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UM and commercial partners collaborate to provide AI-based solutions

[Image Credits: University of Malaya, Press Release

According to a recent press release, UM Innovations Sdn. Bhd., a company wholly owned by University of Malaya (UM) organised and held a pre-launch event for its future spin-off company, Fylix.

At the pre-launch event, a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) and a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) signing ceremony were conducted between UM Innovations (UMI) and its commercial geo-solutions partner.

The signing of these two agreements signifies an official partnership being established between the two companies.

The partnering firm is dedicated to helping its clients achieve successful and cost-effective implementation of innovative technological solutions for the betterment of our environment.

It is currently an official vendor for a well-known Malaysian oil and gas company, and this partnership is a strategic move by both parties to leverage on their combined strengths to optimally serve the oil and gas industry, as well as other industrial domains.

For the signing, UM was represented by the Associate Vice-Chancellor (Industry and Community Networks), while the firm was represented by its Managing Director.

Also present at the ceremony were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic & International), the Chief Executive Officer of the firm, the Director of Fylix, the Deputy Dean of Undergraduates, Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology (FCSIT), and also the Head Coordinator of UM Commercialization and Innovation Center (UMCIC).

It was noted that UM is committed in being a world-renowned university, and commercialisation efforts such as this, is an effective vehicle in improving the industrial perception on the university.

Via UM Innovations, Fylix as a business initiative, is focused on commercializing technologies based on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing. It has scored and delivered commercial projects for various organisations.

Fylix as a business initiative has proven to be highly successful and profitable with its range of AI solutions, that has competed with the likes of IBM’s Watson and TATA Industries at different levels of commercialization. It is the brainchild of three UM’s academicians from FCSIT.

Another factor that sets the spin-off apart is that its engineers are all students or alumni of UM (with most of them from FSCIT), ranging from undergraduates to postgraduates. It is evident that FCSIT UM, had been the center-piece in ensuring that the spin-off firm is a commercial success.

Fylix provides a range of AI-based solutions, as follows:

  • KRISPI which is a localized, intelligent and easy to train AI-powered chatbot (won TNB’s Botathon in 2016 and side-lined TATA Industries as well as IBM Watson); and
  • PRIDE, a data extractor, that has the ability to convert unstructured data from raw documents, into pre-defined structured templates. PRIDE was an award winner for the 4th Malaysian Oil & Gas Services Exhibition and Conference in 2018 (MOGSEC 2018).

Pushing Industry 4.0

Malaysia’s National Policy on Industry 4.0 emphasises the need for and importance of public-private partnerships (PPPs).

The Policy notes that there is a need for a more streamlined and cohesive national agenda under which initiatives and organisations can be integrated to accelerate Malaysia’s transformation into a smart and modern manufacturing system.

This will also include the need for a greater alignment across Government, research and academia regarding priority industries, specific goals, enabling actions, and their funding.

The Malaysian government is, thus, working to create and sustain a system wherein the Government, members of research institutions and academia are tightly integrated with the manufacturing industry through collaborative public-private partnerships (PPPs) that develop innovative solutions for specific industry needs.

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