Asia Centre of Excellence for Smart Technologies (ACES) to be established in ECER’s Pahang Technology Park (PTP)

KUALA LUMPUR, 14 MARCH 2018: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) has recently signed a Cooperation Agreement with TUM International GMBH (TUM) of Germany for the establishment of the Asia Centre of Excellence for Smart Technologies (ACES) at the Cybercentre in Pahang Technology Park (PTP), in a move that will take the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) of Malaysia into the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0.

 TUM International GMBH is a subsidiary of Technische Universität München (Technical University of Munich, TUM), Germany’s top-ranking university based on the “QS World University Ranking”. Leveraging on TUM’s experience and expertise, ECERDC will be working together with the former to provide technical blueprints and roadmap, trainings, certifications, as well as advisory and consulting works for the introduction and upscaling of technology in various fields within the private and public sector for Industry 4.0, as well as other innovative and smart technologies.

The Cooperation Agreement was exchanged between the Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC, YBhg. Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John, and Managing Director of TUM International GMBH, Mr. Daniel A. Gottschald, at Menara MITI here today. The momentous occasion was witnessed by the Minister of International Trade and Industry, YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Bin Mohamed.

“The establishment of ACES aims to accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0 in ECER, which is part of the overall strategy to facilitate the Region’s transition into a productivity-driven and technology-intensive economy as outlined in the ECER Master Plan 2.0, which will be unveiled soon,” said the Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC, YBhg. Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John.

“The partnership between ECERDC and TUM is key towards ECER’s next leap of socio-economic transformation. Given the Region’s remarkable transformation over the last decade, one of the key focus or quantum leap for the Region’s growth moving forward is to attract greater investments particularly in advanced manufacturing from abroad and ensure the availability of skilled workers who are adept with the latest technological skills and knowledge to support and enable the future of production,” Datuk Seri Issace said.

ACES is envisioned to be the nucleus of the competency centre for the development of Industry 4.0 through strategic “industry-academia-government” initiatives and partnerships. TUM will be assigning technical experts for ACES to offer one-on-one workshops and seminars for companies, as well as providing training courses to graduates of institutions of higher learning and working professionals from Malaysia and the Asian region. ACES also aims to offer relevant technologies to build up new value chains in the target regions.

“Malaysia, including ECER is well-positioned to benefit from the Industry 4.0. We are pleased that the Malaysian Government is fully committed towards the initiative to establish the right ecosystem and help drive the adoption of smart technologies in its local industries. Through our partnership with ECERDC via ACES, we are confident that this would help catalyse Malaysia’s path towards becoming a pioneering and successful Industry 4.0 global showcase, and accelerate ECER’s growth through the greater transfer of knowledge and capabilities,” said Managing Director of TUM International GMBH, Mr. Daniel A. Gottschald.

 Datuk Seri Issace said the rise of new digital industrial technology can drive dramatic increases in industrial productivity and supply chain efficiency in ECER. This, however, will require a significant change in the Rakyat’s mind-set and capabilities, supported by the necessary infrastructure and systems to maintain the region’s competitiveness.

“As we commemorate ECERDC’s 10th anniversary this year, we are fully committed to supporting the transition of ECER’s economic clusters to take advantage of Industry 4.0,” Datuk Seri Issace added.

As at February 2018, ECER has successfully attracted RM111.6 billion in private investments, thus exceeding its original investment target of RM110 billion by 2020. ECERDC has set an investment target of RM180 billion for ECER by 2025.

Currently, more than half of the private investments in ECER, or RM60.45 billion, are concentrated in the ECER Special Economic Zone (ECER SEZ), which stretches from Kertih in Terengganu to Pekan in Pahang. While ECER SEZ forms only 6% of the entire ECER area, it is expected to play a catalytic role in driving Industry 4.0 by spearheading knowledge-based, technology-intensive and productivity-driven economic activities, particularly in the manufacturing cluster. Between 2018 and 2025, ECER SEZ are targeted to attract another RM41 billion in private investments, creating 55,000 new jobs and 1,750 new entrepreneurial opportunities.

Pahang Technology Park (PTP), which is located right within the ECER SEZ, is set to be positioned as the future East Coast Digital Free Trade Zone, and serves as the hub for Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Data Centre, Cloud Computing and Distribution Warehouse for e-commerce businesses.

TUM has forged strong links with commercial companies and scientific institutions in joint researches across the world as part of its commitment towards attaining excellence in research and teaching, interdisciplinary education and the active promotion of promising young scientists.

As an entrepreneurial university, TUM signs more than 1,000 research agreements with industrial partners every year. TUM was one of the first universities in Germany to be named a University of Excellence, whereby it has produced as many as 17 Nobel Laureates. It ranks among Europe’s best universities in international rankings, as well as among the most prestigious technology-based institutions worldwide such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and California Institute of Technology (CALTECH).

In addition to its partnership with TUM, ECERDC has signed a bilateral trade and investment Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) earlier in November 2017 with Bayern International GmbH, the local government agency for the state of Bavaria in Germany. This forms as another key strategy for ECERDC to steer efforts to upskill the local talent pool, while at the same time, drive knowledge and innovation-based activities for industries in the Region with the ultimate goal of facilitating wider adoption of Industry 4.0 among local players.