PUTRAJAYA, August 13, 2015: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) today exchanged MOU documents with Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) and Swansea University from United Kingdom that will pave the way for industry-academia collaborations in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), while promoting working partnerships between both universities in the areas of academic and research.
Under the MOU, both universities will be collaborating in research and academic activities, which include knowledge transfer and product development for commercial purposes, facilitating entry into each respective university’s courses and programmes, as well as exchange of staff and students, among others.
Focus areas of research include engineering, ICT, medicine, renewable energy technologies and biosciences. The proposed pilot project under the collaboration will be a research collaboration between UMP’s award-winning Centre of Advanced Research in Fluid Flow (CARIFF) and Swansea University’s Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI).
CARIFF’s strength lies in thefluid dynamic technologies, particularly in the areas of drag reduction, multiphase flow systems, oil and gas technologies, as well as reactive fluid dynamics. ESRI’s strength lies in the energy sector, particularly on safety issues surrounding the development and expansion of existing energy processes, as well as the safe deployment and integration of new “green” energy technologies. ESRI is already partnering with a range of international industry partners across the oil and gas industry, water treatment, and materials manufacturing.
“We are indeed proud and honoured that Swansea University has chosen UMP and ECER for this historic collaboration, which augurs well not only for the industry and academic community in the Region, but also for the rakyat,” said ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, YBhg. Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John after the MOU exchange ceremony here today.
“ECERDC’s role in the collaboration is to harness the energies and unique strengths of both universities through industry-academic collaboration that will benefit the investors in ECER, particularly in developing local talents to meet the needs of the industries,” Datuk Seri Issace said.
He added that the collaboration is in line with the Government’s vision to transform ECER into a world-class investment destination, whose growth is driven by knowledge-based economies.
“ECERDC, together with UMP and Swansea University, recognise that research and development can deliver innovation breakthroughs in areas such as renewable energy, engineering technologies, medicine, life sciences and high performance computing, which represent the key areas in the knowledge economy,” he noted.
“Industry-academia collaboration, combined with government facilitation from both countries, can help such innovations to be developed into commercial products and services that are able to create new job opportunities for the locals, thus improving lives and changing communities for the better.”
At today’s document exchange ceremony, ECERDC also exchanged collaboration dcouments with Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin of Terenganu (UNISZA),  Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) and UMP for the appointment of the three universities as the training providers for empower ECER’s Skills and Entrepreneurship Training Programme in the states of Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang respectively.
empower ECER is a human capital development programme undertaken by ECERDC that aims to enhance and empower the local community in ECER through academic and entrepreneurial skill training. The programme is part of ECERDC’s effort to narrow the regional imbalances and address rural poverty and the bottom 40% of the population, in line with the Government’s inclusive approach towards becoming high income nation.
empower ECER’s Skill Training and Entrepreneurship Training Programme is designed primarily for unemployed graduates, low income working adults and single mothers with the objective of providing them with adequate skills training and entrepreneurship development knowledge, in a bid to enhance their marketability and employability.
Currently implemented in 20 locations throughout ECER, empower ECER has benefitted over 33,400 rural students through the Academic Training Programme and and more than 11,600 adults under the Skills and Entrepreneurship Training Programme respectively.  
For adult participants of empower ECER Skills and Entrepreneurship Training Programme, it is estimated that up to 80% of participants will gain employment after completing their courses or have sufficient knowledge and practical experience to start their own business, and the ability to generate additional income of between RM500 and RM1,500 per month, or even more.