RIPHEN Joint Research Projects

RIPHEN Joint Research Projects Titles

  1. MSU – Digital Education
  2. UTP – Sustainable Energy
  3. MMU – Digital Futures
  4. UniKL – Rail Engineering Rail Technology
  5. IUKL – Artificial Intelligent (AI) Technology for Power Management Infrastructure
  6. Nilai – Energy 4.0 – Smart Energy Load Supply
  7. UNITEN – Power Engineering

Flagship Research Initiative
The RIPHEN Joint Research Projects are the follow through collaborative flagship research program succeeding the RIPHEN MOU signed in 2019. Conveniently referred to as the JRPs among RIPHEN member universities, this brilliant effort under the theme Sustainable Communities seeks to highlight the research strengths of each member institution under the 7 JRP Programs while working in alignment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, more specifically the SDG11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Program Leader Universities
The JRPs were conceptualised by the steering committee following the successful PERINTIS 2018 held at Management and Science University, Malaysia, which saw the participation of 145 local and international teams from the region. Providing a stage for consolidation and agreement, focused discussion groups were hosted by respective Program Leader Universities through 2019-2020 with a major initialisation workshop held at Management and Science University in 2019. A total of 60 odd researchers are involved in the JRP with a minimum of 7 researchers per university. Each JRP is governed by a Program Leader University who leads the program of their choice under which houses 7 unique sub-projects with Principal Investigators represented by the 7 member universities. They work independently yet in synchrony towards the mutual program objectives.

The JRP Concept
Concept papers were drafted since 2019 and vetted by the EXCO at their monthly meetings before the full proposals were submitted for finalisation in early 2020. Each PLU was given opportunities to defend their proposal at the EXCO level with duration for revisions in between until all members were satisfied with the quality and deliverables. The entire process of vetting and shortlisting mimic the Malaysia Ministry of Education's Long-Term Research Grant Scheme. In the collaborative sense, the RIPHEN JRPs are designed on a larger scale having 7 university teams in 1 program, yet in the cost sense, multiple times more economical with the cap of RM70,000.00 for each JRP. In duration sense, each JRP lasts for 1 year with tangible outputs in terms of publications, IP and future projects.

Managing with the Agreement
Execution of the JRPs became the fundamental question during the COVID-19 outbreak in the first quarter of 2020. It was heartening to know that all PLUs were resilient demonstrating mutual commitment to pursue with the arrangements discussed in 2019. So back to the drawing board it is to ensure that the compact is pandemic-proof. At their monthly RIPHEN EXCO meetings representing all RIPHEN member universities, it was decided that MOAs shall be signed to honour each PLU commitment to continue with the JRPs and these shall be agreed by respective RIPHEN member university's Vice Chancellor and President in 2020.

Commitment to Funding
Research initiatives remain on paper until discussions on funding is in place. In addition, the robustness of the JRPs is reflected not only on the MOA but also because the budgeting of funds stems from each RIPHEN member university to support their JRP from the beginning until the end. A total of RM490,000.00 of funds are pooled for all 7 JRPs and these shall be distributed equally to each PLU upon commencement of the JRPs later in 2020. The crux of implementation then no longer lie on the EXCOs but on the researchers involved in each JRP. Each researcher shall lead a component of the project which carries a budget of RM10,000.00, this shall be managed by respective PLU Research Management Centres. Accordingly each PLU RMC also has a representative in the RIPHEN EXCO.

Signing in Times of COVID-19
During the last EXCO meeting on 15 May 2020, held virtually due to the COVID-19 conditional movement control order, it was agreed that the JRP MOAs shall be signed by circulation. Once this is done the commencement of the JRPs shall tentatively be on the 01 July 2020. This is an exciting yet challenging task, ensuring all 49 MOAs are signed by all 7 RIPHEN member university's Vice Chancellor/ President under the state of CMCO and maintaining the confidentiality and timeline. Being the secretariat, MSU plays a pivotal role in ensuring this is done successfully by coordinating documents, people, RMCs and timeline.

The RIPHEN Sustainable Communities Symposium
All the 60 odd researchers are informed of the timeline and primed to begin their projects before the end of the year. In this respect, MSU as the secretariat once more plays an important role to monitor the start dates of each JRP working closely with the 6 other RMCs involved. To facilitate monitoring of initial progress for the first quarter of JRP commencement MSU will call for the first RIPHEN Sustainable Communities Symposium in November 2020 with the teamwork of the other members.