6 January 2022

Swinburne Sarawak formed research alliance with locally based foreign branch universities in the automation of oil palm harvest

KUCHING – Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the University of Nottingham Malaysia, Curtin University Malaysia, and Swinburne Innovation Malaysia Sdn Bhd to partner research on the automation of oil palm harvest. 

In his remarks, Swinburne’s Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, Ir Professor Lau Hieng Ho expressed his gratitude towards the universities’ commitments to making the MoA a success. “This research alliance marks its first success with the start of this collaborative research on oil palm harvest automation,” he said. He also shared that food science and bio-processing projects are also in the pipeline for 2022.  

Vice Provost, Research and Knowledge for University of Nottingham Malaysia, Professor Andy Chan commented that Nottingham University is proud to foster common interest and collaborative relationships amongst other foreign branch campuses in Malaysia. “The formation of this consortium also coincides with Nottingham’s established research expertise in the environment, food security, industrial revolution and Malaysian society,” he added.  

With the cooperation from West Malaysia universities and that of the Borneo state, Professor Simon Leunig, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Curtin University Malaysia expressed his appreciation that the alliance brought forth tangible outcomes through the MoA. Professor Leunig shared that “the research alliance of foreign branch elites could not have arrived at a less opportune time that is to work with the Sarawak community to advance technology solutions for oil palm productivity, which is well-aligned to the Post Covid19 Development Strategy 2030.” 

According to Professor Ida Fatimawati, the research collaboration is crucial as leveraging each other’s strength and combining expertise and resources can help answer complex problems and contribute to communities’ needs. “The research collaboration is also well aligned to the Sarawak State Planning Unit’s priority area,” she reiterated. 

The research collaboration is the result of a courtesy visit to Swinburne Sarawak by Nottingham University in December 2021. Also present in the virtual signing is Professor Ramasamy Nagarajan, Director for Curtin Malaysia Research Institute, Professor Law Ching Lim, the Dean for Curtin’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, Professor Vincent Lee, the Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, School of Research, Swinburne Sarawak, and Associate Professor Law Bee Theng, the Director for School of Research, Swinburne Sarawak. 

With outstanding researchers and facilities, strategic platforms and initiatives, Swinburne University focus on high-quality and ethically sound research. Ranked among the top 300 research-intensive universities, Swinburne focuses on delivering research that creates economic and social impact. Its researchers produce innovative solutions to real-world problems across a range of disciplines and sectors. Its research degrees give students access to world-class researchers, first-rate facilities, and support.  

For more information about the School of Research and Swinburne Sarawak, visit its website www.swinburne.edu.my, Facebook page (@swinburnesarawak), Instagram (@swinburnesarawak), Twitter page (@Swinburne_Swk) or YouTube channel (Swinburne Sarawak). 

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