Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is well renowned for being a university at the forefront of engineering and technological knowledge and expertise, fostering knowledge sharing and strong skills development.
Last year, UTM hosted 5,000 foreign students from over 60 countries- which is the highest out of all research universities in Malaysia.
As a leader in technology and research, it comes to no surprise that UTM is initiating a strategic plan to shape itself into a Smarter Campus.
OpenGov reached out to Prof Dr Ali bin Selamat, Director of Centre for Information & Communication Technology (CICT), to learn more about what is being done to digitally transform the UTM campus.
There are 3 main initiatives that will be carried out by CICT UTM for 2016, namely: UTM Data Centre (UTM DC), UTM Smart Campus, and Campus Wide Network Coverage.
UTM Data Centre to host ICT Services and Apps
The first initiative is the establishment of a new data centre for UTM. The new UTM Data Centre is a state-of-the-art data centre that will host UTM ICT services and applications.
“The UTM DC is designed based on the latest data centre architecture and in its full capacity would be able to offer 99.98 percent data availability to UTM services and application consumers,” states Prof Dr. Ali bin Selamat.
The new data centre will be built on an 800 square meter area, which is double the size of the existing data centre. The new UTM DC will be equipped with infrastructure that is able to host 60 racks and 400 servers at one time.
The new DC, which is a Tier-3 data centre, will also be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including:
- Two generator sets that are essential for preventing power failure downtime to the data centre,
- In-row modular air-conditioning with containment,
- Centralised Uninterruptable Power Supply and Redundancy in M&E Distribution Path,
- 10/40Gbps Ethernet Data Centre Network,
- Data Centre Network Monitoring System,
- And Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM).
With the new data center, CICT UTM will be able to offer a wide range of data center related services including hosting services, storage services and cloud computing based services.
“These services will not only be made available to UTM users (consisting of students and staff) but will also be made available to communities and businesses in the Skudai Innovation Valley area,” Prof Dr. Ali bin Selamat told us.
UTM Smart Campus to Empower Service Delivery System
The second initiative, UTM Smart Campus aims at providing an integrated service platform able to empower the service delivery system for UTM core business including teaching & learning, research management and administration services through smart digital initiatives.
“UTM Smart Campus initiative encompasses four layers of execution: digital infrastructure, digital infostructure, digital services and digital policies,” said Prof Dr. Ali bin Selamat.
The Digital Infrastructure layer is the layer that provides the core infrastructure to support the overall UTM Smart Campus initiative. This infrastructure consists of Secured Network Infrastructure, UTM DC, Gigabits Network and High Performance Computing (HPC).
The next layer, Digital Infostructure layer includes essential and supporting organizational information structure, required to support New Academia Learning Initiatives and Organisational Business Intelligence.
On top of the digital infostructure layer, a range of Digital Services will be made available to the UTM Smart Campus community.
“The Digital Services will be provided in stages to support the UTM Smart Campus initiative involving e-Healthcare, High Performance Computing (HPC) Research Facilities for Scientific Applications, Academic Applications, Administrative and Support Applications, e-Transportation and Smart Office Applications,” Prof Dr. Ali bin Selamat explained.
In order to ensure the success and effectiveness of the UTM Smart Campus initiative, UTM will also introduce a UTM Smart Campus Policy. This policy will act as guidelines and procedures for optimizing the UTM Smart Campus experience.
Campus Wide Connectivity at UTM
The third initiative, Campus Wide Network Coverage is UTM’s continuous effort to ensure the accessibility and availability of Internet access in all areas within UTM campuses.
“Currently, Internet access through WiFi infrastructure is available at all UTM Johor Bahru campus residential colleges and 70 percent of UTM Kuala Lumpur campus residential colleges,” Prof Dr. Ali bin Selamat told us,
“For UTM Kuala Lumpur campus academic and administrative buildings, 100 percent Internet coverage has been achieved, this is compared to 70 percent Internet coverage at UTM Johor Bahru campus.”
By adding to and improving on the existing network infrastructure, UTM will be able to provide 100 percent Internet access to the entire administrative and academic buildings, as well as its dispersed residential colleges.
The Philippines, situated within the Pacific Ring of Fire, is uniquely susceptible to a range of natural disasters stemming from its geographical location, including typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, which render it particularly vulnerable. Nevertheless, in response to these formidable challenges, the nation has embarked on an impressive trajectory of resilience enhancement, strategically emphasising the convergence of technology and preparedness as key focal points in their efforts.
As the impact of climate and its cascading effects intensify, the Philippines’ exposure to natural hazards and the significance of resilience has surged. Recognising the limitations of traditional disaster responses, the country has shifted focus. Instead of relying solely on those methods, they’re embracing forward-thinking strategies that integrate proactive measures and technological advancements to effectively confront these challenges head-on.
The core of this transition lies in the effectiveness of the integration of technology with disaster preparedness. This fusion of innovation and readiness is indispensable in the face of ever more frequent and severe natural calamities. In an era where data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and early warning systems have reached new heights, the Philippines is leveraging these technologies to build a nation better equipped to withstand and rebound from disasters.
The Philippines’ journey towards resilience is characterised by progressive solutions built on technology. From early warning systems that provide timely alerts to communities, to advanced data analytics aiding in disaster risk reduction, the country is pioneering approaches that safeguard its people, infrastructure, and economy.
Moreover, this evolution is not contained within national borders. The Philippines acknowledges the interconnectedness of global resilience, actively participating in international collaborations and sharing its expertise to enhance global disaster preparedness.
Engr. Niñaliza H. Escorial, the Deputy Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) within the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), discusses their vision in response to the rapidly changing global landscape of emerging technologies with OpenGov Asia.
She highlights the agency’s commitment to fostering advancements in Quantum technology, agreeing that it is in a nascent development stage. In a bid to enhance capabilities, PCIEERD is actively seeking collaborative partnerships abroad, emphasising knowledge exchange and capacity-building initiatives. The first step in this endeavour involves establishing an innovation laboratory in collaboration with DOST-ASTI, dedicated to Quantum technology research and development.
Engr. Niñaliza underscores PCIEERD’s dedication to technological innovation, particularly in advanced manufacturing, which greatly supports industries engaged in prototype development. They know the significance of acquiring substantial equipment, considering it pivotal in fostering growth and bolstering competitiveness within the industrial sector.
Acknowledging the pivotal role of blockchain technology within the technological landscape, PCIEERD is actively embracing its integration into their initiatives. Their strategic adoption of blockchain aims to fortify and elevate capabilities, emphasising the assurance of heightened security, transparency, and efficiency across an array of applications and systems within their purview. This deliberate incorporation signifies a proactive step towards optimising technological frameworks and operations for enhanced performance and reliability.
Simultaneously, PCIEERD is delving into Artificial Intelligence (AI), moving beyond exploration to practical applications. The focus extends to improving administrative processes through diverse AI applications. The agency is actively seeking ways to enhance and streamline administrative functions, emphasising efficiency and effectiveness.
Engr. Niñaliza elaborates on PCIEERD’s expansive AI initiatives, spanning various sectors to highlight the transformative capacity of AI applications. The agency is actively leveraging AI to revolutionise weather forecasting, understanding the critical necessity for enhanced accuracy and timeliness in predictions. This strategic utilisation of AI underscores their commitment to addressing pressing needs through technological innovation.
“By integrating AI into weather prediction models, the agency aims to enhance preparedness and response to changing weather conditions, contributing to overall disaster resilience,” Engr Niñaliza explains.
The focus extends to the projection and management of river systems, where AI technology proves invaluable in analysing complex hydrological data. This initiative enables more accurate predictions of river behaviour, vital for mitigating the impact of floods and ensuring sustainable water resource management.
As they also see the pivotal role of AI in ensuring a stable food supply, PCIEERD is deploying innovative AI applications in agro-industry. This includes optimising resource allocation, enhancing agro-industry practices, and improving overall crop yield and quality. These initiatives align with the agency’s commitment to harnessing technology for the nation’s food security.
AI has emerged as a vital tool in traffic management systems, with PCIEERD harnessing AI algorithms for monitoring and controlling traffic. Their goal is to ease congestion, improve transportation efficiency, and play a role in creating sustainable, more livable urban environments.
Within the manufacturing sector, PCIEERD’s focus extends to the integration of sensors, a strategic move to expedite production processes. This innovative approach enhances efficiency and precision in manufacturing, ultimately increasing productivity and global competitiveness.
Engr. Niñaliza expands on PCIEERD’s deployment of AI in health monitoring projects, specifically tailored for students. This proactive strategy facilitates early intervention, fostering a healthier learning atmosphere. It underscores the convergence of technology and public health, prioritising well-being within educational settings.
She highlights their steadfast commitment to making science accessible and relatable, especially to diverse audiences, with a primary focus on students. PCIEERD’s engagement in science communication is evident in strategically designed initiatives that foster a deeper understanding of scientific concepts.
Curated exhibits and workshops serve as dynamic platforms where students actively engage with scientific principles in a hands-on and immersive manner. These initiatives aim not only to impart knowledge but also to cultivate a genuine interest in science, aligning with educational curricula while promoting curiosity and exploration.
