September 24, 2019

Message from the Director

Greetings from Sibu and welcome to UCTS Centre for Research and Development (CRD) website!  Although UCTS is only six years old but our achievements have been growing by leaps and bounds.  The struggle to inculcate research and publication culture among the academic staff has paid off as reflected by CRD’s current progress and achievement.  It has not been an easy task for me, personally and the team, which comprises of Dr. Alan Ting, Nurul Ain and Farhan, as the university has initially focused more on teaching and learning rather than research.  However with full commitment from the team and support by UCTS researchers, we manage to soar up.  We have expanded from merely offering Applied and Fundamental grants to Social Responsibility and Prototype grants.  We have participated in local and national research and innovation exhibitions and have started to secure external grants. Our latest improvement is to digitalise the management of internal research grant by setting up the UCTS Research Management System (URMS).

The changes were strategically tuned to optimise UCTS’ participation in MyRA, as well as meeting one of the Strategic Thrusts of the university, Thrust 6 – Research Development and Innovation. Objectives of Thrust 6 include to produce high number of academic staff doing research, increase in the quantity and quality of publication and innovation products, improve MyRA points and increase in the number of commercialised products.

CRD started its operation in 2014 with only 19 internal grants. The total cumulative number of grants has currently increased to 158, as of January 2019.  In addition, UCTS has two external grants from Sarawak Multimedia Agency (SMA) and one more awaiting for formal agreement from Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC).

Besides internal grant, Research Centres are also set up to promote UCTS niche.  Currently, there are three – Peat Technology Research Institute (PETRI), which was set up in 2014, focusing on geotechnical engineering of soft and peat soil. In 2017, two more Research Centres were set up, Drone Research Application Centre (DRAC) and Centre of Excellence in Wood Engineered Products (CeWEP).  DRAC focuses on unmanned aerial system, whereas CeWEP’s main niche is on wood technology.  In the future, three more Research Centres will be set up – Centre for Borneo Regionalism and Conservation (BORC), Advanced Centre on Sustainable Socio-economic (ACeSSED) and Cyber Security Research Laboratory.

UCTS has also set up UCTS Publisher as one of the main initiatives to promote publication culture among the academic staff in UCTS.  UCTS Publisher has set up two online journals – Borneo Journal of Sciences and Technology and Borneo Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities and expecting their first issues on June 2019.

CRD aims to promote UCTS to be globally competitive through the creation, development and making of practical use of new scientific discoveries.  UCTS strives in the capacity to innovate and has invested in the knowledge of competence. Innovation is not just about competitiveness and economic growth only, it should take into account current challenges and issues affecting the societies today, for example on climate change, inclusive societies, energy, food security, health and etc.  In short, innovation should be relevant to the grassroots. As a university, UCTS constitutes its initial essential part of the innovation value chain, but needs to have closer links to business and the public sector in order to find practical applications for new scientific discoveries and to transfer knowledge, and at the same time needs to look at students as potential central carriers of new ideas and knowledge.

As part of UCTS’ initiatives to unleash endless possibilities, continuous efforts will be done for staff development, as well as utilizing existing talent for research, publication and innovation, enhancing staff development, promoting good governance and a conducive working place that will improve performance, promote excellent habits and reduce risks.

 

Prof. Dr Salfarina Abdul Gapor
Director, Centre for Research & Development