First Industry-led Internet of Things Cloud Data Centre and Research Laboratory opens in Malaysia


• Local and global industry players, government and academia collaborate to provide technology and platform for the development of innovative Internet of Things (IoT) solutions

• Malaysian economy to benefit from R&D and commercialisation outcomes

CREST | 29 January 2015

PENANG, MALAYSIA – Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST), in collaboration with leading industry players Cisco, Dell, IBM, Intel, Kontron and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), have come together to establish the CREST Internet of Things (IoT) Cloud Data Centre and Research Laboratory (ICDC Research Lab) in Penang. The establishment of the ICDC Research Lab is a significant milestone that supports the objectives of the Malaysia National IoT Strategic Roadmap initiative, encompassing the integration of enabling technologies such as mobile devices, cloud computing, embedded software, connectivity, communications and information services.

Located at CREST Place in sains@usm, Bukit Jambul, the ICDC Research Lab provides Malaysian companies, the government and academia with opportunities to design, develop and commercialise innovative, market-driven IoT products and solutions. The facility enables individuals and organisations to collaborate and access IoT-related knowledge and know-how through research and development (R&D) activities. It acts as a hub to support commercialising potential state-of-the-art solutions resulting from R&D for both the local and global markets. The ICDC Research Lab will also catalyse efforts to develop leading-edge skills and talent that are needed in the local IoT space.

Commercialising Research to Reality

The ICDC Research Lab is expected to focus on developing commercialisable IoT products and solutions through research and integration of Big Data sciences, embedded systems, advanced wireless, sensors and energy efficient systems. Among the initiatives lined up to utilise the new facility are a telematics pilot project involving 50 USM fleet cars and busses. Jointly undertaken by CREST, INTEL and USM, the pilot project is a telematics solution that focuses on vehicle safety and driving behaviour analytics. The project also serves to validate and verify the equipment operation of the ICDC Research Lab and discover potentials challenges that may arise during the course of the project.

Other upcoming initiatives at the ICDC Research Lab include hackathons and invention challenges, such as the Telemedicine Innovation Challenge to be held in conjunction with the 1st Malaysia Telemedicine Conference in August 2015, and other R&D projects on IoT. Research outcomes and intellectual property (IPs) that have the commercial potential will be incubated towards successful commercialisation.

Driving Innovation in Healthcare and Transportation

Among the key industries in Malaysia to benefit from the programmes and activities at the facility are Healthcare and Transportation. The CREST Connected Healthcare Cluster (CHC) launched in 2014 focuses on the application of wearable embedded systems, Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices technology and commercialisation of healthcare products, solutions and services. With Kontron as industry lead, the cluster has already united more than 36 participating organisations in a common goal to enable affordable and attainable, patient-centric, quality healthcare in Malaysia by utilising IoT technology.

The iTransport IoT Cluster with more than 24 organisations and led by Motorola Solutions, works to develop innovative end-to-end solutions to support the creation of next-generation, green and cost-effective transportation systems. The end goal is to make every day commuting safer and more efficient for the public, and advance the local automotive and transportation industry.

Nurturing Talents

A key priority of the ICDC Research Lab is to nurture local technopreneurs and startups who seek to venture into IoT. Utilising CREST’s experiences and networks in IOT and Big Data, CREST is in discussion with MaGIC to help build up the Malaysian startup ecosystem. Also in plan is to offer incubation support to local technopreneurs, through existing partner’s platforms such as the and Cisco Networking Academy (Cisco NetAcad) and IBM Global Entrepreneur (GEP) programmes to further develop talents with relevant knowledge and skills in IoT technologies.

As the main purpose of the ICDC Research Lab is to assist local technopreneurs and start-ups, the associated usage charges will be very start-up friendly. Startups typically have a grace period of 6 months free usage, and then follow by minimal and competitive cost recovery fee thereafter.

In order to support a vibrant R&D and commercialisation ecosystem, a healthy talent pipeline must be established for continuous supply of industry relevant graduates. This is where academia plays the pivotal role of conducting fundamental research, applied research in industry relevance technology areas. Professors and research scientists can now utilise the ICDC Research Lab to test hypotheses, perform experiments, and integrate technology building blocks ranging from big data sciences, advance wireless communication, network protocols, sensors, energy efficient electronics, and wearables; that form the IoT. Other system level research focus could include the interoperable standard development, interoperability testing and compliance.

“Since 2013, Cisco has been focused on driving the value proposition of the Internet of Everything (IoE), which brings together people, process, data, and ‘things’ to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. This turns information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunities for businesses, individuals, and countries. We are committed to working with companies and governments to drive innovation and community transformation through the use of technology. As the world becomes increasingly connected, solutions, opportunities and disruptive business models will arise. Working with CREST to explore opportunities for connecting the unconnected in Malaysia will drive tremendous value to the government and its stakeholders,” says Albert Chai, Country Manager for Cisco in Malaysia.”