Taking cognisance of the evolving landscape of communication, PCIEERD actively harnesses the power of social media as a dynamic channel for disseminating scientific information. Through various platforms, the agency strives to reach a broader audience, transcending geographical constraints and connecting with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
The approach to science communication on social media is characterised by clarity, simplicity, and engagement, ensuring that complex scientific concepts are presented in an accessible and understandable manner.
PCIEERD’s main objective is to democratise science communication, making it accessible to individuals at all levels of familiarity with scientific concepts. The agency aims to simplify science, translating intricate ideas into language and visuals that resonate with the general public. This approach fosters a culture of inclusivity, breaking down barriers between scientific knowledge and everyday understanding.
By prioritising science communication from the grassroots level, PCIEERD contributes to a broader societal understanding of the significance of science and technology. Through these initiatives, PCIEERD is actively bridging the gap between the scientific community and the public, fostering a more informed, engaged and scientifically literate society.
The efforts go beyond conveying information; they aim to inspire a sense of wonder and appreciation for the role of science in shaping the world.
PCIEERD’s international collaboration efforts extend to studying and benchmarking different food systems around the globe, particularly in terms of food technology. By exploring and learning from a wide range of methods, the agency seeks to integrate innovative food technologies that enhance productivity, reduce waste, and promote sustainability in agro-industry.
The primary focus lies in improving methods in agro-industry, streamlining supply chains, and strengthening a resilient food system capable of tackling the challenges presented by a swiftly evolving world. Insights gained will inform effective strategies, technological applications, and policy frameworks, tailor-fitted to strengthen the Philippines’ food security measures.
Acknowledging the environmental impact of waste, particularly its movement, PCIEERD is actively engaging in international collaboration on waste management. Through shared knowledge and best practices, the agency aims to minimise the environmental footprint of waste, emphasising sustainable waste disposal methods and embracing circular economy principles.
“One strategic avenue of international collaboration involves studying guidelines, especially during pandemics,” she elaborates.
They are keenly aware of the critical importance of understanding and adapting to global best practices in managing food systems amid pandemics, PCIEERD aims to examine diverse approaches worldwide. The emphasis is on collaboration to realise the goal of innovating food security initiatives through the use of advanced technologies.
Engr Niñaliza highlights the transformative potential of food technology as an essential in the fight against food hunger in the Philippines. The agency aims not only to develop solutions but also to craft comprehensive strategies that encompass both the preservation and consumption aspects of food.
By leveraging cutting-edge advancements in food technology, PCIEERD aspires to revolutionise the production, storage, and consumption of food, with the ultimate goal of significantly mitigating hunger on a large scale.
PCIEERD’s focus on preservation extends beyond traditional methods. The agency is actively seeking to harness innovative food preservation technologies to extend the shelf life of perishable goods, reduce post-harvest losses, and enhance the overall efficiency of the food supply chain.
“Through these efforts, PCIEERD aims to ensure that a greater quantity of nutritious food reaches those in need, contributing to the alleviation of hunger in local communities,” Engr Niñaliza asserts.
Simultaneously, PCIEERD recognises the crucial role of addressing consumption patterns as part of its strategy. The agency accentuates the importance of educating and engaging the public, particularly the youth, in a comprehensive awareness campaign.
This campaign aims to foster a deeper understanding of the role of food technology in daily life, making the public aware of the benefits of innovative food products and promoting sustainable and healthy dietary choices.
Considering the pivotal role of AI in shaping the future, PCIEERD is committed to fostering AI literacy, especially among the youth. Initiatives are underway to raise awareness among young stakeholders, ensuring they grasp the potential and responsible use of AI technologies.
PCIEERD aims to empower the younger generation with AI knowledge, cultivating a pool of innovators who can contribute to the development and implementation of AI solutions in diverse sectors, including addressing food security challenges.
In terms of AI, PCIEERD’s international collaboration efforts encompass discourses on AI guidelines. The agency aspires to ensure that its AI initiatives align with global ethical standards and technological norms. Addressing ethical concerns related to AI is paramount, and through international collaboration, PCIEERD aims to contribute to the development of comprehensive and universally applicable guidelines.
Engr Niñaliza envisions a unified roadmap for all DOST agencies, the goal is to harmonise efforts and resources, creating a symphony of innovation across science and technology.
This blueprint aims to streamline initiatives, eliminate redundancies, and optimise resource allocation. The strategy leverages the collective expertise of each DOST agency, fostering collaboration for a greater impact on a national scale.
“By aligning priorities, the roadmap addresses critical challenges, from industry development to energy security and emerging technologies,” she says emphatically. “The holistic approach ensures that advancements in one sector enhance progress in others, creating a ripple effect of positive change.”
This vision fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, breaking down silos to adapt swiftly to emerging trends. The goal is to position the Philippines as a dynamic force in the global scientific community.
Engr Niñaliza’s dream for DOST-PCIEERD is one of convergence, collaboration, and collective impact. Guided by a shared roadmap, the vision propels the nation forward into a future where the transformative power of science and technology uplifts every aspect of Filipino society. Through this unified approach, DOST-PCIEERD actively crafts a legacy of innovation for generations to come.
Being the first female deputy at PCIEERD, Engr Niñaliza sees her role as a testament to the agency’s strides in inclusivity and merit appreciation. With 35 years of dedicated service, her journey reflects a commitment to progress and witnessed significant improvements in the research and development system.
Rising through the ranks, she brings valuable insights, navigating the dynamic field with a comprehensive understanding of internal workings. Notable is the evolution in research and development, marked by a commitment to innovation. PCIEERD’s culture values forward-thinking approaches, staying at the forefront of technological advancements and expanding horizons in industry, energy, and emerging technologies.
PCIEERD embraces upskilling, ensuring the team remains adaptable and proficient in the latest tools and methodologies. Innovative processes, from project conceptualisation to execution, streamline approaches and position the agency as a dynamic entity within the DOST framework.
The collective journey strengthens PCIEERD, equipping it to fulfil its mandate with resilience. Engr Niñaliza takes pride in contributing to this positive trajectory and looks forward to advancements through continued innovation, upskilling, and excellence in research and development.
PCIEERD’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship is demonstrated by the ambitious goal of funding 20 startups annually with a dedicated budget of PHP5 million (SG$135,000). This initiative injects vitality into the local startup ecosystem, fostering technological advancements, economic growth, and job creation.
Inclusivity is a core focus, with dedicated programmes for women empowerment in entrepreneurship. Through Women Helping Women initiatives, PCIEERD addresses challenges faced by women entrepreneurs, providing support, mentorship, and financial assistance. Gender diversity is celebrated in STEM fields, breaking down barriers and inspiring the next generation of women.
PCIEERD’s commitment goes well beyond financial support, creating networking opportunities, mentorship programmes, and platforms for knowledge exchange. By addressing gender disparities and championing diversity, PCIEERD enriches the overall fabric of innovation and progress in society.
The advice given by Engr Niñaliza to anyone aiming for success, regardless of gender or background, is based on the conviction that dedication to ongoing learning and personal development is necessary to realise one’s greatest potential.
“It’s imperative to align your efforts with your strengths and passions, doing what you excel at and what truly ignites your enthusiasm,” she asserts. “Success often follows when we are dedicated to refining our skills and staying open to new knowledge.”
Engr Niñaliza has seen firsthand the transformative power of setting clear goals and persistently working towards S&T, as she progressed from a technical role to becoming the first female deputy of DOST PCIEERD. It emphasises the significance of having a clear direction and a road map for professional and personal goals.
Learning, according to her should be an ongoing process that is not limited by age or stage of career. The pursuit of knowledge and skill enhancement should be constant, whether in technical or administrative roles. Individuals who adopt this mindset are better able to adapt to changing challenges and remain relevant in their respective fields.
Engr Nializa understands the importance of recognising burnout and the need for periodic recovery. In the pursuit of success, it is critical to pay attention to one’s well-being and know when a break is required. Recovering from burnout enables rejuvenation and renewed focus, laying the groundwork for long-term success.
Her experience exemplifies the philosophy of pursuing excellence through passion alignment, continuous learning, and resilience.
“By maintaining a clear goal, staying dedicated to improvement, and understanding the importance of self-care, individuals can navigate their unique paths to success, contributing meaningfully to their fields and making a lasting impact on their personal and professional journeys,” Engr Niñaliza ends passionately.
Sebagai salah satu negara yang terletak di cincin Asia Pasifik, atau yang dikenal sebagai Cincin Api, Filipina menghadapi tantangan unik terkait ketahanan bencana. Terletak di tepi lempeng tektonik yang sangat aktif, gempa bumi seringkali terjadi di Filipina. Beberapa gempa tersebut diakibatkan oleh letusan gunung berapi ataupun badai tropis yang melanda wilayah ini.
Dengan geografi yang rentan terhadap berbagai ancaman bencana alam yang dapat terjadi sewaktu-waktu, pemerintah Filipina secara proaktif bekerja untuk meningkatkan kesiapsiagaan dan ketahanan mereka terhadap bencana. Melalui berbagai inisiatif dan program, Filipina berusaha membangun fondasi yang tangguh untuk melindungi penduduknya dan merespons dengan cepat setiap kali bencana melanda.
