MoU to initiate enhanced collaboration between Curtin Malaysia and SAINS

Miri – 26 May 2022 – Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) and Sarawak Information Systems Sdn. Bhd. (SAINS) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for academic, research and professional collaboration that will see a significant strengthening of their longstanding relationship stretching some 20 years.

Most importantly, the MoU aims to enhance collaboration in student- and research-focused areas, as well as the sharing of knowledge, expertise and facilities in key technological areas.

Representatives from SAINS will for the first time be appointed to the Industry Advisory Board at Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science, giving industry insights and advice on syllabus development to ensure relevance to local industry.

SAINS will also provide internship opportunities for Curtin Malaysia students, and job placements for its graduates, particularly in the computing disciplines. Curtin Malaysia offers Curtin Bachelor of Computing and Bachelor of Technology programmes with majors in cyber security, software engineering, and computer systems and networking.

Curtin and SAINS will also explore collaboration in cyber security, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), which are critical to the Sarawak Government’s IR 4.0, digital future and post-COVID 19 recovery plans. Both Curtin Malaysia and SAINS are owned by the Sarawak Government.

Furthermore, they will collaborate on joint research projects and product testing, leveraging on Curtin Malaysia’s academic and research strengths and facilities, and SAINS’ vast industrial experience as an ICT systems integrator and solutions provider.

As part of the research collaboration, Curtin Malaysia will organise academic seminars on the research outputs for participants from both Curtin and SAINS. This will not only keep everyone updated on the progress and achievements of the research, but also enhance networking between Curtin Malaysia’s academics and researchers and professionals at SAINS.

In his speech during the online MoU ceremony, Curtin Malaysia’s Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Vincent Lee Chieng Chen, said that as a university boasting facilities befitting Curtin University’s largest global campus and education and research hub in ASEAN, Curtin Malaysia is well equipped for the planned research and testing activities.

“We look forward to the projects getting underway as soon as possible and working with SAINS to build an enduring strong connection and synergy, and continually develop new ideas, shape the future of learning, and solve real-world problems together,” he said.

Meanwhile, SAINS Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Anderson Tiong Ing Heng, also spoke in the same vein, saying that SAINS has had a very meaningful relationship with Curtin Malaysia for many years and the MoU is a natural progression for greater collaboration.

He said that as digital transformation and innovation are enablers for Sarawak’s Post-COVID Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030, SAINS is actively developing cyber security, data analytics, AI and IoT capabilities to ensure that it remains at the leading edge of technologies and innovation.

“The implementation of these technology areas requires state-of-the-art technologies and one of the ways to achieve this is embarking on collaborations with leading institutions like Curtin Malaysia to enhance the development of our digital capabilities,” Dr. Tiong said.

He added that it is hoped that the collaboration will bring forth ground-breaking innovations that will be catalysts for digital transformation in Sarawak and assist SAINS and Curtin Malaysia to meet the PCDS 2030 objectives.

Also attending the ceremony were SAINS’ Chief Operating Officer, Busiai Bin Seman; Chief Financial Officer, Christopher Wong Ling Chii, Chief Technology Officer, Grant Than Shau Bui; and Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Andrew Chien Kai Bing.

Also attending from Curtin Malaysia were Chief Operating Officer, Ir. Pieter Willem Pottas; Dean of Research & Development, Prof. Ramasamy Nagarajan; Dean of Faculty of Engineering & Science, Prof. Tuong-Thuy Vu; Associate Dean of External Engagement (Faculty of Engineering & Science), Ir. Dr. Lim Chye Ing, as well as department heads and academic of the Faculty of Engineering & Science.

SAINS is a leading digital solutions provider in Sarawak with over 30 years’ experience providing business technology solutions and end-to-end IT services for government and private organisations. The company has over 1,000 employees in locations across Sarawak.

Curtin Malaysia, meanwhile, was established in 1999 as a joint venture between the Sarawak Government and Australia’s Curtin University to advance knowledge acquisition, socio-economic development and human capital in Sarawak. It has through the years built a formidable reputation for excellence in practical education and outcome-oriented research. Curtin Malaysia offers programmes in engineering and related sciences, technology, business, communication and social sciences, which gain strength and currency from the its strong industry, government and community links.

The corporate missions of Curtin Malaysia and SAINS are closely aligned, the former aiming to engage communities and change lives through excellence and innovation in education and research, while the latter aims to provide premium digital solutions and services through engaging and collaborating with stakeholders in Sarawak and beyond. Thus, their partnership through the MoU is expected to be an exceptionally strong and fruitful one.

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Prof. Lee (left) and Dr. Tiong (right) holding copies of the MoU.