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MARii and UKM form strategic partnership to accelerate NXGV, MAAS and IR4.0 technology

The Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) inked an MoU to collaborate in the areas of Next-Generation Vehicles (NxGVs), Remanufacturing, Recycling, and Smart Manufacturing Technologies through various R&D projects and commercialisation efforts.

Signing on behalf of MARii was its Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Madani Sahari, UKM was represented by, Prof. Dato’ Ir. Dr. Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor, Vice-Chancellor of UKM, in a ceremony held in the MARii Auditorium, Cyberjaya.

The ceremony was also attended by Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Abdul Wahid Omar, Chairman of UKM, Datuk Phang Ah Tong, Chairman of MARii, and Prof. Dato' Ir. Dr. Abdul Wahab bin Mohammad, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation of UKM.

The collaboration serves 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 UKM and MARii.

“The academia provides an important dimension in developing novel solutions to industry needs in the rapidly growing technology sector. This MoU signifies our continued collaboration with the nation's research pool towards accelerating technology adoption within all economic levels and ranks", said Datuk Phang Ah Tong, MARii Chairman while speaking to the press.

One of the projects includes 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.

"The MoU between MARii and UKM completes the strategic network of expertise required to implement projects related to the research and development of basic materials for lithium-ion battery manufacturing, cybersecurity, and digitalisation in the mobility sector. The R&D projects will add value to the development of NxGVs, MaaS and IR 4.0, in line with NAP2020.”, said Dato’ Madani.

Dato' Madani also added that as an initiative to improve vehicle emissions, a Hydrogen Energy Efficient Vehicle (HEEV) project will be carried out to develop an energy-efficient alternative fuel source through the utilisation of hydrogen fuel technology.

“This MoU commits us to work together more closely towards our common goal, to enhance technology capabilities. Each side will pursue many significant activities, such as knowledge exchange and research collaboration of all fields from any faculties, research institutes, and departments in UKM.”, said Prof. Dato’ Ir. Dr. Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor.

The remanufacturing sector saw a continuous increase in growth, recording RM 722 million worth of exports in 2019, a continuous growth year on year since the sector came under MARii's purview in 2014.

To further supplement the sector’s growth, a framework for testing and verification of remanufactured engines will be formulated to allow for the production of higher quality remanufactured parts and components.

The collaboration will also the development of a network catered for Reverse Logistics, which involves the process of collecting, recycling, and dismantling of End of Life Vehicles.

A Smart Data initiative is also in the works, focusing on utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI) in manufacturing processes to enable Smart Manufacturing. Other technologies such as Big Data Analytics (BDA), Internet of Things (IoT) will also be explored to allow applications in the areas of sensor fusion, deep learning and machine learning.

These technologies can be utilised to create an efficient, cost-saving, “smart” manufacturing ecosystem with features that can significantly enhance productivity and quality such as predictive maintenance, digital twin, and generative design.

Future developments also include a focus on Cybersecurity, using Industry 4.0 technologies to deploy layered-security systems – a cyber-defense method which utilises various security techniques to protect key data and resources.

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