Salah satu aspek krusial dari upaya ini adalah dengan membangun langkah-langkah preventif dalam menghadapi gejala-gejala bencana alam. Sebagai perwakilan dari lembaga riset terkemuka di Filipina, Engr Niñaliza H Escorial selaku Deputy Executive Director di Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) Department of Science and Technology (DOST), mencanangkan pendekatan yang efektif melalui integrasi teknologi.
Engr Niñaliza mengatakan bahwa kemajuan teknologi memainkan peran vital dalam penguatan kesiapsiagaan Filipina terhadap bencana alam. “Kami percaya bahwa teknologi memiliki potensi besar untuk meningkatkan sistem peringatan dini, memantau anomali cuaca, dan memberikan data real-time kepada petugas penanggulangan bencana,” ungkapnya.
Dalam pandangan Engr Niñaliza, integrasi teknologi tidak hanya mencakup penggunaan sensor dan perangkat keras canggih, tetapi juga pengembangan perangkat lunak cerdas yang dapat menganalisis data dengan cepat dan memberikan informasi yang relevan. Hal ini dianggap krusial untuk memberikan wawasan yang lebih baik kepada petugas bencana, memungkinkan mereka mengambil keputusan yang lebih tepat waktu dan efektif.
Tantangan lingkungan, termasuk perubahan iklim, juga diperhatikan dalam upaya Filipina untuk meningkatkan ketahanan mereka. Melalui kebijakan dan program berkelanjutan dari integrasi teknologi, Engr Niñaliza optimis untuk mengurangi dan mempersiapkan kesiapsiagaan bencana alam yang dapat terjadi kapanpun. OpenGov Asia melalui rangakaian ini, berkesempatan untuk menilik lebih jauh terkait kesiapsiagaan Filipina dalam menghadapi bencana alam yang menjadi ancaman bagi negaranya, menggunakan teknologi dan kemampuan penelitian riset yang modern.
Peran Teknologi dalam Upaya Ketahanan Filipina
Engr Niñaliza selaku Deputy Executive Director di Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) Department of Science and Technology (DOST)menggarisbawahi komitmen PCIEERD dalam meningkatkan kemajuan dalan teknologi quantum. Dalam tekadnya untuk memperkaya kemampuan dan kapasitasnya, PCIEERD dengan giat menjalin kerjasama dengan mitra internasional. Kemitraan ini diharapkan mendorong pertukaran pengetahuan dan inovasi, terutama dalam konteks Filipina.
Langkah awal dalam kolaborasi ini mencakup pendirian laboratorium dan kerjasama erat dengan DOST-ASTI. Laboratorium tersebut bertujuan untuk penelitian dan pengembangan teknologi kuantum, menjadi langkah strategis yang dapat diimplementasikan bersama untuk meningkatkan pengembangan ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi di Filipina. Dengan berfokus pada upaya bersama, PCIEERD membuka peluang untuk memperluas jaringan kolaboratifnya dan memajukan inovasi teknologi kuantum demi kemajuan ilmiah dan teknologi di wilayah tersebut.
Menurut Engr Niñaliza, komitmen PCIEERD juga meluas kepada sektor manufaktur, terutama industri-industri yang membutuhkan pengembangan prototype. Perolehan alat-alat besar dianggap sebagai langkah strategis yang memiliki dampak terhadap pertumbuhan dan daya saing sektor industri. Investasi ini tidak hanya memberikan kontribusi signifikan terhadap efisiensi operasional, tetapi juga memainkan peran kunci dalam membentuk lanskap kompetitif industri.
Selain prioritas yang telah disebutkan, PCIEERD mengakui blockchain merupakan hal legit lainnya dalam pengembangan lanskap teknologi. Integrasi teknologi blockchain ke dalam inisiatif mereka diharapkan dapat meningkatkan kemampuan, memastikan keamanan, transparansi, dan efisiensi di berbagai aplikasi.
Sementara itu, PCIEERD juga tengah menjelajahi dan menggali lebih dalam potensi teknologi kecerdasan buatan (AI). Pendekatan mereka mencakup berbagai upaya untuk meningkatkan proses administratif melalui integrasi beragam aplikasi AI. Langkah-langkah ini bertujuan tidak hanya untuk meningkatkan efisiensi operasional, tetapi juga merangsang inovasi dalam penanganan tugas-tugas administratif.
Melalui eksplorasi teknologi AI, PCIEERD berkomitmen untuk memperkenalkan solusi yang memanfaatkan kecerdasan buatan secara optimal, menciptakan lingkungan yang lebih cerdas dan adaptif dalam pelaksanaan tugas-tugas administratif di berbagai tingkatan. Kehadiran AI dalam berbagai proses administratif diharapkan dapat membawa dampak positif yang signifikan dalam peningkatan kinerja dan produktivitas.
Engr Niñaliza menyoroti berbagai langkah strategis yang telah diambil oleh PCIEERD di berbagai sektor. Fokusnya terutama terletak pada penggunaan kecerdasan buatan (AI) dalam melakukan peramalan cuaca. Inisiatif ini bertujuan untuk membantu memprediksi cuaca secara objektif, dengan merinci tanda-tanda yang muncul untuk meningkatkan akurasi dan keandalan dalam pemahaman kondisi atmosfer. Melalui integrasi AI dalam peramalan cuaca, PCIEERD berupaya meningkatkan kemampuan prediktifnya, memberikan informasi yang lebih terperinci dan dapat diandalkan kepada masyarakat, serta mendukung berbagai sektor yang bergantung pada pemahaman cuaca yang akurat.
Cuaca menjadi penentu utama dalam mengamati dan menganalisis gejala bencana alam. Penggunaan teknologi kecerdasan buatan (AI) dalam peramalan cuaca oleh PCIEERD memberikan dimensi baru dalam upaya pencegahan dan mitigasi risiko bencana alam. Dengan memahami dinamika atmosfer dan pola cuaca secara lebih canggih, lembaga ini tidak hanya dapat memberikan peringatan dini yang lebih akurat, tetapi juga mengidentifikasi potensi bencana dengan lebih presisi.
Penerapan AI dalam peramalan cuaca tidak hanya memperluas kapasitas prediktif, tetapi juga menciptakan kesempatan untuk mengembangkan strategi adaptasi yang lebih efektif. PCIEERD berusaha tidak hanya menjadi pemimpin dalam menyediakan informasi cuaca yang andal, tetapi juga menjadi motor penggerak dalam membentuk kebijakan yang berbasis pada pemahaman yang lebih mendalam terhadap kondisi atmosfer. Dengan demikian, lembaga ini memainkan peran krusial dalam upaya perlindungan masyarakat dan aset-asetnya dari potensi dampak bencana alam.
“Dengan pengintegrasian AI kepada model prediksi cuaca, PCIEERD ingin meningkatkan kesiapan dalam merespons perubahan terhadap perubahan cuaca, sehingga dapat berkontribusi terhdapa ketahanan bencana alam secara menyeluruh,” pungkas Engr Niñaliza.
PCIEERD terus menggagas inovasi di berbagai sektor, salah satunya dalam pengembangan sistem pengairan sungai. Penggunaan teknologi kecerdasan buatan (AI) dalam konteks ini membuktikan kemampuannya untuk menyederhanakan analisis data yang kompleks. Inisiatif ini menghasilkan informasi yang akurat terkait karakteristik sungai, menjadi langkah strategis dan vital dalam merancang strategi preventif terhadap banjir dan manajemen sumber daya air.
Dengan menerapkan teknologi AI dalam analisis data sungai, PCIEERD dapat dengan cepat dan efisien mengidentifikasi pola perilaku sungai, mengukur aliran air, dan mendeteksi perubahan lingkungan sepanjang sungai. Hal ini memberikan dasar yang kuat untuk pengembangan strategi preventif yang lebih terfokus dan responsif terhadap kondisi sungai yang berubah-ubah.
Keakuratan data yang dihasilkan oleh teknologi AI tidak hanya mendukung upaya preventif terhadap banjir, tetapi juga memberikan landasan yang kokoh untuk manajemen sumber daya air secara keseluruhan. Pemahaman ini nantinya akan memberikan PCIEERD wawasan dalam merancang kebijakan air yang berkelanjutan, mengoptimalkan distribusi air, dan mendukung ketersediaan air yang berkelanjutan bagi masyarakat dan industri.
Dalam industri ketahanan pangan sendiri, PCIEERD menggunakan inovasi AI guna memperlancar kinerja agrikultur. Pengaplikasian tersebut mencakup di antaranya untuk mengoptimasi alokasi sumber daya, meningkatkan kinerja operasional agrikultur, dan meningkatkan kualitas hasil panen. Inisiatif-inisiatif tersebut menunjukkan ambisi PCIEERD dalam menginisiasi teknologi terhadap ketahanan pangan.
