An MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed between Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin the group managing director of Proton and the Vice Chancellor of UTM, Professor Dato’ Ir Dr Zaini b Ujang. The signing ceremony took place at Proton’s Shah Alam’s Centre of Excellence witnessed by Proton’s adviser and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
According to the agreement, the first initiative will have a professor from the university be based in Proton for 2 years on a full time bases where the academician will provide input on how Proton could enhance their research capabilities. On top of that, the professor will also be involved in the development of new models from Proton. For the first year of this partnership, the activities are funded through an RM500,000 allocation from Proton. On the other side, an RM1million investment is being injected by UTM where they will be involved in collaborations in research with the renowned universities around the world like Cambridge, MIT (Massachusetts University of Technology) and Meiji University. The whole idea of this collaboration is to increase the development of IPs (Intellectual Property) in the automotive sector involving patent, copyrights and industrial design. UTM said that they are targeting to generate 10 IPs annually.
Datuk Sri Mohd Nadzami, the Chairman of Proton said that this is part of their strategy in pushing the company up to be on par with the international players where they can no longer just rely on its achievement for the past 25 years but instead must now expedite their efforts in strengthening human capital particularly in the engineering and technical specializations. The partnership will UTM is set to achieve this apart from the acquisition of new skills like those in green technology and such.