KOTA BHARU, March 20: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) in collaboration with the Higher Education Ministry (KPT) and the Centre of Industry-Academia Collaboration (CIAC) is organising its inaugural industry-academia entrepreneurial convention known as “Konvensyen Keusahawanan ECER-KPT 2010” here in Kota Bharu starting today.
The three-day convention, which is being held from March 20 until March 22, 2010 at Kelantan Trade Centre, has attracted 300 participants comprising entrepreneurs, officials from Government agencies, academicians and members of the public.
Minister of International Trade and Industry, Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed officiated the convention today, witnessed by ECERDC CEO, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John and Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) Vice Chancellor Prof. Dato’ Ir. Dr. Zainai Mohamed, together with other VIPs.
Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said the convention is aimed at promoting the objectives and functions of CIAC, particularly on CIAC’s role to facilitate collaboration between leading academicians, scientists and industry players to ensure the application of research findings in commercial activities.
It also serves as a platform for entrepreneurs who are interested to participate in ECER socio-economic projects and programmes that will be driven by five main thrusts namely tourism; oil, gas and petrochemical; manufacturing; agriculture and education.
The CIAC was created at each ECER Centre of Excellence (COE) at five participating universities, namely Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Darul Iman (UDM) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP).
“This convention is part of our effort to ensure that the expertise, research findings and the new technologies developed by the COE at the universities are properly channeled to the participants for commercialisation purpose,” Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said.
It is hoped that by the end of the convention, participants will gain a better understanding on the roles of CIAC and how it can assist them in increasing their productivity and product quality.
Dato’ Issace said the convention is also held to gather ECER entrepreneurs for networking and knowledge sharing, especially on ECERDC’s initiatives.
“The opportunities of business-matching through commercialisation of research, products and technologies created by this convention could also play a key role in attracting both local and foreign investors to form strategic collaborations with ECER entrepreneurs,” he added.
Konvensyen Keusahawanan ECER-KPT 2010 is also aimed at creating awareness on existing financial and non-financial assistance offered by Government agencies and financial institutions to the entrepreneurs in the region.
The convention programme comprises study and research presentations, group discussions, exhibition, advisory and consultancy services, as well as the launch of CIAC website, www.ecer-coe.com.my.
This website will be a one-stop information centre for all COE particularly for CIAC activities, which will allow the sharing of information and knowledge among academia and industry in ECER projects.
It will also act as a depository centre for information on ECERDC projects that are linked to the COE, which will be useful to potential investors, academicians, industry players and members of the public.
“This website will definitely serve as an important tool for us to attract both domestic and foreign direct investments into ECER, which happens to be one of our key focus for this year,” Dato’ Issace said.
The 12 ECER COE are:
- Centre of Industry-Academia Collaboration (CIAC) – At all five universities, with UMK as the coordinator
- Centre of Hospitality Management Training and Tourism – UiTM Dungun
- Centre of Culture and Heritage – UMK
- Centre of Enterpreneurship Training and Management – UMK
- Centre of Facility Management Training – UMT
- Centre of Social Development – UMT
- Centre of Biodiversity and Oceanography – UMT
- Centre of Biotechnology and Herbal Research – UDM
- Centre of Regional Halal Product – UDM
- Centre of Skill Training and Accreditation & Certification of Wood-Based Products – UiTM Jengka
- Centre of Innovation and Product Creativity – UiTM Machang
- Centre of Product Biodegradation and Biofuel Research – UMP.