Multimedia University (MMU), one of the leading universities in Malaysia, recently sealed an agreement with Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), the Lead Secretariat of the National Technology & Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) to pave the way for the High-Tech Education Sandbox.
The Collaboration Agreement (CA) was inked at the Launch of the Research Innovation Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship Showcase (RICES) 2021 recently. The launch was officiated by Yang Berhormat Dato’ Sri Dr. Adham bin Baba, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).
At the event, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mazliham Mohd. Su’ud, President of MMU and Dzuleira Abu Bakar, Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Technology Park Malaysia (TPM) representing MRANTI, the merged entity comprising TPM and MaGIC, and the NTIS Secretariat exchanged the CA document.
Prof. Mazliham expressed his pleasure at the agreement, saying that the move was not only in line with the university’s goal of helping transform society through innovation, but fits the current national and global situations very well.
“The education sector was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the face-to-face teaching and learning sessions had to be stopped, forcing us to find alternative ways to conduct the class. That innovative process, which we used to find an acceptable solution, is what this partnership is about. We want innovation and continuous improvement to become natural for Malaysia,” he said.
The collaboration will strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship among students and student entrepreneurs that can maximize technology’s potential to transform the way of teaching and learning in the country and enhance students’ interest in learning, improve collaboration among students and teachers, increase teachers’ productivity and prepare students for the digital future.
The collaboration between NTIS and MMU is to develop the first High-tech Education Sandbox that aims to boost the usage of local technology in the education sector through collaboration with NTIS, where local solution providers will be given the opportunity to test and validate their solutions via the Sandbox in line with the National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTIN) 2021-2030 that aims to intensify local technology development and application efforts to transform the country from being technology users to technology developers.
Dzuleira Abu Bakar said; “NTIS provides a platform to allow the use of advanced technologies in key sectors such as education that can bring about meaningful social and economic impact, especially given the repercussions of the pandemic. At the same time we provide an opportunity for local innovations’ commercialisation to be fast-tracked through funding, regulatory facilitation and a live environment where these innovations can be stress tested before going to the market.”
Through the NTIS, four National Sandbox test sites have been established across the country namely the Agriculture Sandbox in FELDA Mempaga, Pahang; Robotics and Automation Sandbox in Iskandar Drone and Robotics Zone; Sandbox Logistics for urban delivery drones in Cyberjaya and Area 57 is the first one-stop centre for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV and UAS) innovation at Technology Park Malaysia, Bukit Jalil.
She added: “With the launch of the High-Tech Education Sandbox in collaboration with MMU, we invite innovators to make use of the university’s ready facilities as test beds to accelerate the commercialisation of their innovative ideas to impact. For this sandbox, we will be focusing on the solutions that can contribute to improving the effectiveness of teaching and learning pedagogies in hybrid-mode as well as preparing a highly competent and productive workforce with strong leadership and critical thinking hands-on technological skills”
Sandbox-High Tech Education project is a fast-tracking innovation programme that champions local innovation and creates a smoother pathway for Malaysian technology to get to market. This project creates a testbed for disruptive technologies related to educational activities that would enable Malaysia to solve some of the grand challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.