Curtin Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu set to collaborate on aquaculture and fisheries research

Miri – 24 June 2022 – Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) are set to collaborate on aquaculture and fisheries research following a visit by a delegation from UMT to Curtin Malaysia and the signing of a Letter of Intent (LoI) between the two universities.

The delegation from UMT’s Institute of Tropical Aquaculture and Fisheries (AKUATROP) comprised AKUATROP Director Prof. Mohammad Ikhwanuddin, Deputy Director of UMT’s International Centre Prof. Ts. Lam Su Shiung, research professor Prof. Meisam Tabatabaei and post-doctoral researcher Dr. Wan Adibah Wan Mahari.

They attended a series of meetings and dialogues with academics and researchers of Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science to explore opportunities for research collaboration, and also visited the campus’ research facilities, including the Sarawak Biovalley Pilot Plant (SBPP).

Curtin Malaysia is set to be Curtin University’s teaching and research hub for sustainable aquaculture specialising in tropical fish species with the transfer of the hub at its main campus in Perth to Miri and the completion of a new sustainable aquaculture centre at Curtin Malaysia later this year. The campus currently operates a temporary aquaculture research laboratory at the SBPP and has been offering a coursework Master of Science in Sustainable Aquaculture since early last year.

Curtin Malaysia’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Prof. Simon Leunig said that collaboration with AKUATROP would accelerate the development and enhance the capabilities of the sustainable aquaculture centre at Curtin Malaysia.

“AKUATROP is a leading research institute in Malaysia, renowned for its long and extensive experience in aquaculture and fisheries research, while we are relative newcomer, albeit one with big ambitions, so it would be very advantageous for us to collaborate with AKUATROP,” said Prof. Leunig.

“We have also established a core team of aquaculture researchers, who are working closely with our researchers in the biotechnologies and bio-processing areas to accelerate our aquaculture research capabilities,” he added.

Prof. Leunig also said that Curtin Malaysia can also rely on a long history of aquaculture research and the knowledge and expertise of many researchers and academics in that and other related fields, at its mother campus. He said that being a Sarawak Government-owned entity, Curtin Malaysia’s goal is to be the premier aquaculture research hub for Sarawak.

Prof. Mohammad Ikhwanuddin, meanwhile, said AKUATROP plays a similar role in providing advisory services to government in matters related to aquaculture and fisheries. He added that given its extensive experience in aquaculture and fisheries research, AKUATROP would be pleased to collaborate with Curtin on aquaculture research, publications and provision of related consultancy services.

Also representing Curtin Malaysia at the signing ceremony were Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Science Prof. Tuong-Thuy Vu, Dean of Research and Development Prof. Ramasamy Nagarajan, and the Faculty of Engineering and Science’s Associate Dean of Research and Development Assoc. Prof. John Lau Sie Yon, Associate Dean of External Engagement Ir. Dr. Lim Chye Ing, and lecturer in aquaculture Dr. Lee Yih Nin.

The LoI sets the framework for collaboration in research projects, research publications and related training; staff and student exchange, and other mutually-beneficial activities. It is hoped by both universities that significant and longlasting collaborations will start to form between their researchers and academics in a short matter of time.

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Prof Leunig and Prof Mohd Ikhwanuddin (holding signed documents), flanked by Prof Ts Lam and Prof Vu.