Di samping itu, kecerdasan buatan (AI) telah terbukti memainkan peran yang sangat penting dalam pengembangan sistem manajemen lalu lintas. PCIEERD aktif menggunakan algoritma AI untuk pemantauan dan pengendalian lalu lintas, dengan tujuan jelas untuk mengurangi kemacetan, meningkatkan efisiensi transportasi, dan memberikan kontribusi positif pada penciptaan lingkungan perkotaan yang lebih berkelanjutan dan nyaman bagi penduduknya.
Melalui penerapan teknologi AI dalam sistem manajemen lalu lintas, PCIEERD berusaha menciptakan solusi yang lebih pintar dan adaptif. Algoritma AI dapat dengan cepat merespons perubahan lalu lintas secara real-time, memberikan kemampuan untuk mengoptimalkan aliran kendaraan dan mengidentifikasi solusi terbaik untuk mengatasi masalah kemacetan.
Dalam sektor pendidikan, Engr Niñaliza menekankan komitmen mendalam PCIEERD untuk menciptakan ilmu pengetahuan yang dapat diakses oleh semua, terutama bagi mereka yang mungkin tidak memiliki akses yang memadai. Keterlibatan aktif PCIEERD dalam komunikasi ilmiah tercermin dalam inisiatif-inisiatif yang dirancang secara strategis untuk memperdalam pemahaman konsep ilmiah, seperti melakukan pameran lokakarya.
Pameran dan lokakarya yang disusun dengan cermat bukan hanya menjadi tempat untuk menyampaikan informasi, melainkan juga berfungsi sebagai platform dinamis di mana siswa tidak hanya menerima pengetahuan secara pasif, tetapi juga secara aktif terlibat dengan prinsip-prinsip ilmiah secara langsung dan mendalam. Inisiatif-inisiatif ini memberikan pengalaman langsung yang memungkinkan siswa menjelajahi, menciptakan, dan mendalami pemahaman mereka terkait ilmu pengetahuan yang ingin mereka jelajahi.
Upaya ini lebih dari sekadar menyampaikan informasi, akan tetapi, hal ini juga bertujuan untuk membangkitkan apresiasi terhadap peran ilmu pengetahuan dalam membentuk dunia
Mengingat peran kunci AI dalam membentuk masa depan, PCIEERD berkomitmen untuk mengembangkan literasi AI, khususnya di kalangan generasi muda. Sejumlah inisiatif sedang dilakukan untuk meningkatkan kesadaran di kalangan pemangku kepentingan muda, memastikan bahwa mereka memahami potensi dan penggunaan kecerdasan buatan secara bertanggung jawab.
PCIEERD mengakui bahwa pemahaman mendalam tentang AI sangat penting untuk mempersiapkan generasi mendatang menghadapi era teknologi yang terus berkembang. Dengan berfokus pada literasi AI, lembaga ini bertujuan untuk membekali pemuda dengan pengetahuan dan keterampilan yang diperlukan untuk berpartisipasi secara efektif dalam dunia yang semakin terhubung dan tergantung pada kecerdasan buatan.
Inisiatif ini melibatkan serangkaian program pendidikan, seminar, dan kampanye sosial untuk memperluas pemahaman generasi muda tentang konsep, aplikasi, dan dampak kecerdasan buatan. Selain itu, fokus pada penggunaan kecerdasan buatan yang bertanggung jawab dan etis menjadi bagian integral dari upaya ini, memastikan bahwa generasi muda tidak hanya menjadi pengguna yang mahir, tetapi juga paham akan implikasi etis yang terkait.
Dengan mendekati literasi AI secara holistik, PCIEERD menciptakan landasan yang kuat untuk menciptakan lingkungan di mana pemuda dapat berinovasi, berkolaborasi, dan mengembangkan solusi berbasis kecerdasan buatan yang berkelanjutan. Dengan demikian, lembaga ini berperan aktif dalam membentuk generasi yang memahami dan mengoptimalkan potensi teknologi AI untuk kebaikan bersama dan masa depan yang berkelanjutan.
Perjalanan Transformasi Teknologi Filipina
Engr Niñaliza mencoba untuk memvisualisasikan sebuah kerangka untuk PCIEERD guna menyelaraskan upaya dan sumber daya, sehingga dapat menciptakan keselarasan inovasi di bidang sains. Rencana ini bertujuan untuk menyederhanakan langkah inisitaif, mengurangi redundansi, dan mengoptimalkan alokasi sumber daya. Tentunya, strategi ini memanfaatkan keahlian kolektif setiap agensi DOST, memupuk kolaborasi untuk dampak yang lebih besar secara nasional.
Melalui visinya ini, Engr Niñaliza tidak hanya menginginkan penyelarasan internal di PCIEERD, tetapi juga integrasi yang erat dengan setiap agensi DOST. Ia meyakini bahwa keberhasilan tidak hanya dapat dicapai melalui keahlian individu, tetapi juga melalui kolaborasi yang kuat di tingkat nasional. Rencananya adalah dengan menghubungkan potensi unik masing-masing agensi demi menciptakan dampak yang signifikan dalam panorama inovasi nasional.
“Kita dapat mencapai lebih banyak dengan berkolaborasi, menggabungkan kekuatan dan keahlian kami,” katanya mantap. Strategi ini tidak hanya sebatas perencanaan, melainkan komitmen mendalam untuk menciptakan perubahan positif yang bersifat menyeluruh.
Pendekatan holistik Engr Niñaliza dalam menciptakan hubungan timbal balik antara berbagai sektor dapat memastikan bahwa setiap kemajuan di satu bidang memberikan dorongan bagi perkembangan di bidang lain. Ini adalah pendekatan yang melibatkan pengetahuan kolektif, membawa sains dan teknologi ke tingkat yang lebih tinggi melalui sinergi yang kuat.
Visi ini tidak hanya tentang penyelarasan sumber daya, tetapi juga penciptaan efek domino perubahan positif yang meluas. Engr Niñaliza memandang rencananya sebagai fondasi untuk kolaborasi lintas disiplin, menyingkirkan hambatan-hambatan yang mungkin menghambat inovasi. Dengan ini, dia bertujuan untuk menempatkan Filipina sebagai pusat inovasi sains dan teknologi yang berkembang di panggung global.
Impian Engr Niñaliza untuk DOST-PCIEERD adalah menciptakan konvergensi, kolaborasi, dan dampak bersama terhadap Filipina. Melalui perencanaan yang realistis dengan menggunakan integrasi teknologi, visi ini dapat mendorong bangsa ke masa depan. Impiannya tersebut menunjukkan bahwa DOST-PCIEERD tidak hanya fokus pada pencapaian singkat, tetapi pada warisan inovasi yang akan memperkaya Filipina untuk generasi mendatang.
Sebagai wanita pertama yang menjabat sebagai deputi direktur di PCIEERD, Engr Niñaliza melihat perannya sebagai bukti kemajuan lembaga dalam inklusivitas dan pengakuan prestasi berdasarkan jasa. Dengan 35 tahun pengabdian, perjalanannya mencerminkan komitmen pada kemajuan signifikan dalam sistem penelitian dan pengembangan.
Melalui perjalanan karirnya, Engr Niñaliza secara konsisten memberikan kontribusi yang signifikan pada pengembangan inovasi riset dan sains di Filipina. Pengalamannya menjadi pilar utama dalam membentuk evolusi penelitian dan pengembangan, membawa mereka ke garis depan kemajuan teknologi di negara ini.
Transformasi yang terjadi dalam bidang penelitian dan pengembangan di bawah kepemimpinannya tidak hanya memperluas cakrawala di berbagai sektor, tetapi juga menciptakan fondasi yang kuat untuk pertumbuhan industri, ketahanan energi, dan kemajuan teknologi secara masif. Langkah-langkah inovatif yang diambilnya telah memberikan dampak positif yang terlihat dalam upaya mencapai keunggulan teknologi di Filipina.
Engr Niñaliza bukan hanya pemimpin di ranah teknologi, tetapi juga sosok yang memahami betapa pentingnya kolaborasi dan integrasi ilmu pengetahuan. Inisiatifnya tidak hanya berkutat pada peningkatan efisiensi dan produktivitas, tetapi juga pada menciptakan ekosistem di mana ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi dapat berkembang harmonis, memberikan kontribusi pada kemajuan nasional.
Pada saat yang sama, perannya dalam membuka peluang bagi penelitian dan pengembangan yang inovatif memberikan landasan untuk menghadapi tantangan masa depan. Keberhasilan dalam memimpin perubahan ini adalah hasil dari dedikasi 35 tahunnya dan pemahamannya yang mendalam terhadap dinamika lapangan penelitian.
Komitmen PCIEERD terhadap inovasi dan kewirausahaan ditunjukkan oleh tujuan ambisius untuk mendanai 20 startup setiap tahun dengan anggaran khusus sebesar PHP5 juta (US$135,000). Inisiatif ini berhasil menyuntikkan vitalitas ke dalam ekosistem startup lokal, memupuk kemajuan teknologi, pertumbuhan ekonomi, serta berhasil dalam melakukan penciptaan lapangan kerja.
