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Local researchers urged to do more studies

on 07 Disember 2010.

KUCHING: Solid state science and technology researchers are encouraged to increase their studies so as to make significant contributions to advanced material studies in producing new theories or in the application of the technology to benefit the state.

Solid state science and technology were aimed at making contributions to the nation's income. Under the recent budget revision for next year, the government had given a big allocation for research through the Science Fund, Techno Fund and Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS).

“Local researchers should grab this opportunity,” said Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud when officiating at the ‘Third International Conference on Solid State Science and Technology 2010' (ICSSST2010) yesterday.

With the development of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) coupled with the state's agricultural, mineral and energy resources, the solid state science and technology research and development have an important role to play.

Minerals for industries include petroleum (1,298 million barrels) in Miri and Bintulu divisions; silica sand (81.4 million tonnes) in Miri Division which is excellent for glass research; and kaolin clay (22.6 million tonnes) in Kuching and Samarahan divisions which are excellent for ceramic.

“The government had encouraged research in the solid state science and technology and advance materials because the field had produced many outputs that contribute towards the development of high technology industries for the country.

“Today, numerous electronics equipment in the market was produced by giant companies in other countries. Handphones and computers are the best examples of products from the solid state science and technology research that had been done for a very long time,” said Taib.

His speech was read out by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan.

The conference was held at Hilton Hotel here by the Faculty of Engineering of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) in collaboration with the Malaysian Solid State Science and Technology Society (MASS).

Taib, who is also Unimas pro-chancellor, said the solid state science and technology research would be extremely important for SCORE because one of the strategic thrusts for industrial and economic development was to draw heavy industries to trigger big projects.

The capital intensive industries requiring foreign investments are oil refineries, aluminium smelters, steel mill, flat glass and others like zinc smelter and poly-silicon.

“The 10 priority industries include glass industries, steel industries and aluminium industry which need research and develop-ment in the solid state science and technology.

“As such, contributions from scientists and engineers are very crucial to the development of SCORE.”

Taib also mentioned that solid state science and technology should be focused on the higher value-added activities in research and development, design and manufacturing in the electronics and Electrical sector (E&E).

The E&E sector has been an important contributor to the national economy, accounting for RM37 billion to the Gross National Index (GNI), 522,000 jobs and 41 per cent of Malaysia's total export in 2009.

The sector has spawned successful local firms and virtually every leading global firm operating here.

However, E&E's share of exports has declined and furthermore the nation's focus has been on assembly, the lower-added segment.

Hence, Taib said, the state's effort in producing semiconductors, typically in the lower-added value areas such as test and assembly would be followed by a strategy of building strong foundations in mature technology semiconductor fabrication and expanding it into advanced packaging and design integrated circuits as well as supporting the growth of substrate manufacturers.

He also said the state would embark on research on silicon, wafer, cell and module – a challenge for the solid state science and technology field.

“With a strong start in solar technology and solid experience in the similarly structured semiconductor industry, Malaysia has a promising future in promising technology.

“By 2011, we will have the third largest market share in the world. A concerted effort to increase the number of silicon, wafer, cell and module producers will allow us to leap into second place of a much larger industry by 2020.

“Industrial electronics involving the manufacturing of precision equipment used in industrial and commercial settings, test and measurement, wireless communication, transmis-sion and distribution and automation markets is also the most attractive for further development.”

This also included electrical home appliances where Malaysia has been successful domestically with the development of strong local home appliance companies.

Taib stressed that the next step was to grow scale and build a strong international distribution network.

Touching on one of the fastest growing segment which is the light-emitting diodes, he believed that the nation should move up the value chain from packing and testing to chip and application research and development by creating a cluster of international and domestic companies.

Extracted from The Borneo Post.

Arkib Berita

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia Telephone: +60 82581000/+60 82581388, Fax: +60 82 665 088, Email: corporate@unimas.my
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