The Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) has been actively engaging academia and educational institutions since its establishment in 2010, to bring a wide breadth of capacities in the development a competitive, highly capable Industry 4.0-compliant industry ecosystem as we enter the digital economy.
It’s CEO, Dato’ Madani Sahari explained in a statement, that the research methodology and design thinking approaches practiced by the academic talent pool place them in a strong position to enhance the development of new age solutions in line with the industrialisation agenda of Malaysia.
MARii has ventured into numerous collaborations with Malaysian institutions of higher learning such Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
The collaboration between MARii and UiTM, which dates back to the 2010, and was renewed in July 2019, led to advances in the areas of human capital development and application of technology to meet industry demands.
“Key initiatives that was expedited through the MoU is the International Conference on Advances in Mechanical Engineering 2019 (ICAME 2019), co-organised between MARii and Society of Mechanical Engineering Liveliness (SoMEL) served as a platform for academia, industry leaders and policy makers to share and discuss latest researches, ideas, and survey reports in the theoretical and practical areas regarding all aspects of mechanical engineering and related areas”, said Dato’ Madani.
He added, “The partnership recently achieved a significant milestone, leading to the launch of the Modular and Open System-Plus (MOST-Plus) – an innovation given birth through the collaboration between MARii and the UiTM’s Smart Manufacturing Research Institute (SMRI)”.
This application enables contactless implementation of COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) via Industry 4.0 technologies such as Big Data Analytics (BDA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) – all integrated into a single device.
Dato’ Madani explained that the MOST-Plus system is undergoing further R&D and commercialisation with the assistance from MARii to include additional features such as real-time data monitoring and mobile application functionalities to improve its effectiveness based on industrial standards and demands.
He further stated that both parties are actively working on the establishment of a MARii UiTM Satellite Node to offer industry-grade facilities, tools, and equipment focusing on automotive, automation, robotics, IoT, and other related fields. This includes a Digital Factory with Augmented Reality applications, a mechatronics and robotics lab, and a hydrogen fuel cell car development area. The MARii UiTM Satellite Node is expected to be officially opened by the end of 2020.
“The collaboration with UKM, recently inked in July 2020, aims to accelerate the development of the three new elements outlined in the National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP 2020) – NxGV, Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), and Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0) through the utilisation of research facilities and local talents provided by both parties”, said Dato’ Madani.
“One of the projects include the development and commercialisation of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, supported by various R&D collaborations by both parties - focusing on battery performance, battery replication, and the development of a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery production line, to name a few.”, he added.
MARii and UPM are also working closely in the local development of electric vehicles (EVs), establishing an EV Powertrain testbed and has reached the final stages of R&D, with plans to commercialise the project to kickoff soon.
An EV Wireless Charging System is also in the works, with goals to enhance the capabilities of the local automotive sector to penetrate the EV market, including the creation of high value jobs in the areas of EV development.
“The continuous advancement of technology will continuously present itself in the form new trends that will change the way we approach technology design and development. New elements such as Next-Generation Vehicles (NxGV), Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, pose a continuous demand for new skills, knowledge, and familiarisation of expertise.”, explained Dato’ Madani.
He also said that this raises the importance of forming links, projects, and initiatives together with the academic sector, in developing novel approaches to industry problems, as well as exposing potential talent to these new technologies in order to build a talent pool that is competitive and sustainable in the future.