Selain itu, Engr Niñaliza menekankan bahwa inklusivitas harus menjadi fokus utama. Dengan program pemberdayaan perempuan dalam kewirausahaan, melalui inisiatif Women Helping Women, PCIEERD mengatasi tantangan yang dihadapi oleh pengusaha perempuan, memberikan dukungan, bimbingan, dan bantuan keuangan. Diversitas gender dirayakan di bidang STEM, meruntuhkan hambatan dan menginspirasi generasi berikutnya dari perempuan.
Komitmen PCIEERD melampaui dukungan keuangan, menciptakan peluang jaringan, program bimbingan, dan platform pertukaran pengetahuan. Dengan mengatasi disparitas gender dan mendukung keberagaman, PCIEERD memperkaya struktur inovasi dan kemajuan dalam masyarakat.
Saran yang diberikan oleh Engr Niñaliza kepada siapa pun yang bertujuan untuk sukses, tanpa memandang gender atau latar belakang, didasarkan pada keyakinan bahwa dedikasidalam pembelajaran dan pengembangan pribadi diperlukan untuk menggali potensi terbesar seseorang.
“Penting untuk menyelaraskan usaha Anda dengan kekuatan dan hasrat Anda, melakukan apa yang Anda lakukan dengan baik dan benar-benar memantik semangat Anda. Kesuksesan sering datang ketika kita berkomitmen untuk menyempurnakan keterampilan kita dan tetap terbuka terhadap pengetahuan baru,” katanya dengan yakin.
Engr Niñaliza telah melihat sendiri kekuatan transformatif dari menetapkan tujuan yang jelas dan bekerja keras menuju S&T, saat ia berkembang dari peran teknis menjadi deputi direktur wanita pertama DOST PCIEERD. Ini menekankan pentingnya memiliki arah yang jelas dan peta jalan untuk tujuan profesional dan pribadi.
Menurutnya, pembelajaran harus menjadi proses berkelanjutan yang tidak terbatas oleh usia atau tahap karir. Pengejaran pengetahuan dan peningkatan keterampilan harus konstan, baik dalam peran teknis maupun administratif. Individu yang mengadopsi pola pikir ini lebih baik mampu beradaptasi dengan tantangan yang berubah dan tetap relevan dalam bidang mereka masing-masing.
Engr Niñaliza memahami pentingnya mengenali kelelahan dan kebutuhan pemulihan berkala. Dalam mencapai kesuksesan, sangat penting untuk memperhatikan kesejahteraan diri dan mengenali kapan diperlukan istirahat. Pemulihan dari kelelahan memberikan kesegaran dan fokus yang baru, membentuk dasar untuk kesuksesan jangka panjang.
Pengalamannya mencerminkan filosofi mengejar keunggulan melalui keselarasan hasrat, pembelajaran berkelanjutan, dan ketangguhan.
“Dengan mempertahankan tujuan yang jelas, tetap berkomitmen untuk perbaikan, dan memahami pentingnya perawatan diri, individu dapat menjelajahi jalur unik mereka menuju kesuksesan, memberikan kontribusi dengan berarti pada bidang mereka, dan memberikan dampak yang langgeng pada perjalanan pribadi dan profesional mereka,” kata Engr Niñaliza dengan penuh semangat.
The recent MSC Malaysia Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards (APICTA) 2023 witnessed the success of the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) with their pioneering creations, MAVIHUB and SMECollab. These innovations secured national acclaim, positioning themselves to represent Malaysian ingenuity at the imminent APICTA International competition in Hong Kong, China.
MAVIHUB and SMECollab, spearheaded by teams from APU, emerged victorious in the Industrial (Manufacturing) and Student (Tertiary) categories, respectively. These wins underscored APU’s standing as a leading hub for technological excellence and set the stage for its global prominence at the forthcoming APICTA competition.
MAVIHUB, led by Prof. Ir. Eur. Ing. Ts. Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam, Ir. Narendran Ramasenderan, and Mr. Krishna Ravinchandra, garnered attention with their innovative machine vision and deep learning solution, showcasing its potential to revolutionise manufacturing processes. Their debut victory at APICTA marked a milestone, emphasising their dedication to innovation and practical application.
“We showcased innovation in machine vision and robotic autonomy, demonstrating scalability and the potential impact of our project,” explained Ir. Narendran, representing MAVIHUB.
MAVIHUB is strategically charting its course for the international competition in Hong Kong. The team is meticulously evaluating whether to enhance their current project or embark on a new endeavour, aiming to align with the competition’s criteria and engage a broader audience.
Similarly, SMECollab, comprising Computer Science students specialising in Data Analytics, showcased their solution which addresses contemporary challenges faced by SMEs. Guided by mentors Prof. Vinesh and Georg Chmiel, their AI-based collaborative platform evolved through continuous refinement, culminating in their national accolade.
Participating in APICTA unveiled a realm of learning opportunities, exposing the teams to diverse perspectives and fostering their growth within the industrial and technological landscape. It catalysed their growth, enabling networking opportunities, skill development, and exposure to potential partnerships.
In another triumph for the university, Shah Faisal, an Electrical and Electronic Engineering student at APU, attained the Second Prize in the individual category of the esteemed IEM Student Research e-Poster Competition 2023, organised by the Marine Engineering & Naval Architecture Technical Division of the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM).
The competition, themed around Sustainability and Integrated Engineering, drew participants from diverse educational backgrounds, engaging graduates, undergraduates, and community college students alike.
Challenging and multi-staged, the competition involved rigorous rounds where participants crafted comprehensive research posters elucidating problem statements, objectives, methodologies, results, and the potential impact on enhancing sustainability.
His winning research project, “Smart Health Monitoring System for Rural COVID-19 Patients”, project comprised three vital components:
Health Monitoring Device: Capturing a wide array of vital information such as body temperature, Blood Oxygen Levels (SPO2 levels), heart rate (BPM), room temperature, humidity levels, and Mental Health Index assessment.
Solar Charging Station: Employing dual-axis solar tracking technology for sustainability and independence from the conventional power grid.
Application: A platform displaying diverse vital readings to healthcare professionals and patients, featuring pre-diagnostic analysis and facilitating doctor-patient communication.
Reflecting on the intense competition that brought together Malaysia’s brightest minds, Shah Faisal expressed his excitement, stating, “I was thrilled to make it to the final round. Presenting and defending my research in front of the judges, followed by an extensive Q&A, was truly exhilarating.”
The triumphs of MAVIHUB, SMECollab and Shah Faisal are not only proof of APU’s technological prowess but also highlight Malaysia’s commitment to innovation on the global stage. Their journeys stand as a testament to the transformative power of innovation, collaboration, and the relentless pursuit of excellence in the realm of technology.
As a vital arm of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) holds a pivotal role as one of the three sectoral planning councils within the organisation.
Founded on 29 June 2010, PCIEERD is distinguished by its unique commitment to driving research and development initiatives, particularly in the industries, energy, and emerging technology sectors.
Functioning as a pivotal agency, DOST-PCIEERD takes a central role in crafting policies, plans, and programmes, along with implementing strategies in the designated sectors. The execution of these initiatives is facilitated through a spectrum of Science and Technology (S&T) programmes designed to promote innovation and progress.
Encompassing a broad spectrum, DOST-PCIEERD extends research and development (R&D) support across 21 sectors, broadly categorised under industry, energy, emerging technology, and special concerns.
The council plays a crucial role in disseminating and promoting S&T information, undertaking sustained programmes for information dissemination. This proactive approach aims to enhance the accessibility and utilisation of information and research results by the diverse array of customers and stakeholders associated with the sectors.
In its commitment to fostering growth, DOST-PCIEERD dedicates efforts to developing and enhancing R&D and support capabilities. This forward-looking perspective ensures the fulfilment of present and future human resource and institutional requirements.
Moreover, the council actively contributes to technological advancement by adopting, transferring, and commercialising available technologies. In doing so, DOST-PCIEERD plays a vital role in propelling the nation’s scientific and technological landscape towards greater heights.
Driving Innovation and Industry Development
In an exclusive interview with OpenGov Asia, Dr Enrico C. Paringit, Executive Director of DOST-PCIEERD, sheds light on compelling projects that underscore the council’s significant influence on research and development in the realms of industry, energy, and emerging technology.
At the forefront of catalysing research and development in the Philippines, DOST-PCIEERD has been a driving force behind diverse programmes and initiatives. Launched in 2015, the Infrastructure Development Programme (IDP) has emerged as a cornerstone, playing a pivotal role in the expansion or modernisation of academic and research institutions.
Under the Infrastructure Development Programme (IDP), DOST-PCIEERD has actively spearheaded initiatives encompassing the acquisition of cutting-edge laboratory facilities, state-of-the-art equipment, and specialised software. Between 2015 to 2023, this strategic investment, totalling Php234.4 million (S$6.31 million), has yielded transformative outcomes, facilitating the establishment and enhancement of 49 laboratories across the nation. This concerted effort reflects the commitment to fortify research capabilities and foster innovation within academic and research institutions.
In line with the DOST Halal Policy, the DOST Halal S&T Programme was initiated to support the development of the Halal industry. This programme focuses on research and development, technology transfer, human resource development, and Halal verification through laboratory testing. Additionally, efforts have been directed towards fortifying the Filipino Halal sector to meet global benchmarks, enhance competitiveness, and improve research and development.