“The Internet of Things (IoT) will have a major impact on our ability and power to do more through technology. With intelligent devices being able to ‘talk’ to each other, we are gradually moving toward an era of hyper-connectedness – an era where people and organisations will be even more empowered, connected, and well-informed than ever before.

“Dell is excited to be a partner in Malaysia’s first industry-led IoT cloud data centre & research laboratory. Powered by our industry-leading storage arrays and servers, local businesses and academia will be able to explore, test and deploy IoT solutions that help drive research and innovation in the local economy.”

“We hope that this initiative will further help Malaysia grow the nation’s capabilities and potential to flourish in the IoT era,” said KT Ong, general manager of Consumer and Commercial Business at Dell Malaysia.

“IBM is very supportive of initiatives that promote a culture of research and development among Malaysian entrepreneurs and we are proud to extend access to IBM’s technologies such as SPSS. The user friendly interface of SPSS makes it easy for entrepreneurs to build models of real world events from sensors and social media.”

“Each entrepreneur is also invited to be a part of IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program, which brings together entrepreneurs, accelerators, IBMers, as well as technology and business experts for mentorship and development. To date, the Global Entrepreneur Program has signed up over 100 startups in Malaysia,” said IBM Malaysia’s Chief Technology Officer, Lee Yu Kit.

“Intel and our counterparts from Cisco, Dell, IBM, Kontron and USM are excited to be part of the CREST Internet of Things Cloud Data Center and Research Laboratory and we believe that it will be a success in establishing the country as a key player in the world’s Internet of Things community. With this new facility, we aim to help businesses grow and develop ground-breaking ideas, particularly in the Internet of Things.”

“The Internet of Things is a rapidly growing market, but faces scalability hurdles. By simplifying the development process and making it easier to deploy new solutions that address market needs, with our Internet of Things Platform, we can help accelerate innovation,” said Eric Chan, Director Internet of Things Group, Intel Malaysia.

“Kontron collaborates closely with CREST and its cluster partners to create a robust and sustainable ecosystem for IoT exploration that will help position Malaysia as an investment destination for IoT development and deployments. The sharing of knowledge and ideas within the new CREST facility is also a catalyst for faster adoption of IoT that can positively impact economic and social development, as well as setting the stage for additional IoT research, technology implementations and commercialisation.”

“Kontron plans to nurture a healthy R&D ecosystem for the development of world-class IoT solutions by bringing a wealth of IoT healthcare development tools and evaluation kits that allow CREST partners to more easily develop solutions and connectivity to an open platform. Our knowledge and resources can also help jump-start and initiate the prototype and product development activities for local companies. This knowledge allows us to more quickly establish a relevant use case result at the new CREST IoT Lab. Cluster partners and other relevant IoT interest group will be able to witness how IoT connected solutions are developed and rolled out as well,” says Shanmuganathan, Managing Director, Kontron Penang and Head of R&D Execution, APAC

“The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of our Iconic Research projects in partnership with the industry to create a platform for us to explore research opportunities and applications within the IoT industry. It is also an opportunity for deeper collaboration with the industry to support the IoT initiative for the country,” said Professor Dato’ Dr. Omar Osman, Vice-Chancellor, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

“The establishment of CREST IoT Cloud Data Centre and Research Lab is in-line with CREST’s Phase II strategy to focus on cluster development in targeted technology area such as the Internet of Things (IoT). I am very excited and honoured to have earned the support and commitment from these leading IoT industry players. The Research Lab not only provides Malaysian companies and academia with the opportunity to research and develop IoT solutions that have tremendous economic potentials, it also demonstrates the industry’s commitment in laying the foundation for Malaysia to be a key player in the world’s IoT community,” said CREST by Jaffri Ibrahim, CEO of CREST.


Dr Khoh Soo Beng
Tel: +604 652 0019

About CREST Place

CREST Place is a three-party initiative by CREST, the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA), and USM that provides that impetus for startups and medium sized Malaysian E&E companies to incubate, innovative products and solutions within the R&D ecosystem. With an initial 10,000 sq ft floor space provided by University Sains Malaysia (USM), CREST Place functions as technology incubator, shared workspace, and start-up offices. CREST Place provides continuous support from ideation, proof-of-concepts and commercialisation (innovation) in emerging technologies such as IoT, rapid prototyping and advanced materials. CREST Place is the platform to inspire, promote and showcase new ideas, allowing them the opportunity to reach product solutions level. Industry leaders are brought-in in a timely manner to provide guidance and mentoring to these young companies.


CREST (Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology) is an Industry-led catalyst and change agent that drives the growth of Malaysia’s E&E industry. CREST focuses on creating a vibrant R&D ecosystem by promoting collaboration between the Industry and Academia in R&D initiatives, with strong support from the relevant Government organisations.