Varsities work together on IoT

(From left) Unimas vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi, Prof Wilson, Awang Tengah, UiTM Sarawak rector Datuk Dr Jamil Hamali and Assistant Industrial Development Minister Malcom Mussen at the signing ceremony in Swinburne Sarawak.

KUCHING: Four universities in Sarawak will work together on research and development projects to build Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystems towards establishing smart cities in the state.

Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus signed a memorandum of agreement with Curtin University Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Sarawak Campus on the collaboration.

Swinburne Sarawak deputy vice-chancellor Prof John Wilson said the MOA outlined the engagement of the four universities to design, build and deploy a minimum IoT ecosystem using low-cost, off-the-shelf components.

“The ecosystem consists of a low-powered wide area network with selected end-devices and infrastructure around the pilot locations, which are the Swinburne campus in Kuching, Unimas campuses in Kuching and Kota Samarahan, UiTM campuses in Kota Samarahan and Mukah and Curtin Malaysia campus in Miri.

IoT refers to a network of computing devices in physical objects such as vehicles and home appliance, which are connected via the Internet to send and receive data.

Prof Wilson said the collaboration was expected to produce a body of knowledge that can be used in urban development.

“It’s the first step in creating a smart city,” he added.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who witnessed the signing, said the collaboration would help accelerate the state’s move towards industrialisation based on technology, creativity and innovation, or Industry 4.0.

He said Industry 4.0 was part of Sarawak’s digital roadmap to increase the competitiveness of its manufacturing sector.

“We cannot continue to rely on low-cost, low-tech and labour-intensive strategies for economic growth. The adoption of Industry 4.0 will significantly increase our productivity and maximise the utilisation of our resources so that we can stay competitive in the challenging global environment,” he said.

The signing ceremony was part of a three-day Industry 4.0 awareness programme at Swinburne Sarawak.

Awang Tengah, who is also Industrial and Entrepreneur Development Minister, said the programme would be extended throughout the state through his ministry’s collaboration with local higher education institutions.

“The ministry and our partners are here to facilitate industry players who are keen to adopt Industry 4.0 through technical and advisory assistance,” he added.