Foreword by UTAR President

2019 was a year of continuing progress and solid achievement for UTAR in Research and Development —and for that we remain both grateful and proud. Since the establishment of UTAR, our commitment to research excellence has never wavered. Research projects are strengthening its innovativeness while practicing sustainability, especially in support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UTAR’s focus on teaching and research excellence has earned the university much recognition especially at the Times Higher Education Asia Pacific University Rankings 2020 where UTAR is now ranked 111-120, Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2020 where UTAR is now ranked 119th, Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2020 where UTAR is now ranked 201-300 and ranked 33rd for SDG4: Quality Education.

The 4th Industrial Revolution represents the combination of cyber-physical systems, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and others. It has transformed the focus of many research projects and it is changing the mind sets of researchers, including those in UTAR, who take into consideration the future outcomes of their research and the impact it has on the society and environment.

Over the coming months the university will finalise the proposals in the UTAR Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap 2020-2024. This Roadmap is the start of a big conversation on what actions need to be taken and how we can maximise the economic, environmental and societal impact of research through effective application of new knowledge.

The university is proud of the many committed researchers, whose dedication has earned them much praise and many accolades. Many have won national, regional and international awards and have gained the respect of experts from the industry. Their passion for research and their contributions in their field of expertise have added to the strong repute of the university, enhancing the foundation of the university for the people, by the people.

The previous year was a hive of meaningful projects and activities with our researchers. It is with pride that I present to you the following highlights in the UTAR R&D Annual Report 2019:

  • Cumulative internal research funds awarded totalled RM62.47 million as of 31 December 2019, an increase of 13 percent since 2018.
  • Cumulative external research funds solicited as of 31 December 2019 amounted to RM60.33 million, an increase of 6 percent since 2018.
  • Scholastic publications cited (cumulative) in Scopus rose from 3,811 in 2018 to 4,507 in 2019.
  • The cumulative number of citations of publications in Scopus increased from 33,854 in 2018 to 45,168 in 2019.

These are just a few of the many accomplishments in R&D, and the university is certainly constantly evaluating for improvements and expansion including developing a cooperative research framework with other institutions and professions. We have signed over 400 memorandum of understandings with foreign and local universities and industry partners to facilitate research collaborations, mutual educational visits, academic and student exchanges, and joint developments in teaching methodologies.

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the importance of being able to find ingenious, practical and timely solutions to the most challenging problems is even clearer. Research and Development will be critical to economic and social recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, enabling us to build a greener, healthier and more resilient Malaysia. Science and innovation have helped drive major progress in global development over the past two decades and are vital to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Let us all stay on-track and remain committed to pursue further research collaborations that will enable us to seek improvements for the society, the nation and the rest of the world.
Thank you.

With best regards,
Ir. Prof. Dr. Ewe Hong Tat