Dr Enrico explains that the Food Safety Programme, Food Innovation Centres, and Natural Dyes facilities have been established to strengthen the food industry and improve the living standards of Filipino people. The commitment extends to bolstering the country’s manufacturing industry by providing cutting-edge facilities for specialised testing, designing, and research and development in key sectors like food, electronics, and materials.
Under the OneLab Programme, regional testing facilities have been consolidated into a unified network, providing easy access to a global network of public and private laboratories for analytical and calibration needs. This initiative promotes collaboration among students, researchers, and industry stakeholders, with information accessible through the onelab.ph website.
The National Metrology Laboratory (NML) leads metrology efforts in the Philippines and has achieved international recognition. However, continued support is required for the expansion of Calibration and Measurement Capabilities (CMCs) to maintain competence globally.
Dr Enrico reveals that the establishment of the Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory (ADMATEL) marks the country’s first electronics design facility, aimed at reinforcing and upgrading failure analysis and materials testing facilities to attract potential investors and promote a conducive business environment.
The Electronics Product Development Centre (EPDC) serves as the national testing facility, providing design, prototyping, and testing facilities for printed circuit boards. The goal is to support companies and schools in developing hardware and software for electronics products.
The Advanced Manufacturing Centre (AMCen), on the other hand, has been established as the national centre of excellence in additive manufacturing, focusing on areas like Aerospace and Defense, Pharmaceutical/Healthcare, Novel Electronics, Agriculture, and Automotive.
In addition, the renewable energy projects include a micro-hydro turbine research and testing facility in Morong, Rizal, supporting off-grid electrification for communities. The Mindanao Renewable Energy Centre (MREC) focuses on Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Ocean Renewable Energy (ORE) facilities, aiming to harness energy from solar power and simulate tidal and wave characteristics.
To serve as a bridge between R&D and commercialisation, the Funding Assistance for Spin-off and Translation of Research in Advancing Commercialisation (FASTRAC) Programme supports technologies such as USHER, CharM, FISH_I, Smart Surface, CATCH-ALL, Marine Nanocoat, Monascus Red Colorant, Fruitect, HormoGroe, Gitara ni Juan, X-LIPAD, MapX, Vigormin, and others.
Embedded in the ethos of DOST, a circular economy mindset takes centre stage, underscoring a dedication to initiatives that champion environmental stewardship and optimal resource utilisation. Positioned as a key tenet within the DOST framework, this pledge manifests in the backing of projects geared towards converting waste materials into valuable and sustainable resources.
A notable example is the successful initiative led by the Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI), wherein an in-depth analysis of dredged material from the Tullahan River was undertaken to investigate alternative applications. This project exemplifies a forward-thinking strategy in tackling environmental issues by repurposing materials that would otherwise contribute to waste, showcasing a commitment to sustainable solutions and resourcefulness.
The University of Mindanao is leading another remarkable sustainable initiative, centring on the transformation of durian rinds into 3D printing filaments. This inventive project not only addresses waste reduction but also taps into the potential of agricultural by-products, underscoring a steadfast commitment to sustainability and resource optimisation.
“At the core of our mission, we prioritise environmental sustainability, ensuring that our operations, activities, and programmes are conducted with a steadfast commitment to minimising adverse impacts on the environment,” Dr Enrico states.
Recognising the importance of ecological responsibility, PCIERRD incorporates environmental considerations as a pivotal metric in the assessment of proposals. This approach underscores its unwavering commitment to nurturing initiatives that adhere to the principles of environmental conservation and responsible stewardship.
Dedicated to environmental stewardship, the agency proactively pursues a science and technology roadmap for tackling and mitigating challenges related to waste management. Under the leadership of Dr Enrico, PCIERRD aims to assume a pivotal role in shaping sustainable practices that advocate for the responsible use and disposal of resources.
Demonstrating a responsible use of resources through its life cycle, PCIERRD fulfils its mandate to actively support the Clean Air Act (RA8749). By championing the implementation of this key legislation, the agency contributes significantly to promoting clean air standards and mitigating air pollution, aligning its efforts with broader initiatives that prioritise the health of both the environment and local communities.
“Through these multifaceted approaches, we strive to be proactive stewards of the environment, integrating sustainability principles into the fabric of the industrial operations; thereby promoting responsible practices within the realm of science and technology,” Dr Enrico emphasises.
The success of PCIERRD can be attributed in part to its ability to develop talent and inspire upcoming researchers and innovators to advance the country’s technological frontiers. In 2017, the country witnessed the launch of the Young Innovators Programme (YIP), designed as an inclusive platform for highly talented high school students aspiring to gain research experience.
The programme invites these young minds to gain experience in research under the guidance of mentors, facilitating hands-on learning and fostering a spirit of scientific inquiry. The objective of YIP is to equip and prepare these young researchers to undertake independent research endeavors, supported by funding allocated to innovative research projects.
Since its inception, the Young Innovators Programme has made significant strides in cultivating a new era of scientific exploration and inventive breakthroughs within the country. A total of Php37 million (SG$1 million) in funding has been disbursed across 56 approved projects, providing vital resources for these young innovators to bring their ideas to fruition.
The programme’s impact extends beyond financial support, contributing to the development of a vibrant community of budding scientists and researchers who are poised to make meaningful contributions to the scientific landscape in the years to come.
Nurturing Ingenuity Through Partnerships
According to Dr Enrico, engaging with diverse stakeholders is at the core of their approach as they strive to meet the evolving needs of the 21 sectors under its support. Through focused initiatives such as focus group discussions and consultation, they actively seek input from industry stakeholders, research institutions, and government agencies.
“This collaborative process allows us to gain valuable insights into the specific requirements and challenges faced by each sector, informing the direction of our research and development endeavours,” Dr Enrico explains.
Beyond external engagement, PCIEERD places considerable emphasis on internal feedback mechanisms. Tools such as the Research Fairness Survey and the R&D Customer Preference Survey serve as valuable means to directly collect insights from researchers. This two-way communication approach ensures that the perspectives and experiences of those actively engaged in the research process are taken into account, fostering an environment of continuous improvement and responsiveness within the organisation.
Collaboration remains a cornerstone of their strategy, and they actively cultivate partnerships with industry stakeholders. Through a range of programmes, such as the Expert Intervention for Scientific Engagement (ExperTiSE) programme, Regional Research Institutions (RRI), research attachments and expert visits, PCIEERD creates avenues for meaningful cooperation.
These collaborative initiatives not only enhance the effectiveness of the research but also contribute to the broader goal of fostering innovation and sustainable development across diverse sectors.
Furthermore, DOST-PCIEERD recognises the pivotal role of international alliances and partnerships, strategically emphasising their significance in advancing research and development in the fields of industry, energy, and emerging technology.
This concerted effort is driven by a commitment to contribute to the growth of scientific knowledge, facilitate technology transfer, spur economic development, and enhance the capacity to address global challenges effectively.
International partnerships provide a crucial avenue for knowledge exchange, where foreign counterparts and experts bring expertise that exposes Filipino researchers to cutting-edge technologies, methodologies, and the sharing of best practices.
Such exposure not only enhances the skills of local researchers, rendering them more competitive on the international stage but also unlocks new opportunities for commercialising innovative technologies in the global market. Consequently, it bridges the gap between research and market application, facilitating technology pathways that contribute to economic growth through income and job creation.
Several notable international engagements exemplify the commitment of DOST-PCIEERD to fostering global collaborations. Among them, the e-ASIA initiative stands out – a multilateral international joint effort involving public funding organisations from East Asia Summit (EAS) member countries.
Additionally, the Southeast Asia-Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Research and Innovation (SEA-EU JFS) facilitates joint funding of bi-regional, multi-lateral research and innovation projects, fostering cooperation between Southeast Asia and Europe.
Joint efforts such as the UKRI-NERC initiative address specific challenges, exemplified by the “Sustainable Mineral Resources in the Philippines” programme. This collaborative effort aims to fund research that offers a comprehensive perspective on mineral production in the Philippines and address environmental issues associated with legacy and abandoned mines.
Another noteworthy effort is the UKRI-JST-DOST ‘Science, Technology and Action’ Nexus for Development (STAND) Collaboration, which seeks to foster international research interaction and exchange among researchers in Japan, the United Kingdom, and Southeast Asia. This collaboration focuses on projects contributing to sustainable development in Southeast Asia, aligning with the broader goals of knowledge sharing and capacity building on a global scale.
Public-private partnerships have also contributed to the advancement of industry, energy, and emerging technology in the country. In June 2023, PCIEERD took a significant step forward in fortifying its collaboration with the mining industry by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.
This partnership encompasses three key areas aimed at fostering advancements and sustainability within the mining sector.
Firstly, there is a focus on the collaborative drafting of a nickel roadmap, with active consultation involving both mining industries and key government agencies. This initiative aims to chart a strategic course for the nickel industry, ensuring alignment with industry needs and national development goals.
