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Monash Uni Malaysia and UNU-IIST Partner to Advance Critical Tech

Monash University Malaysia and The United Nations University Institute in Macau (UNU-IIST) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the deliberative and participative deployment of critical technologies in Malaysia.

Initiated and led by Lecturer and Coordinator of the Masters in Communications and Media Studies (MCMS), Dr Preeti Raghunath from the School of Arts and Social Sciences, the MoU will focus on cooperation and collaboration in research, and multi-stakeholder consultations and participation in Southeast Asia. It will also focus on capacity-sharing in critical technologies in Southeast Asia, focusing on Malaysia.

As part of the MoU, Dr Preeti is currently engaged in a research consultancy on Gender and AI in Malaysia. She is currently in the process of interviewing multiple stakeholders for the project, including government officials, non-governmental entities, academics, and those from the private sector. The researcher expressed gratitude to the university’s President and Pro Vice-Chancellor the School leadership and the Monash University Malaysia Quality and Governance team.

The Director of UNU, Macau noted that the organisation is thrilled to collaborate with Monash University Malaysia on gender-sensitive AI policy in Southeast Asia, as part of the Institute’s research programme on international AI ethics and policy. There is much work to be done in this field and we are looking forward to tackling this in future research projects together.

The partnership will also focus on co-supervision in research, training and capacity-sharing with policymakers. It will lead to joint research, workshops, conferences and other modalities. Dr Preeti is the point of contact for the MoU and welcomes being contacted for collaborative efforts at Monash University Malaysia.

The MoU was signed virtually, in June 2022, by Professor Stephanie Hemelryk Donald, former Head of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia, and Dr Jingbo Huang, Director of UNU, Macau.

The United Nations University Institute in Macau is a UN global think tank on Digital Technology and Sustainability. UNU Macau conducts UN policy-relevant research and generates solutions, addressing key issues expressed in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through high-impact innovations and frontier technologies. Through its research, UNU Macau encourages data-driven and evidence-based actions and policies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the Defense Acquisition University’s Glossary of Defense Acquisition Acronyms and Terms, critical technologies are those technologies that may pose a major technological risk during development, particularly during the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of acquisition.

Another definition states that a Critical Technology Element (CTE) is a new or novel technology that a platform or system depends on to achieve successful development or production or to successfully meet a system operational threshold requirement.

Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) are a method of estimating the technology maturity of the CTE of a program during the Acquisition Process. They are determined during a Technology Readiness Assessment (TRA) that examines program concepts, technology requirements, and demonstrated technology capabilities.

In an acquisition timeline, CTE identification should occur during Materiel Solution Analysis (MSA). The Technology Development Strategy (TDS), then, will reflect the result of a process sufficiently thorough and disciplined to identify those technologies (including CTEs) that have a realistic potential to be improved in the Technology Development (TD) phase and exploited in the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) phase.


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