Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak witnessed the signing of five memoranda of understanding between Malaysian research universities and their counterparts in the United States, ranging in areas from nanotechnology to human capital development.
The Prime Minister, who chaired the second Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council (GSIAC) meeting, witnessed the ex-changing of the documents at the New York Academy of Sciences at the World Trade Centre.
The first signing involved the Malaysian Research Universities Network, State University of New York (SUNY) and New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) and covers cooperation on “Cradle to Career” initiatives and national-level education reforms.
Further collaboration on research and human capital development initiatives were included in the Earth Institute of Columbia University and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia alliance and a separate initiative between the Earth Institute and Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Malaysian nanotechnology development efforts received a boost through an R&D partnership between Nano Malaysia Corporation and the Advanced Energy Research Technology Centre (AERTC) of Stony Brook University, which is part of the SUNY network.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and NYAS also exchanged documents on student excellence programmes developing Nobel Laureate minds through the Permata Pintar programme at the university.
The MoU also covers cooperation programmes that will allow Permata Pintar students to take part in programmes at NYAS for the purpose of strengthening Science, Techno-logy, Engineering and Mathematics skill sets.
Under the Malaysian Biomass Initiative, the creation of MYBiomass Sdn Bhd – a special purpose vehicle of the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology -received a major push as announcements were made in connection with Sime Darby Berhad and Felda Global Ventures Holdings for testing collaboration in high-value green chemicals.
GSIAC joint secretary Emeritus Professor Datuk Zakri Abdul Hamid, who is the Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, said the second meeting of the minds here gave participants a chance to catch up with rapid developments in the council’s initiatives.