the launching of the CoE signified yet another milestone in Sarawak’s pursuit towards achieving the digital economy strategy.

“CoE has been specifically designated to cater for translational research with commercial and high impact potential.

“It also aims to spin off and commercialise the researchers into startups by accessing the tools and technologies provided by the partners to further enhance their research and product development,” he said in a media release today.

Zaidi pointed out that this will ensure that the commercialisation was fit for the market not only in Sarawak but also globally.

Two of the Digital Economy Testbeds, he shared, will be focused on 5G and Sigfox technology, which is also located here in the Centexs, Santubong Campus.

“The initiative was started by SMA and now SDEC is here to continue the task to further enhance the research and development activities.

“SDEC as the implementation arm of the digital economy initiative has been mandated to manage the research and development (R&D) activities throughout the state to ensure that it meets the aspiration that was outlined within the Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2022,” he said.

The CoE OpenLab, he pointed out, was one of the key facilities within the Sarawak Digital and Innovation Ecosystem, which also included the Digital Innovation Hubs and Digital Village.

SDEC chief executive officer (CEO) Sudarnoto Osman added: “We are committed to accelerate the digitalisation of Sarawak and by having this CoE, we are looking forward to more collaborative efforts between government, private sectors (including multinational companies) and higher learning institutions to inculcate the research and innovation culture. Hence, spurring our digital economy and paving the way for a greater Sarawak.”

The CoE technology partners are General Electric, Huawei Malaysia, Honeywell, IBM Malaysia Sdn Bhd, and Keysight Technologies while its university partners comprised of University Malaya (UM), National University of Singapore (NUS), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), Universiti Teknologi Mara Sarawak (UiTM), Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak, Curtin University Malaysia and University College of technology Sarawak (UCTS).

The startups involved are AirGro Sdn Bhd, Volume Research Sdn Bhd, ARx Studio Sdn Bhd and Xperanti IOT (M) Sdn Bhd.—DayakDaily