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No university in this world can succeed without focusing on research and development (R&D). A university is supposed to be the place that creates new knowledge, disseminates knowledge and applies the knowledge for the benefit of mankind. R&D is vital for this role of a university. In a globalised world today, national boundary has become less significant in terms of flow of information, goods and people. As a country we are in competition with the rest of the world to create more value from human and other resources that we have. Increase in such value cannot come about without R&D. Universities being the frontrunners in R&D in this country have a very important role to play and UTAR is determined to play the role well.

Realising the importance of encouraging research activities among its academics, UTAR has, since its establishment as a university in 2002, at the institutional level put in place the necessary framework to encourage research, such as the introduction of the UTAR Research Fund, research policies and guidelines, the UTAR Global Research Network with International Collaborative Partners from universities internationally and locally, the establishment of research centres focusing on several niche areas and the signing of numerous MOUs with local industry partners and renowned international universities to encourage research collaborations. Trainings to improve and enhance research skills and other necessary competencies of UTAR academics are also conducted regularly. A strong research culture has been cultivated and enhanced in UTAR.

In the past one year UTAR has strengthened the pursuing of certain key milestones as set in the UTAR 10-year Strategic Plan (2013 – 2022). Several initiatives set up since 2013 have begun to gather momentum. For the UTAR Strategic Research Fund (SRF) 2014 application, a total funding of RM866,520 was awarded to 2 programmes of 10 projects.

As of 31 December 2014, we have 166 active student participants in the UTAR Undergraduate Research Scheme (URS), an initiative mooted to train and encourage more undergraduates to join research at postgraduate level while a total of 4 candidates have been offered places in the UTAR Post-Doctoral Research Scholarships (PRS).

UTAR management has rewarded 111 project principal investigators additional research fund in recognition of their research publications under the UTAR Research Publication Scheme (RPS). We have further supported page charge for 182 international journal papers published by our staff and students via the Financial Support for Journal Paper Publication Scheme (FSJPP).

The annual R&D Colloquium was initiated in year 2014 with the prime objective to promote regular interactions among the twenty seven (27) research centres, to establish research co-operations which are cross-discipline and to bid for local and international research funding. The initiative is in line with one of the initiatives/action plans devised under Focus Area 3: Research and Development of the UTAR 10-year Strategic Plan 2013-2022 i.e. Strengthening of Cross Disciplinary Research Centres. The inaugural 31st May 2014 Colloquium held at Kampar campus witnessed a total of 111 UTAR faculty members and postgraduate students who participated in the one-day session with four (4) potential collaborations identified while the 2nd R&D Colloquium on 18th October 2014 at UTAR Kuala Lumpur campus was attended by 130 participants.

R&D projects, research funding, collaborations in R&D, University research centres, consultancies and awards represent the research portfolio of a university and it is therefore important for it to be documented. This R&D Annual Report is the University‘s attempt to do so in a formal manner and it hope to give a comprehensive picture of R&D in UTAR to our stakeholders including the industry, governmental agencies, international and local partners, current and prospective students and other interested parties. UTAR will continually strive towards R&D Excellence.

Professor Dr Lee Sze Wei
Vice President (R&D and Commercialisation)