Another crucial facet of the partnership involves an increased emphasis on research related to green minerals, particularly in anticipation of their translation into components for Electric Vehicles (EVs). This forward-looking approach aligns with the global shift towards sustainable and environmentally friendly technologies, positioning the mining industry to play a pivotal role in the emerging green economy.
Additionally, the collaborative efforts extend to the improvement of energy efficiency and the promotion of renewable energy within the mining sector. By addressing these critical aspects, the partnership endeavours to enhance the sustainability and environmental impact of mining operations, aligning with broader goals of responsible resource utilisation and energy conservation.
PCIEERD maintains an ongoing and fruitful partnership with the Philippine Technological Council (PTC), a non-stock, non-profit private organisation. The collaboration with PTC unfolds through its accreditation service, serving as a mechanism to facilitate capstone projects and promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) initiatives.
This sustained partnership underscores PCIEERD’s commitment to advancing technological excellence, education, and innovation within the Philippines, fostering a collaborative ecosystem that transcends industry boundaries for the greater benefit of scientific and technological progress.
Unveiling Key Strategies
Dr Enrico reveals the key strategic priorities and initiatives he is focusing on as the Executive Director of PCIEERD to foster innovation and drive industry development in the Philippines.
“Guided by the Harmonised National Research and Development Agenda (HNRDA) for the period 2022-2028, our research initiatives are intricately woven into a framework that aligns with the broader vision encapsulated in AmBisyon Natin 2040,” Dr Enrico highlights.
Envisioning a promising future for Filipinos, the HNRDA is anchored in the pillars of Malasakit, Pagbabago, and Kaunlaran, which collectively advocate for inclusive growth, a resilient society, and the cultivation of a competitive knowledge economy.
In pursuit of these aspirations, PCIERRD has embarked on pioneering programmes aimed at revolutionising the local transport systems. Spearheaded by the ELECTROMOBILITY R&D Centre, and R&D Centre for Advanced Batteries, these initiatives focus on the development and implementation of electric vehicles and enhancing advanced battery technology.
These efforts align with the priorities of the Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI). Additionally, PCIERRD has several initiatives on maritime transport on the electrification of boats and ferries.
“This strategic move reflects our commitment to advancing sustainable and eco-friendly solutions in the domain of transportation,” Dr Enrico furthers. “Our commitment extends to the empowerment of local governance through the implementation of the Smart Cities initiative.”
Significant transformations have been realised in cities such as Baguio, Cauayan, Iloilo, and Butuan, where the integration of smart technologies has contributed to improved urban living. The success of these endeavours has prompted an expansion of the programme beyond cities, reaching into various communities as part of our ongoing efforts to create more inclusive and technologically empowered environments.
Recognising the critical role of startups in driving innovation, PCIERRD actively supports the startup ecosystem through the Startup Grant Fund. The comprehensive programmes assist startups throughout their journey, from the initial ideation phase to full commercialisation. By nurturing and facilitating the growth of startups, they contribute to the dynamism of the entrepreneurial landscape and the overall economic development of the region.
Dr Enrico underscores in the domain of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the DOST endeavours are guided by a comprehensive 2019-2029 R&D Programme Framework. This strategic blueprint delineates a path to ensure the Philippines remains a frontrunner in the global evolution of AI technologies.
The primary thrusts of this initiative span across National Infrastructure, where the DOST has distributed nine High-Performance Computing (HPC) machines to higher education institutions, catalysing the commencement of new AI projects.
The groundwork laid in 2014 with the establishment of the Computing and Archiving Research Environment (CoARE) further bolsters these efforts, providing free access to HPC and Cloud services. The overarching goal is to enhance connectivity and expedite digital transformation by 2024, with a specific target of elevating the PH e-government index to 0.85 by 2029.
The DOST’s dedication to AI extends beyond infrastructure to encompass Capacity Building, where initiatives are undertaken to nurture the skills and expertise necessary for meaningful AI contributions. Simultaneously, the focus on Research and Data initiatives accentuates the commitment to advancing the knowledge frontier in AI.
Additionally, the department actively engages in developing Policies and Stakeholder relationships, ensuring a holistic and forward-looking approach to AI development within the country. This multi-faceted strategy underscores the DOST’s commitment to positioning the Philippines as a key player in the dynamic landscape of AI innovation and progress.
“In our pursuit of ensuring the Philippines’ prominence in technological innovation and sustainable development globally, DOST-PCIEERD employs a multifaceted approach encompassing various strategic initiatives. One pivotal effort involves bridging the gap between academic research and industry through the establishment of Technology Business Incubators (TBIs),” Dr Enrico asserts.
With 54 members in the DOST TBI Network, including 32 industry-based and 22 agriculture- and aquaculture-focused TBIs across Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), the investments since 2018 have totalled Php411 million (SG$11.1 million).
These TBIs have incubated 1,359 startups, generated 5,696 jobs, attracted over Php1.87 billion (SG$50.49 million) in private investments, and produced Php907 million (SG$24.49 million) in startup revenue. Additionally, the TBIs themselves have secured Php118.3 million (SG$3.19 million) in private investments from various partners.
To promote science education in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA), they fund projects such as the Philippine Science Centrum Travelling Exhibit. This initiative, spanning 26 GIDA districts across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, has reached 300,000 students and instructed 4,000 teachers in basic science experiments, enhancing education in these remote areas.
Acknowledging the vital role of women entrepreneurs, initiatives like Women-Helping-Women: Innovative Social Enterprises (WHWise) aims to support and acknowledge women driving economic growth and sustainable development in their communities.
Strategic planning is another cornerstone of the approach, with formulated roadmaps and sectoral strategies for the 21 supported sectors. These roadmaps not only guide the development of specific research programmes but also contribute to the realisation of sustainable development goals.
Collectively, these strategies underscore the commitment to enhancing the country’s competitiveness and productivity in the global landscape of technological innovation and sustainable development, fostering a comprehensive and impactful approach to propel the nation forward.
Nexus of Innovation by 2040
“Our forward-looking vision is rooted in becoming the Nexus of Innovation by the year 2040,” Dr Enrico shares his vision for PCIEERD’s position in the global context in the next three years. “Positioned as a leader in the country’s competitiveness and productivity, we aim to enable science and technology solutions across the industry, energy, and emerging technology sectors, all while upholding the principles of good governance.”
To realise this vision, global collaboration stands as a cornerstone of this strategy. They envision strengthening international partnerships and collaborations with funding institutions worldwide. By engaging with global counterparts, they seek to foster knowledge-sharing, promote cooperation and teamwork, facilitate mutual learning, and collectively drive innovation in the realms of industry, energy, and emerging technologies.
An essential aspect of their approach involves a dedicated focus on investment in Research and Development (R&D). By prioritising R&D investment, they ensure that PCIEERD remains at the forefront of technological advancements in the Industry, Energy, and Emerging (IEE) sectors. This commitment contributes to global innovation efforts and positions the nation as a key player in addressing pressing global challenges through technological solutions.
Their commitment extends to robust mechanisms for technology transfer and commercialisation. By effectively translating the R&D findings and innovations into practical applications and marketable products, they strive to bridge the gap between research outcomes and real-world impact.
“Knowledge dissemination forms another crucial element of our strategy. We are committed to sharing our S&T outputs, technological advancements, and success stories in technology transfer and commercialisation, both locally and globally,” Dr Enrico says emphatically. “This proactive approach ensures that the benefits of our innovations reach diverse audiences, contributing to the broader global knowledge pool.”
In all aspects of their operations, sustainability is a guiding principle. They are committed to using sustainable practices in everything they do, from research to innovations, technology transfers, and commercialisation.
Through their actions, they actively support the preservation of the environment on a global scale and are consistent with larger sustainability objectives, exemplifying a responsible and comprehensive approach to scientific and technological advancement.
“Embracing the role of a scientist is to willingly confront the mysteries of the unknown, and it is this very challenge that captivates me,” says Dr Enrico, who completed his doctorate at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and served as the principal scientist for DOST Project NOAH and the DOST DREAM LIDAR Programme.
Seeking out interesting and meaningful challenges brought him joy. His work at PCIEERD is similar to a large-scale experiment in which he develops theories and verifies them against reality.
He believes that this dynamic process fosters continuous innovation by pushing boundaries and revealing new possibilities. The core values of high integrity, innovation, and excellence serve as guiding principles, propelling the entire PCIEEED led by him to strive for excellence in all that they do.
“We are committed to exploring new ground in science and are constantly looking for ways to offer significant discoveries and solutions that have a long-term impact for the benefit of the whole nation,” Dr Enrico concludes.
In a session at the Dewan Negara, Senator Datuk Sivarraajh Chandran proposed a significant expansion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) courses across public universities, aligning with the anticipated transformative impact of AI technology on the future job landscape.
Senator Chandran emphasised that greater participation of higher education institutions in offering AI courses would create a more extensive platform for cultivating experts capable of addressing the challenges arising from the evolution and development of AI technology.
Citing a study conducted by the Ministry of Human Resources, which projected that approximately 4.5 million workers in the country could face job displacement by 2030 due to advancements in AI and Machine Learning (ML), Senator Chandran underscored the importance of mitigating this risk through the provision of additional AI-related educational opportunities. While acknowledging that the majority of jobs at risk are categorised as semi-skilled and unskilled, he stressed the profound impact such a shift could have on people’s livelihoods, warranting proactive measures.
