By: Dr. Mohammad Jawaid
PUTRAJAYA - Researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) recently won the Newton-Ungku Omar (NUOF) fund, a research fund created by the British and Malaysian governments.
Project Leader and Fellow Researcher of UPM Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products (INTROP), Dr. Mohammad Jawaid said the project underpinned UK-Malaysian “Research and Innovation” bridge in accelerating the deployment of knowledge.
“The exploitation of research will improve the preservation of storage, health and well being of the population by reducing the risk of communicable diseases transmitted by foodborne pathogens in meats or vegetables, and urban solid wastes from plastics being dumped in landfills, “ he said.
He added that the project, entitled “Safe Biodegradable Packaging” (SafeBioPack), received a grant of RM5.3 million, together with two Malaysian Industrial partners - Eco Premium Packaging (M) Sdn. Bhd. and PolyComposite Sdn. Bhd.
“UK Lead Partner -Nextek Ltd, Biocomposite Centre-Bangor University-UK - and UK Industrial partner- Parkside Flexibles (Europe) Ltd, Scitech Adhesive Systems Ltd, and Tesco - are going to work in this project with their Malaysian partners,” he said.
Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, Prof. Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid said among the criteria for fund recipients was that the instituitions must present a joint research with educational institutionsin the UK, and the projects must benefit the society.
“NUOF is run by Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), together with UK (RCUK) Innovate and UK Research Council as the executive agencies,” he said.
He added that information from MIGHT was that five local Malaysian universities had been selected as NUOF research fund recipients.
Among those who attended the Newton Grant Award ceremony were UPM Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mohd Azmi Mohd Lila; Director of INTROP, Prof Dr. Paridah Mohd Tahir; Faculty of Engineering Dean, Assoc. Prof. Ir. Dr. Azmi Dato’ Yahya; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohamed Thariq Hameed Sultan (AMRC); Dr. Ainun Zuriyati Mohamed @ Asa'ari and Dr. Harmaen Ahmad Saffian (both from INTROP).
British Deputy High Commissioner to Malaysia, Paul Rennie, was also present, together with representatives of Innovative-UK and RCUK-UK. – UPM
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