UKM Researchers Must Be Cost-Effective And Creative
By Asmahanim Amir
Pix Ikhwan Hashim
BANGI, 4 August 2015 – Researchers at the National University of Malaysia (UKM) must be creative and innovative in research to enable resources to be used to the fullest.
Deputy Vice-chancellor (Research and Innovation), Prof Dato’ Dr Mazlin Mokhtar said each action performed must put new methods in mind.
“Try thinking that our every operation is a cost centre and think anew. Assume us as a business entity and we must run a little bit like a business unit like private sector does which always push that everything must think about cost,” said Dato’ Mazlin.
He was delivering his speech in conjunction with The 10th Annniversary Celebrations of the Institute of Systems Biology (Inbiosis) and the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Sime Darby Technology Centre Sdn Bhd here on July 30.
He said the academic world needs to balance the demands of society and the roles and responsibilities to society, but at the same not to suffer losses.
“So we need to think of new ways to generate income while reducing human resources,” he said.
According to him, in the 10 years since its inception, Inbiosis needs to strive to be multiple disciplined with social sciences and humanities.
“In doing scientific research, we need to look at every opportunity including teaming up with researchers from the social sciences and Humanities. Sometimes we need to also apply the cultural aspect because finally we find that not all answers in the studies conducted were concerned with human temperament and behaviour. Humanistic aspects such as thinking and behaviour may transcended science and technology,” he explained.
Prof Mazlin said finding opportunities for sponsorship agreements is the best method in producing research.
“We don’t have a big dana (fund) to conduct a research. But, when we sign the agreement, it shows that we agree to make something. For example, we make MoA today because we want to find the method of producing organic acid from palm oil using microorganism to produce drugs in the future.
“If we have a chance to build expertise together (with other universities) and research institutes in Southeast Asia, do it. If you find the drugs in the new biological system process, it is a golden opportunity to generate income,” he said.
He said last year, this year and the years will be very challenging year and the use of innovative manpower is needed.
“So we need to do the relationship research, innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship to make profits. So, we have to think how to do it,” he pointed out.
This is not just to aspire to make Inbiosis as a centre of excellence and research in Malaysia, but also in Southeast Asia.
“Inbiosis became a leader in the field of biological systems in Southeast Asia and I believe now Inbiosis is taking the lead over other Research Institutes but we do not have enough staff. So, here we need to be creative, need to build bridges – research and innovation with other faculties and institutes in UKM and other Public Universities,” he explained.
He said if have a chance to build expertise with other universities and research institutes in Southeast Asia, it is a golden opportunity.