Jeremy Veno, email@example.com
KOTA SAMARAHAN: Research bodies in the state are urged to take proactive steps to commercialise their findings by working with the private sector.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said innovative products of high commercial value have the potential to penetrate the local and global market.
“If a product has the potential to be commercialised, go ahead with it as it can spur the nation and state’s economy,” he said during the launch of the 2017 Environment and Safety Programme held at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) yesterday.
According to him, it would be meaningless to shelve innovative products or services after spending a considerable amount of resources in conducting R&D.
He informed that the state government had formed the Research Development Council – a statutory body to oversee the promotion, coordination and advancement of R&D in Sarawak – to act as the catalyst for research bodies to come up with more value-added products and services to be on par with the rapid growth of the global industry.
In pointing out that Sarawak is rich in biodiversity that has remained untapped, Awang Tengah, who is also Second Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources, said researchers should take advantage of the state’s flora and fauna to study their properties to be used as key ingredients in health or cosmetic products.
Taking South Korea as an example, he said the cosmetics industry there is playing a big role in contributing to the nation’s economy besides expanding their manufacturing sector.
“This shows that they (South Koreans) have achieved success in their R&D and could commercialise their research,” said Awang Tengah, adding that another aspect to take note of is an effective marketing strategy.
At the same event, Awang Tengah launched the Dead Body Protection (DBPRO) – an award winning product produced by Unimas and JSmat Development & Construction and Services – that covers the body of a deceased from the gaze of the public during a fatal accident.
“It’s sad to see a lifeless body on the ground exposed and uncovered. This product is set to change all that. It is also a way to respect the deceased and their families,” he added.
He said Unimas and the manufacturer of the DBPRO will be writing to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to allocate funds to equip all the relevant enforcement agencies in Malaysia with the DBPRO.
Also present at the programme and product launch yesterday were Unimas deputy vice-chancellor (academic and international) Dr Wan Hashim Wan Ibrahim who represented their vice-chancellor Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi, and heads of departments or representatives from the nine agencies that received the DBPRO from Awang Tengah.