Curtin Malaysia and Sarawak Energy forge strategic partnership for academic advancement and innovation

Miri – 26 January 2024 – Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) and Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy) have solidified their commitment to academic collaboration, research, alumni engagement, exchange programmes, start-up incubation, scholarships, and more through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The signing ceremony took place during the opening of the International Conference on Green Energy, Computing and Sustainable Technology (GECOST) 2024 at Curtin Malaysia on 17 January 2024.

The opening of GECOST 2024 was officiated by Sarawak Deputy Minister for Energy and Environmental Sustainability, The Honourable Datuk Dr. Hazland Abang Hipni, who also witnessed the signing of the MOU, and later launched Curtin’s new courses in Energy Engineering and Mechatronic Engineering.

Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Vincent Lee Chieng Chen represented Curtin Malaysia for the signing, while Sarawak Energy’s Chief Digital Officer, Information and Communication Technology, Sim Ko Sin, signed on behalf of Sarawak Energy. The MOU signifies a milestone in fostering synergies between academia and industry, aligning with the shared goal of contributing to Sarawak’s green energy and digital future objectives.

The collaboration between the two Sarawak Government-owned entities extends to cooperation in academic research including but not limited to sustainability, renewable energy, technology advancement, and digital innovation; the facilitating of connections between Curtin alumni and Sarawak Energy, particularly for employment opportunities; and placement of Curtin students of various disciplines for industrial training or internships with Sarawak Energy.

It will furthermore involve community development where both organisations will collaborate in capacity building of local communities, formulation of relevant policy and advocacy as a catalyst for environmental sustainability; knowledge sharing, including sharing of academic expertise, research findings, and educational resources in the fields of sustainability, renewable energy and technology; and joint organising of workshops and conferences as platforms for exchange of ideas and discourse in relevant areas.

Where appropriate, Sarawak Energy will grant Curtin Malaysia’s academics and researchers access to relevant company facilities and resources for testing and developing new technologies, and both organisations will facilitate exchange programmes for researchers, students, and professionals to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and expertise.

Of particular significance is collaboration in start-ups incubation where both organisations will support and incubate local Sarawak-based start-ups focused on renewable energy and sustainable technologies, providing mentorship, resources and facilities, as well as collaborate to establish scholarship opportunities for outstanding students in the State, particularly for studies in the areas of renewable energy and sustainable technologies.

According to Datuk Dr. Hazland, the partnership between Sarawak Energy and Curtin Malaysia underscores a commitment to fostering innovation, knowledge exchange, and creating opportunities for students and professionals alike. This collaboration is expected to contribute significantly to the sustainable development of Sarawak and the wider region.

In her speech during the signing, Sim said, “The amount of research and collaboration effort needed is huge and complex. The research conducted within the university can potentially unlock new technologies, refine existing ones, and lay the intellectual foundation for the green energy revolution.”

Meanwhile, Professor Lee, who spoke on behalf of Curtin Malaysia’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Professor Simon Leunig, said that stakeholders in Sarawak’s green economy like Sarawak Energy and Curtin Malaysia should seize every opportunity to exchange ideas, foster collaboration, and pave the way for innovative solutions in the critical domains of green energy and sustainable technologies.

Also present at the signing were Sarawak Energy’s General Manager for Research and Development Dr. Ng Sing Muk, Recruitment and Resourcing Manager Sim Swee Ling, and co-lead for Sarawak Energy’s Curtin Campus Ambassador Programme, Meredith En Kho. Also representing Curtin Malaysia were its Dean of Research and Development, John Curtin; Distinguished Professor, Ramasamy Nagarajan; Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Science Professor Tuong-Thuy Vu, and Faculty of Engineering and Science Associate Dean of External Engagement Associate, Professor Ir. Dr. Lim Chye Ing.

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Sim Ko Sin (2nd left) and Prof Vincent Lee (3rd right) hold up copies of the MOU following the signing while Datuk Dr Hazland (centre) and others look on.