KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 (Bernama) — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak signed off on the launch of the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC) on Tuesday, officially opening the industry-led research and technology centre for business.
The centre’s Board of Directors has already approved RM15 million in spending for the first year of operation and has set its sights on technology to develop jet fuel from algae, innovative new standards in aero structure manufacturing and sustainable green aeronautic materials as well as improved technologies for systems integration.
In a joint statement, AMIC co-chairs Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia and EADS Chief Technical Officer Dr. Jean Botti said, “AMIC is a significant step towards advancing Malaysia’s national competency in the aerospace sector. This centre will help both the public and private sector to rally together to push for a renaissance of innovation.”
According to AMIC Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Rosdi Mahmud, selecting an optimal algae strain to produce jet fuel in Malaysia will be a top research priority in the first year.
“Quickly identifying an effective algae strain for the production of jet fuel will open the way for future work in Malaysia and could lead to the country cementing a major leadership role in global biofuel production for the aviation industry, “ said Rosdi.
The centre is a unique platform, developed by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) that convenes stakeholders from both the public and private sector as well academic and research communities.
Funded by RM40 million in grants from the Government of Malaysia, EADS and Rolls Royce, the centre is an industry-driven organization pairing industry demands for research and technology with local Malaysian capability from universities, including lead university, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
Championed by MIGHT, this innovative model is expected to substantially improve the commercial success of aerospace research and development projects undertaken in Malaysia and boost private sector research and development (R&D) spending.
“A prerequisite for technological advancement is R&D. Reaching the 10th Malaysia Plan goal of R&D investment of at least one percent of GDP by 2015 will require creative new models to partner public and private sector interests in science, technology and innovation,” said Zakri. “AMIC is one of those creative new models.”
Ric Parker, Director of Research and Technology at Rolls Royce, a lead member of AMIC, echoed the Joint Chairman’s remarks adding, “we are delighted to support this initiative in growing R&D activities in Malaysia and are confident that AMIC will provide an innovation platform for all the lead members to work with the local universities and companies to translate research into technologies that the aerospace sector can adopt.”
The centre encourages R&D spending specifically by pairing industry-driven R&D projects with matching funding from universities and Government capital in smart, public-private global partnerships. Industry input on direction setting for R&D projects greatly improves the probability of those projects entering the supply chains of aerospace players and ensures research is closely aligned to future private sector needs.
Source : Bernama