The CREST Symposium 2013 A Success!


Collaborate on Solutions and Way Forward for E&E Malaysia

By CREST | 9 October, 2013

PENANG, MALAYSIA – The CREST Symposium 2013 was successfully held on 9 October, 2013, in Penang. Themed “Collaborating and Succeeding in Research and Development (R&D)” for the Electrical and Electronics (E&E) industry, the symposium gathered industry, academia, and government organisations to collaborate on solutions and way for ward for the E&E sector. The symposium drew around 200 participants from Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore as well as overseas, all from and representing the interests of the E&E sector.

This year, CREST invited Gartner to share some valuable and unbiased insights about E&E developments. A snippet of what they shared at the symposium:

Jamie Wang Talks About Taiwanese Innovation and How This Can Be Replicated Elsewhere »

Jim Tully Says Invest in R&D Strategically and Reap Huge Rewards »


go to photo album »

Jaffri Ibrahim, the CEO of CREST, was elated by the response to the symposium. “I am inspired by the feedback and enthusiasm seen at the event, and this has energised the CREST team and myself. They (community) have validated the path we have taken and we are encouraged by this,” he said.

CREST is about a year old since its inception, and while they have been rather modest in their public profile, their projects have been warmly accepted by the industry. “We have been low-profile, because we want more success stories to come out of our collaborations. In the meantime one of the issues that have come out from the sessions is that pouring a huge investment in R & D is no guarantee for success.  All of us must learn to be strategic in our R & D.” He echoed Professor Jailani of UTEM’s sentiments that academia and the business world must learn to communicate in the same language. “While academia is very instrumental in R & D, and is the backbone of the product, they lack the soft skills when negotiating and communicating with business people. There are platforms that help researchers achieve this – CREST will be working with the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority Resource Support Services Centre to provide soft skills training to academics and researcher towards the end of 2013.”

The annual symposium enables stakeholders and delegates to address the needs and challenges in the E&E ecosystem in Malaysia, particularly in R&D.  Renowned thought leaders from the industry, academia, and the Malaysian government converge on that day to find sustainable and economically desirable responses to these challenges. The event also sees industry players, the academia and policy makers network and find solutions on challenges in R&D, especially in the E&E sector.

The symposium helmed speakers such as Professor Arokia Nathan, Director of Photonic Systems and Displays, Department of Engineering in Cambridge University, United Kingdom, Dr Hari Narayanan, Director of Engineering and Head of R&D, Motorola, Dr David Lacey, Director of OS R&D Asia, OSRAM, Christopher Kelly, General Manager of Intel Architecture Group Malaysia, Jim Tully, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst, Gartner, and leaders of our homegrown companies Dr Ng Chee Mang, Managing Director and CEO of Penchem Tehnologies, and Heng Huck Lee, CEO of Globetronics, to name a few.

Dr. David Lacey of OSRAM and Christopher Kelly of INTEL were some of the more engaging speakers at the symposium. Their Malaysian experiences have been fruitful, though there have been some challenges, which must be resolved for the sector to move forward.

Lacey observed that the relations between industry and academia needs to be improved, as it would seem that  the industry that always seeks the partnership and relationship with researchers. In his case,. “Every month, we visit or engage with a local university.” Universities in Malaysia must engage with MNCs, as so much can come out from the union. Getting talent and retaining is another factor, Kelly pointed out after the symposium. “This is a global phenomenon, and not entirely a Malaysian one. But it is something we must address. Many students now do not want to study engineering, preferring something easier and better. This does not bode well for the sector.”

The symposium ended in the late afternoon with a networking session that participants took part in enthusiastically.