UPSI's Innovation Contributes To Nation's Development
Professor Datuk Dr Noraini Idris:Foto Bernama
By Nur Fadhliana Shaari
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- The name Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris or 'UPSI' may lead to the impression that it is a tertiary learning institution that only produce teachers.
However UPSI is more than that as it is also one of the leading research institutions in the country.
This institution of higher learning plays a major role in inculcating the culture of innovation among the society apart from ensuring that the innovations have high commercial value.
According to UPSI's Deputy Vice Chancelor (Research and Innovation) Professor Datuk Dr Noraini Idris, since 2001 the university has spent RM31 million on research projects.
UPSI has witnessed many successes that brought in lucrative returns to the university such as the Integrated Management System (UIMS) that it developed and sold to Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM) for RM1.9 million.
This application links all of the campus' administration and it won the Higher Education Ministry's Innovation Award.
The system has also drawn interest from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM).
Another of UPSI's innovation that has drawn interest is the production of 'Halal' collagen from fish scales capable of rejuvenating skin, hair, bone and the nails, among others.
The university has licensed this innovation to a medical centre with a RM700,000 upfront payment and subsequently will receive royalties on the innovation.
Among the recognitions that this innovation received is the "Best Potential Innovation", "Perak Menteri Besar Award 2012" as well as the Gold Medal at the Malaysia Technology Expo (MTE) 2012 here.
LEARNING, TEACHING INNOVATIONS
Prof Noraini says apart from the profit-oriented innovations, UPSI had also contributed to the society's wellbeing via learning and teaching-based innovations.
Several of these programmes focusses on the Orang Asli children, including the "Indigenous Musical Pedagogy: Perpetuating Orang Asli (Semai) Cultural Aesthetics and 'Worldviews and Wisdom through Their Children" projects.
These projects were carried out at the Orang Asli settlement in Tapah, Perak.
At this settlement the university focussed on the learning of music under the advice of Alang Bah Kang who is the Semai traditional music instructor who had 10 Semai children aged 6-9 years old under his tutelage.
Apart from that UPSI had carried out the 'Mata Hati' project to realise its vision of creating a world class Special Education Secondary School for vision impaired students.
On the direction of innovation and research in the country, Prof Noraini says Malaysia needs a long-term plan in order to stand at par with the nations that have leading research centres.
In order to achieve results with quality and high commercial value, the country needs various new approaches in planning apart from the latest equipment as well as funding, she says.
"The grant allocation is still inadequate to make our results to be on par with that produced by countries like Singapore and South Korea where the allocation is much higher," she says.
According to Prof Noraini research that yields results with high commercial values will benefit the country's innovation-based economy.
To achieve the aspirations of Vision 2020 where science and technology is a feature of a nation with developed status, the field of research and innovation should be further developed for the interest of the country and people.