Malaysia sets up industry-led IoT data centre and research lab
By Digital News Asia February 3, 2015
- Companies, government and academia collaborate on IoT
- Economy to benefit from R&D and commercialisation outcomes
MALAYSIAN government agency Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) has come together with various domestic and international industry players as well as Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) to establish the country’s first IoT cloud data centre and research lab.
The CREST Internet of Things (IoT) Cloud Data Centre and Research Laboratory (ICDC Research Lab) in the northern state of Penang sees the active participation of companies such as Cisco, Dell, IBM, Intel and Kontron, CREST said in a statement.
The establishment of the ICDC Research Lab 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, CREST said.
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Located at CREST Place in [email protected], 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, it added.
The facility enables individuals and organisations to collaborate and access IoT-related knowledge and know-how through research and development (R&D) activities.
It also 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 establishment of the ICDC Research Lab is in line with CREST’s Phase II strategy to focus on cluster development in targeted technology areas such as the IoT,” said CREST chief executive officer Jaffri Ibrahim.
“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 potential, it also demonstrates the industry’s commitment in laying the foundation for Malaysia to be a key player in the world’s IoT community,” he added.
From 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, CREST said.
Among the initiatives lined up to utilise the new facility are a telematics pilot project involving 50 USM fleet cars and buses.
Jointly undertaken by CREST, Intel and USM, the pilot project focuses on vehicle safety and driving behaviour analytics.
“The 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,” said USM Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Omar Osman.
“It is also an opportunity for deeper collaboration with the industry to support the country’s IoT initiative,” he added.
“With this new facility, we aim to help businesses grow and develop ground-breaking ideas, particularly in the IoT,” said Eric Chan, director of the IoT Group at Intel Malaysia.
“The IoT 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 IoT platform, we can help accelerate innovation,” he declared.
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 the IoT.
Research outcomes and intellectual property (IP) that have commercial potential will be incubated towards commercialisation, CREST said.
Healthcare and transportation
Among the key industries that would 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, IoT connected devices technology, and the 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, CREST said.
“The sharing of knowledge and ideas within the new CREST facility is also a catalyst for faster adoption of the IoT that can positively impact economic and social development, as well as setting the stage for additional IoT research, technology implementations and commercialisation,” said Kontron managing director Shanmuganathan, also Asia Pacific head of R&D Execution.
“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 prototype and product development activities for local companies,” he added.
The iTransport IoT Cluster involves more than 24 organisations and is led by Motorola Solutions, working 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, CREST said.
A key priority of the ICDC Research Lab is to nurture local technopreneurs and startups seeking to venture into the IoT.
CREST said it is in discussion with the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) to help build the Malaysian startup ecosystem.
It also plans to offer incubation support to local technopreneurs, through existing partner’s platforms such as the Cisco Networking Academy and IBM Global Entrepreneur (GEP) programme.
“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,” said Albert Chai, country manager for Cisco in Malaysia.
“This turns information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunities for businesses, individuals, and countries.
“Working with CREST to explore opportunities for connecting the unconnected in Malaysia will drive tremendous value to the government and its stakeholders,” he added.
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