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UTM holds round table discussion to plan high-impact engineering research

The United Nations has put forth manifesto entitled the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity in inclusive societies.

They are guides to help governments achieve the ambitious and transformational 2030 agenda for SDG. It requires the partnership of governments, the private sector, civil society, and researchers.

Keeping this aim in mind, a round table discussion was conducted by the Faculty of Engineering (FE) at UTM Johor Bahru, according to a press release.

The aim of the roundtable was to align the research programs at FE towards the United Nation’s SDG. More than 50 head of the research groups and academic staff attended the round table discussion.

The workshop was officiated by one of the university’s leading scholars who highlighted that the main agenda of the event was to provide a space for the researchers and other stakeholders to exchange their views on the success stories and challenges faced in the early implementation of the SDGs at the national level and their integration into policies, plans, and strategies.

Several experts from both government and corporate backgrounds delivered talks on their latest research, their needs and call for research proposals to address national interests. One such expert discussed the current advanced manufacturing technologies in Malaysia. The last talk was delivered by another professor at UTM who shared the new research on the additive manufacturing initiative that can be taken up by researchers in UTM.

The participants discussed potential concept papers that can be drawn based on prior discussions. Each area mentioned above was assigned with a person in charge to steer their group’s discussion. Each group prepared a short presentation as an outcome from the round table discussion and expected to submit a concept paper for research funding application. The organizing committee has anticipated that this informative round table discussion would promote the spirit for research grant application among our staff.

The aim of the event was to gather Malaysia leading and rising experts to discuss how the country can work towards achieving the 17 SDGs.

Goal 9 of the 17 SDGs is Industry and Innovation, with sub-targets that include the aim to:

  • Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise the industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in the least developed countries;
  • Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets;
  • By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities;
  • Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending;
  • Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States 18;
  • Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities;
  • Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in the least developed countries by 2020.

Moreover, the National Industry 4.0 Policy has made it clear that its aims and strategies are in line with, if not inspired by, those of the 17 SDGs. The Government is taking a proactive approach to technology and its application is all the economic sectors in the country.


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