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How Malaysia’s research agency is helping to tackle a major IoT worry

AvantiKumar | July 20, 2017
MIMOS-NCIA's high-tech training facilities, which wants to produce 2,000 high-impact E&E professionals in five years, actually reflects a global concern.

MIMOS - NCIA IoT

Photo - (From left) En. Ahmad Rizan Ibrahim, President and Chief Executive Officer MIMOS Berhad; YB Datuk Wira Dr. Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah, Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation; and Datuk Redza Rafiq, Chief Executive , Northern Corridor Implementation Authority. (NCIA).

 

  Malaysian national research agency MIMOS' portfolio to drive emerging technologies - such as the Internet of Things (IoT), or Nano-Things  -  includes tackling major concerns such as the lack of appropriate skill-levels in the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry

Following a recent talent-linked initiative to the 4th Industrial Revolution (See - Feeding the 4th Industrial Revolution in Malaysia, MIMOS sees two major talent moves), MIMOS is urging the local E&E industry to take advantage of the MIMOS-NCIA Advanced Competency Development Centre (MIMOS-NCIA ACDC).

These facilities can help the industry in building a world-standard, highly-skilled workforce to move into Industrie 4.0., said the minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Datuk Sri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau.

"To maintain the growth and resilience of the sector towards a high-income digital economy, Malaysia needs a competent and primed workforce," commented the minister. "We hope to create 2,000 high-impact E&E professional in a span of five years.  The number is expected to meet the demand from all E&E companies operating in the country presently."

The MIMOS-NCIA ACDC has been positioned as a human capital development centre jointly established by MIMOS, and NCIA.  

"Advanced technologies, innovation and sophisticated machines are meaningless if our human capital does not have the competence to translate them into new knowledge and added value that will give a competitive edge to the country and bring benefits to the people," Wilfred's speech continued - read by his deputy, Datuk Wira Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah.

Also present at the event in Bukit Jalil were the ministry's secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Azhar Yahaya, Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) chief executive Datuk Redza Rafiq and MIMOS' chief executive officer Ahmad Rizan Ibrahim.

Established 2008, the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) is the statutory body responsible for establishing directions, policies and strategies in relation to Koridor Utara (Northern Corridor) development programmes.

Global skills

MIMOS-NCIA high-tech training facilities' need to produce 2,000 high-impact E&E professionals reflects a global concern: a US survey of more than 500 members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) conducted by Northeastern University-Silicon Valley recently confirmed the global scope of the talent challenge, which is being seen as the main barrier to emerging technologies.

According to 37.8 percent of survey respondents, data aggregation and data analysis ranked as the biggest IoT challenges. Another 25.7 percent of respondents cited current inadequate skill levels of workers as the industry's main obstacle.

In fact, the report pointed to the need for a well-trained workforce actually "far exceeds the need to create a comprehensive IoT strategy, which just 6.4 percent of respondents named as their top IoT challenge. Concerns about appropriate skill-levels was four times that of any worries about strategy."

Human capital priority

In Malaysia, the minister pointed to the E&E sector as "Malaysia's key industry driver, contributing RM288 billion or 36.7 percent of total national exports in 2016."

Wilfred quoted the 2016/2017 Economic Report released by the Finance Ministry in conjunction with the 2017 Budget announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in October last year which had said that the country needed to accelerate the adoption of technology and innovation in order to move up the value chain of the manufacturing sector.

The report had said the country needed to increase investment in human capital and research and development to enable it to achieve the objective.
 
Wilfred said, as contribution from E&E to national development is substantial, the right policies and ecosystem are "crucial so that E&E can continue to be a mainstay of the national economy."

"To stay ahead in global competition, the industry must embrace Industrie 4.0.  Our human capital must be swift in pursuing and embracing this new paradigm," the minister said.

"This calls for human capital that is focused, competent and highly-skilled in handling and managing new knowledge. Organisations cannot sidestep making investments in developing, training and nurturing future workforce," he said.

Wilfred added that the government-industry-academia joint initiative in providing high-impact competency development programme "is a strategic move that would address the shortage of skilled worker and reduce the dependency on foreign expertise in the E&E sector."

How the facilities work

Commenting on the training facilities, NCIA's chief executive Redza said: "The MIMOS-NCIA ACDC is the only facility in Malaysia that provides the 80 percent practical and 20 percent theory mode in industrial grade wafer fabrication. This learning concept enables accelerated development of skill sets that support movement up the E&E value chain initiatives and complements Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT) programmes."

"The MIMOS-NCIA collaboration is an excellent example of government agencies anchoring on the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) by complementing each other and utilising resources optimally," he said.

The advanced shared service facilities, which form a large part of MIMOS-NCIA ACDC, are internationally certified with ISO9001: 2008 and ISO/IEC17025, he explained.  The facilities support NanoVerify programme, which is a joint programme between NanoMalaysia Berhad and SIRIM QAS.  MIMOS is a Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF)-approved training provider.

The event also saw the exchange of Memoranda of Understanding and Memoranda of Agreement documents between MIMOS and parties that will be taking part in initial programmes at the centre. They include NCIA, the University of Malaya, SAGE Interactive, Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM), SIRIM Berhad, Technology Depository Agency Berhad (TDA), Getronics, Eclimo, Penchem Technologies and Nanotech Science.

For other recent MIMOS news, see:

 

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