These proposals were articulated during the deliberation of the Supply Bill 2024 in the Dewan Negara. Senator Chandran expressed support for the government’s initiative to establish the nation’s first Artificial Intelligence Studies Centre, housed at the Faculty of Artificial Intelligence in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). This centre, announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as part of the Budget 2024, received an initial allocation of RM20 million.
While commending the establishment of the AI Studies Centre at UTM, Senator Chandran argued for a more intensified effort, calling for the active involvement of additional public higher education institutions in providing AI courses. He believed that expanding educational offerings in the AI field could play a crucial role in reducing the projected job displacement and equipping the workforce with the necessary skills for the evolving job market.
In the context of potential job losses outlined in the Ministry of Human Resources study, Senator Chandran stressed the significance of not underestimating the impact of AI and ML advancements. He emphasised that the livelihoods of individuals were at stake, necessitating a proactive approach to skill development and education in emerging technologies.
Furthermore, Senator Chandran argued that the participation of more educational institutions in offering AI studies could have broader economic implications. He suggested that a robust educational ecosystem in AI would be an attractive factor for investors in the industry, as it would demonstrate the country’s commitment to fostering a skilled and credible talent pool capable of meeting the demands of the evolving job market.
In mid-October, Malaysia presented its 2024 budget, said to be the largest in the nation’s history, with an allocation of RM303 billion (US$64.7 billion). To fulfil fiscal obligations and decrease the deficit to 4.3%, the budget introduces significant structural changes to Malaysia’s tax system, affecting both businesses and individuals.
Notably, a capital gains tax is introduced, and there is an upswing in service tax rates. Furthermore, the government has confirmed the implementation of e-invoicing starting from 1 August 2024 and the adoption of the global minimum tax in 2025. These measures signify a comprehensive approach to fiscal management, aiming to enhance revenue streams, streamline tax processes, and align with global taxation standards.
Senator Datuk Sivarraajh Chandran’s proposals centre around the crucial role of education in mitigating the potential negative impacts of AI and ML advancements on the job market. By advocating for an expanded offering of AI courses in public universities, he aims to not only address the challenges posed by technological developments but also position the country as an attractive destination for investments in the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence.
The implementation of a National Digital Identity (Digital ID) system in Malaysia is poised to revolutionise the verification and distribution of aid during crises or natural disasters, ensuring swift and precise assistance to those in need.
According to the Chairman of the Malaysian Cyber Consumer Association (MCCA), Digital ID has the potential to streamline processes, reducing bureaucratic hurdles and optimising the impact of government subsidies by facilitating the efficient distribution of assistance to targeted groups with greater accuracy and effectiveness.
Digital ID, in this context, serves as a digital means of self-identification and authentication for individuals, designed for use in both public and private sectors to verify user identities during online transactions. The nation’s Prime Minister has conveyed that while the government will not mandate registration for Digital ID presently, civil servants are encouraged to do so, especially as the Rahmah Cash Aid (STR) and other targeted subsidies will be channelled through this system. MIMOS Berhad, Malaysia’s national Applied Research and Development Centre, has been appointed as the implementing agency for Digital ID, with an initial allocation of RM80 million.
The Former Principal Assistant Director at Bukit Aman emphasised the significance of Digital ID in enhancing cybersecurity. The technology relies on digital certificates to bolster security in online transactions, verifying identities by linking cryptographic keys with their owners through cryptography.
Despite its potential benefits, the Former Principal Ass
istant Director pointed out a critical concern: the possibility of Digital ID being exploited as a ‘mule ID’ by third parties for fraudulent or illegal activities. He stressed the need for the government to establish robust security measures to prevent misuse, safeguard the system’s integrity, and maintain public trust in the initiative.
Addressing potential concerns about the misuse of Digital ID, the Former Principal Assistant Director called for a thorough examination of security measures. The government’s commitment to preventing fraudulent activities and illegal exploitation is crucial for the success of Digital ID. The Former Principal Assistant Director’s experience in cybercrime and multimedia investigations underscored the importance of maintaining the integrity of the system.
Furthermore, the Former Principal Assistant Director highlighted the need for comprehensive digital education to ensure that all segments of society benefit fully from Digital ID. A focus on digital education can prevent digital divides and contribute to the long-term success of Malaysia’s digitalisation initiatives. By promoting digital literacy, the government can empower citizens to use Digital ID responsibly and stay informed about potential risks.
In conclusion, the implementation of Digital ID in Malaysia represents a significant step toward modernising and securing online transactions. While the technology holds great potential for enhancing the distribution of aid during crises, it is imperative for the government to address security concerns and invest in digital education to ensure the successful adoption of Digital ID across all segments of society.
The advent of Digital ID in Malaysia represents a pivotal moment in the nation’s journey toward a more efficient and secure identity verification system. The Malaysian Cyber Consumer Association’s unwavering support underscores the potential benefits of this technological advancement for the wellbeing of Malaysians. However, as the implementation progresses, the emphasis on system integrity, cybersecurity, and public trust becomes paramount.
The call for robust security measures and consistency resonates as a crucial safeguard against potential misuse, ensuring that Digital ID serves as a reliable tool for streamlined aid distribution and government subsidies. As the nation navigates this transformative phase, it is imperative to strike a balance between technological innovation and the preservation of public confidence to fully realise the positive impact of Digital ID on the Malaysian society.
The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) organised its forum aimed at catalysing Malaysia’s industrial commitment to sustainability goals. Held at the Connexion Conference & Event Centre, Bangsar South, in collaboration with the National SDG Centre and United Nations Global Compact Malaysia and Brunei (UNGCMYB), the forum strategically focused on leveraging technology adoption and embracing ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) practices, especially among Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Mid-Tier Companies (MTCs).
At its core, the forum delved into the critical challenges faced by industries, including financial constraints, talent shortages, and the scarcity of technical expertise. Crucially, it shed light on the government’s unwavering dedication to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and transitioning toward the Net Zero 2050 aspiration.
The session was a knowledge hub, hosting influential figures in sustainability like Mr Faroze Nadar, Executive Director at UNGCMYB, Prof. Dr Ong Kian Ming from Taylor’s University, and Mr Asfaazam Kasbani from the National SDG Centre, Ministry of Economy. Technology experts and representatives from leading entities such as PETRONAS and EPF also contributed their perspectives, enriching the discourse.
YB Liew Chin Tong, Deputy Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry (MITI), outlined the government’s New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030). This plan encompasses ambitious goals and 12 outcome-based targets, aligning with the National Investment Inspirations. Stressing the importance of a holistic approach, YB Liew highlighted the necessity for sector-specific targets across manufacturing, energy, transport, and infrastructure to foster sustainable development.
MITI’s proactive stance was evident as the Deputy Minister unveiled the National Industry Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Framework (i-ESG) to bolster SMEs and MTCs in embracing sustainability. The i-ESG aligns seamlessly with the MADANI Economy Framework, indicating a clear vision for inclusive and sustainable industrial growth.
Underpinning the significance of technology and innovation, YB Liew highlighted initiatives within the Budget 2024, demonstrating a dedicated push toward sustainability. Noteworthy allocations such as the RM2 billion National Energy Transition Facility fund and the potential RM1 billion biodiversity sukuk for carbon credits aim to uplift businesses while fostering a resilient economic landscape.
MIDA’s Chairman, YBhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob, emphasised MIDA’s pivotal role as the vanguard of sustainable investment projects like e-Mobility, Renewable Energy, and Circular Bio-economy. The establishment of MIDA’s Sustainability Division in August 2023 signifies its proactive approach towards sustainable practices, indicating a promising trajectory.
Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob underscored the inevitability of sustainable practices in the evolving global landscape, stressing the urgency for Malaysia to embrace the green wave. MIDA’s commitment was echoed through initiatives like the Invest Malaysia Facilitation Centre (IMFC), aimed at bolstering investment facilitation and expediting service delivery, thereby fostering an investor-friendly environment.
MIDA’s forum served as a pivotal platform to galvanise technological innovation and sustainable practices, aligning Malaysia’s industries with global sustainability imperatives. With concerted efforts and strategic initiatives, Malaysia stands poised to lead the charge towards a greener and more resilient future.
Malaysia has set its sights on an ambitious agenda for sustainable development, aligning with global imperatives while tailoring initiatives to its unique socio-economic landscape. With a steadfast commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 and a resolute transition toward the Net Zero 2050 aspiration, the nation aims to tackle multifaceted challenges. From addressing environmental concerns like carbon emissions and biodiversity preservation to fostering social inclusivity and economic resilience, Malaysia’s sustainable goals encompass a holistic approach. These efforts converge on technology adoption, ESG practices, and inclusive policies, positioning the nation to forge ahead as a beacon of sustainable progress in the region and beyond.
OpenGov Asia reported that Selangor, a key player in Malaysia’s push towards renewable energy, is set to contribute a substantial 1 to 1.5 gigawatts (GW) to the country’s electricity grid in the coming years, as announced by Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari.