Najib Opens LIMA 2011

LANGKAWI, Dec 6 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Tuesday opened the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2011 (LIMA '11), underscoring that defence and security are of paramount importance to regional and national strategic interests. Against the backdrop of more than 400 companies from 35 countries present at the 11th edition of LIMA, he pointed out that defence and security ensured not only territorial integrity but also the sovereignty that all countries hold dear. He said that Asia today enjoyed the fastest-growing economy in the world, and defence expenditure was no exception. "Aerospace and maritime spending is surging, and is set to rise yet further as governments continue to tackle both traditional and non-traditional security threats," Najib said when opening Malaysia's premier defence and security show at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC), here. Present were his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, former prime minister and LIMA's founding figure Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as well as foreign defence and security chiefs. Najib said: "There can be no doubting the bravery and heroism of our men and women in uniform, and before they risk their lives to protect us, it's our duty to ensure they have the best tools for the job. "That means giving them the latest, safest, most cutting-edge equipment capable of meeting the challenges of modern warfare." He noted that LIMA was not just about the latest military technology as it was also about the commercial sectors of the maritime and aerospace industries which were exhibiting here for the first time. Over half of the world's top 100 maritime and aerospace suppliers are present for the show. According to LIMA organisers, on display are 65 aircraft as well as 14 warships from around the world. Najib said technology-intensive sectors such as shipbuilding and ship repair and aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) continued to be significant contributors to Malaysia's economy. Last year alone, the shipbuilding and ship repair industry generated more than US$2.3 billion (RM7.26 billion), while MRO and aerospace manufacturing contributed about US$1.73 billion (RM5.46 billion). "Taken together, these sectors provide jobs for more than 44,000 people, many of them in highly-skilled professional roles," he said. The prime minister said skills and wages in Malaysia were rising as the country continues on the path towards high-income status. "But as this transformation occurs, we must be prepared to face stiff competition for foreign investments once we're no longer perceived as a 'cheap' place to invest," he said. Najib mentioned that the Malaysian Aerospace Council last year helped establish the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC), an industry-led research and technology centre of excellence that would drive progress in Malaysian aerospace expertise. AMIC, he said, had already brought together key global players such as EADS, Rolls Royce and CTRM to help shape the future of Malaysian aviation, working in close collaboration with local universities to raise skills as well the global reputation of Malaysian researchers, engineers and scientists. "So, we're putting in place the skills, the infrastructure. What we need now is to build the market demand that will drive expansion now and in the future," he said. Najib's speech also alluded to the launch of the national Aerospace Blueprint back in 1997, and, now, the creation of a similar strategic plan for Malaysia's maritime businesses. "The Malaysian Shipbuilding/Ship Repair Industry Strategic Plan 2020 charts a clear course for the industry to sail ahead," he said. Following the LIMA opening, Najib witnessed the signing of a number of aerospace industry-related pacts. They include the technical consultancy services agreement between Airod Sdn Bhd and Malaysian Aerospace Engineering Sdn Bhd (MAE) in relation to MAE providing consultancy services to Airod for the development of the aerospace MRO cluster at the new Kunming International Airport. Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) also inked a strategic collaboration agreement with National Aerospace and Defence Industry Sdn Bhd (NADI) in developing competitive bumiputera human capital in high-technology aerospace industry. Source -- BERNAMA

MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER LAUNCHES AEROSPACE MALAYSIA INNOVATION CENTRE (AMIC)

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 (Bernama) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak signed off on the launch of the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC) on Tuesday, officially opening the industry-led research and technology centre for business. The centre’s Board of Directors has already approved RM15 million in spending for the first year of operation and has set its sights on technology to develop jet fuel from algae, innovative new standards in aero structure manufacturing and sustainable green aeronautic materials as well as improved technologies for systems integration. In a joint statement, AMIC co-chairs Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia and EADS Chief Technical Officer Dr. Jean Botti said, “AMIC is a significant step towards advancing Malaysia’s national competency in the aerospace sector. This centre will help both the public and private sector to rally together to push for a renaissance of innovation.” According to AMIC Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Rosdi Mahmud, selecting an optimal algae strain to produce jet fuel in Malaysia will be a top research priority in the first year. “Quickly identifying an effective algae strain for the production of jet fuel will open the way for future work in Malaysia and could lead to the country cementing a major leadership role in global biofuel production for the aviation industry, “ said Rosdi. The centre is a unique platform, developed by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) that convenes stakeholders from both the public and private sector as well academic and research communities. Funded by RM40 million in grants from the Government of Malaysia, EADS and Rolls Royce, the centre is an industry-driven organization pairing industry demands for research and technology with local Malaysian capability from universities, including lead university, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). Championed by MIGHT, this innovative model is expected to substantially improve the commercial success of aerospace research and development projects undertaken in Malaysia and boost private sector research and development (R&D) spending. “A prerequisite for technological advancement is R&D. Reaching the 10th Malaysia Plan goal of R&D investment of at least one percent of GDP by 2015 will require creative new models to partner public and private sector interests in science, technology and innovation,” said Zakri. “AMIC is one of those creative new models.” Ric Parker, Director of Research and Technology at Rolls Royce, a lead member of AMIC, echoed the Joint Chairman’s remarks adding, “we are delighted to support this initiative in growing R&D activities in Malaysia and are confident that AMIC will provide an innovation platform for all the lead members to work with the local universities and companies to translate research into technologies that the aerospace sector can adopt." The centre encourages R&D spending specifically by pairing industry-driven R&D projects with matching funding from universities and Government capital in smart, public-private global partnerships. Industry input on direction setting for R&D projects greatly improves the probability of those projects entering the supply chains of aerospace players and ensures research is closely aligned to future private sector needs. SOURCE : Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: NAME : Joshua Brown Strategic Communications, President and CEO’s Office TEL :+603 8315 7940 FAX : +603 8312 0300 MOBILE : +60 (0)12 297 1352 --BERNAMA