Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) Centre of Excellence for Biomass Utilization and National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) Taiwan recently co-officiated at a ceremony in UniMAP to launch the “Innovation Centre for Clean Water and Sustainable Energy” (WISE). Held on 25 April 2019, UniMAP was represented by Professor Dato’ Dr. Ali Yeon Md Shakaff, the Chairperson of UniMAP’s council of Professors, Jemaah Professor UniMAP, while NTHU was represented by its Senior Vice-President, Professor Sinn-wen Chen, accompanied by Professor Ruey-an Doong, Dean of International College, NTHU. WISE was established following a successful grant application approved by Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology which amounted to USD 80850 for a 3 year period.
Founded in partnership also with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), WISE aims to develop International Research Teams on Clean Water and Sustainable Energy, and to create novel and applicable technology for water-energy nexus in ASEAN and Taiwan under the Taiwan New South Bound Policy. The grant will cover staff mobility between Malaysia and Taiwan, and involve research collaboration among South East Asian universities, field visits, research forums and other related activities.
WISE will begin by focusing on building reputation by organizing symposiums and workshops, as stated by Professor Ruey-an Doong in his talk after the launching, entitled ‘Taiwan-Malaysia WISE Centre: Road to International Collaboration in Water Research and Sustainable Energy’. The workshops aim to strengthen mutual academic and educational cooperation between Taiwan and Southeast/South Asian countries including the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal in the fields of energy and environment. The second year will concentrate on globalization, which will include short-term visits, establishment of MoU and nurturing young scholars in the target countries. The establishment of WISE will provide young scholars with clear research focus so that they could become WISE research team members in the future, resulting in more research grants and journal publications. The final year will focus on sustainability, where innovations in research will be linked to applicable industries.
WISE is also an initiative to support The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Among the 17 goals, “good health and well-being”, “affordable and clean energy” and “clean water and sanitation” are all goals relevant to work that will be done by WISE. Professor Chen believes that the SDG goals will be achieved in ASEAN through the sharing of the “Taiwan experience” with the Southeast and South Asian countries, and mutual collaboration.