Smart link established between UTM and PROTON

Published on August 17th, 2010

PROTON and UTM today strengthened its collaboration by signing a MoU which marks a significant milestone in strategic initiatives between the national car producer and UTM, a prestigious research university in engineering and technology.

The first initiative involves the assignment of a professor from UTM on a full time basis in PROTON for a period of two years to strengthen the research capabilities of PROTON with the assistance of expert advice from UTM. The professor will also be directly involved in the development of new generation PROTON cars.

For this strategic link with PROTON, UTM is committed to invest RM 1 million in its effort to enhance its research initiatives further through collaboration with renowned world universities like Cambridge, MIT and Meiji University.

This initiative will drive further efforts in Intellectual Property (IP) development in the form of patent, copyright and industrial design where UTM is targetting to generate ten IPs a year. At present, the number of patents filed by UTM so far for 2010 is 1,870. Currently, UTM holds the fort in IP generation in Malaysia after being awarded the National IP Award for Organisation Category for three years in 2006, 2009 and 2010.

The Collaboration Agreement was signed by PROTON Holdings Berhad Group Managing Director Dato’ Haji Syed Zainal Abidin bin Syed Mohamed Tahir and UTM Vice Chancellor Professor Dato’ Ir Dr. Zaini b. Ujang in a ceremony held at PROTON Centre of Excellence today. The signing ceremony was witnessed by PROTON Adviser Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and PROTON Holdings Berhad Chairman Dato’ Sri Mohd. Nadzmi Mohd. Salleh.

“To be at par with other international car makers, PROTON cannot merely depend on the achievements it has accomplished after 25 years. PROTON must now expedite its initiative to further strengthen its human capital especially in the fields of engineering and technical expertise,” said Dato’ Sri Mohd. Nadzmi.

“This includes the knowledge advancement in new skills such as green technology, development of cars using alternative fuel and skills using local software and hardware. The link with UTM will facilitate efforts towards this end.”

He added that the PROTON-UTM Professorship Program is the follow-up of the Memorandum of Understanding signed with UTM in 2009 to increase PROTON’s capability and excellence in management, manufacturing, research and quality advancement.

PROTON is allocating RM500,000 to run activities organised within the first year of the PROTON-UTM Professorship Program.

As the company responsible in leading the country’s automotive industry as well as in the country’s industrialisation process, Dato’ Haji Syed Zainal Abidin said the measures taken by PROTON to build its human capital will hopefully contribute to the realisation of the Malaysian New Economic Model which is driven by technology, innovation and creativity.

“The industry-university collaboration provides many benefits to both parties. For PROTON, it will inculcate the research culture within the organizations and as for UTM it will strengthened the University as the leading “Research University” in Malaysia.”

“It is also our hope that this collaboration would strengthen PROTON’s competitiveness and position as an automotive company as well as to develop quality human capital to drive Malaysia forward as an advanced nation by 2020,” said Dato’ Haji Syed Zainal Abidin.

words & pix: Proton

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