Bridging the gap between academia and industry

Agreement signing between Hovid, Institute Jantung Malaysia (the National Heart Centre) and MMR&D.

TO  create a bridge between academia and the industry, Monash University Malaysia launched its subsidiary, Monash Malaysia R&D Sdn Bhd (MMR&D) in a recently hosted event titled ‘University Industry Collaboration: A Catalyst in Powering an Innovation Economy’.
As an approved R&D status company by Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), MMR&D strives to influence and impact organisations in Malaysia to invest in research and development that will enable Malaysia to be an innovation-driven economy.

Additionally, it aims to develop and provide leading-edge research and development expertise to industries and organisations, to discover innovative solutions that enhance their global competitiveness.

The launch of MMR&D is timely as the 2018 Budget announcement indicated that the allocation for research, development and commercialisation is almost doubled to RM400 million from RM235 million in 2017.

This shows that there is a need to intensify research and development (R&D) within the nation.

“If we want to progress, we need to constantly enhance our capabilities to innovate. The best way to innovate is through R&D. We are pleased to be a Mida-approved R&D status company as it puts us in good stead, giving us the opportunity to work with SMEs, MNCs, GLCs and other players in Malaysia,” said Prof Mahendhiran Nair, Chief Executive Officer of MMR&D.

“MMR&D is one of the five Private Higher Education Institutions of Malaysia that has been granted R&D Status by Mida. As of June 2017, Mida has approved a total of 179 projects for incentives to undertake research and development activities, with a total of RM2.84 billion of investments that have generated more than 6,300 employment opportunities for the industry. Companies across a wide range of industries in Malaysia stand to gain from the R&D expertise offered by MMR&D. We urge more companies, particularly the small and medium sized companies to leverage on R&D establishments like MMR&D and explore new areas of growth,” said Dato’ Azman Mahmud, Chief Executive Officer of Mida.

“The government’s institutional structure supports the country’s thrust for innovation and R&D at the highest levels. We have a strong manufacturing industry base which is under pressure to move up the value chain trying to increase competitiveness. Therefore, collaborations with R&D institutions are important and necessary. MIDA remains committed to bridge the gap between academia and industry. We will continue to facilitate, support and assist companies and academia in their R&D ventures towards bringing positive spill-over effects to the industrial ecosystem,” he added.

Companies that appoint MMR&D will receive a double deduction on non-capital expenditure for research and development. This includes cash contributions, donations and payments for research. There will also be creation of IPs, patents, trademarks and other commercialisation opportunities. Apart from these, MMR&D will also offer workshops and training for industry and organisations in technical and non-technical areas.

According to Mahendhiran, “MMR&D will provide STEM related testing, industry-linked PhD programmes, internships, work placements and experiential learning opportunities to create the next generation of talent for the economy. This in turn ensures that there is continuous growth of corporate R&D and innovation in the country.”

Companies that choose to engage with MMR&D should be able to see the creation and improvement in their innovative capability and business model. In the long run, this will be beneficial in terms of extending the reach for resources, markets and networks for these firms. The engagement with MMR&D will also help firms enhance their richness in products and services. Innovations gained through this research can reduce cost of production, improve productivity and enable firms to move up the global innovation value chain.

The event also saw the research agreement signing between Hovid, Institute Jantung Malaysia (the National Heart Centre) and MMR&D.