By Kuah Guan Oo
Pix by Ikhwan Hashim, Penerbit UKM
BANGI, 7 March 2011 – Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) is stepping up its efforts to bring its research findings, innovations and other technological breakthrough to the marketplace to fuel national economic growth, said its Vice Chancellor Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Wira Dr. Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin here today.
She said UKM has generated over 400 intellectual property (IP) from its research thus far, and more than 30 of the IPs had entered the commercialisation stage, including those chosen as technology start-ups.
To date, UKM has formed a technology transfer company, UKM Technology Sdn Bhd (UKMTech) as a special purpose vehicle for IP commercialisation.
Under UKMTech, 32 technology start-ups have been formed with the mission to carry out product development and commercialisation of the various home-grown technologies, she said when officiating the workshop on “Academic-Entrepreneurship: Bringing Research to Marketplace for Economic Growth”.
Her speech was read out by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Prof. Dr. Rahmah Mohamed.
The workshop for Deans, Deputy Deans, Directors and Deputy Directors of Research Institutes of UKM was conducted by Dr Harold Raveche, the 6th President of Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey (USA) who is now UKM’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
Prof. Shariah Hapsah said apart from the rigorous efforts in transforming the IP into products for the marketplace, the IP Policy and IP Commercialisation Policy have also been reviewed and updated in compliance with external changes and current landscape, so as to provide a conducive ecosystem for innovation.
“Through such an innovative and unique framework and robust modus-operandi that had never been formulated before by the other universities, UKM is moving proactively to putting its various initiatives in the pipeline in bringing its research results to the marketplace for economic growth.”
One very important element in the acculturation process of innovation for the academic staff of UKM is the “academic-entrepreneurship” culture or mindset.
“Academic-entrepreneurship is more than a technology transfer process; it is a shift in academic culture that adds another dimension to higher education,” she said.
The academic-entrepreneurship culture is also a long-term initiative to bring about a cultural shift with the academic community to introduce the concept of entrepreneurship in undergraduate and graduate education and to transform the traditional technology transfer process into a technology driven innovation exploitation process.
The key to success in this cultural shift is the establishment of an open system in which competent partners with diverse backgrounds combine their complementary expertise to create technological innovations that lead to successful technology transfer ventures.
“Thus, the mission is to foster and nurture an entrepreneur culture that is accepted across the entire University community,” she said.