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Kuala Lumpur, 06 November 2014 – Asia Aerospace City (AAC), launched its Research and Technology (R&T) Centre today.
The launch, marked another milestone for both AAC and AMIC in championing the aerospace industry’s capability building in Asia.
The R&T Centre, located in German-Malaysian Institute (GMI) provides a platform for a development of virtual reality (VR) training programme for employees of aircraft manufacturers and assemblers. The research project is a joint effort by M-AeroTech, Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC), Universiti Malaya (UM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), with Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) lending its expertise in vocational training.
VR as an alternative training solution, enables immersed and focused training of employees leading to cost efficiency, shorter training time and delivery of industry-ready employees. The VR system will be developed based on Airbus Helicopters’ technology by the local research consortium led by UM. Realising the huge potential of VR application, UM contributes significantly to this project and will be responsible for the interaction between the human and the virtual interface by adding sensorial information which is vital to the training process for aerospace manufacturing.
AMIC chief executive officer, Shamsul Kamar Abu Samah, said – “This in an important milestone for AMIC which is focusing on developing critical technical capabilities of local industry players through collaborative platforms. In this effort, there is a tremendous potential for VR, where we foresee its application in specific research on aerospace design as well as analysis. We’re also developing a versatile training programme with a holistic curriculum combining classroom sessions, exams and workshops, with the intention of making it commercially available to the aerospace industry.”
The AAC-AMIC’s R&T Centre also provides facilities for aerospace tooling manufacturing and automation of composite manufacturing processes. Shamsul also said – “We believe aerospace R&T will play a major role in ensuring the competitiveness of our aerospace industry at the global level. Hence, more quality, industry-led research activities on various topics such as tooling and automation are needed to support the growth of the industry. This will be a great challenge for AMIC and our research partners in delivering innovative technology solutions for our industry.”
In this regard, AMIC has partnered with the University of Nottingham (UoN) Malaysia Campus for its technical expertise as well as to locate relevant advanced research equipment into the centre. Through this arrangement, AMIC and its research partners will also be able to access various expertise within UoN’s main campus in the United Kingdom. Research projects currently being assessed include reconfigurable tooling, robotic systems and the development of flexible manufacturing cells.
AAC is a strategic initiative by MARA in championing capability building for the aerospace industry in Asia. With the research facility in place, it would further enhance the country’s position in providing value-added industry-led research activities and developing technologies that could be readily adopted by the industry throughout the region.
Jean Botti, Chief Technology Officer of Airbus, and Joint Chair of AMIC, said – “Technological advancement in the aerospace industry is integral to its growth, new technologies like virtual reality, biofuel and new composite materials have positive impact on cost-effectiveness and increased efficiency in deliverables of aircraft. We have a high regard for initiatives such as the AAC- AMIC Research & Technology Centre in Malaysia because it strengthens and enhances our value supply chain.”
Professor Richard Parker, Director of Research & Technology for Rolls-Royce said: “Continued innovation in the aerospace industry is vital to our growth. The maturation of technologies like virtual reality, biofuel and new composite materials will have a strong impact on our products and services. We believe that the AAC-AMIC Research & Technology Centre could contribute to certain elements of our long-term technology strategy roadmap.”
AAC aims to connect aerospace players worldwide with the opportunity for growth in Asia through its high quality engineering services, industry-relevant human capital, iconic infrastructure and research and technology facilities.
According to M-AeroTech Chief Operating Officer, En. Zulfikri Osman – “This R&T Centre is a milestone for AAC and a testament of our commitment to our partners in delivering a complete aerospace ecosystem with R&T being an essential part in building the capability of the aerospace value supply chain in Asia, thus positioning AAC as ‘the’ aerospace hub in Asia.”
The launch was officiated by both Joint Chairs of AMIC, Professor Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid – Science Advisor to the Prime Minister and Jean Botti – Chief Technical Officer of Airbus Group, in the presence of Datuk Ibrahim bin Ahmad, Director General of MARA, Professor Richard Parker – Director of Research & Technology of Rolls Royce Group and AMIC Director, Shamsul Kamar Abu Samah – Chief Executive Officer of AMIC, Zulfikri Osman – Chief Operating Officer of M-AeroTech and Naguib Mohd Nor – Chief Technical Officer of M-AeroTech.
Also in attendance was French Ambassador to Malaysia, His Excellency Christophe Penot. His Excellency remarked that such partnerships would strengthen further the ties between France and Malaysia, particularly through the development of bilateral trade and cooperation, knowledge transfer and human capital development, all of which define Asia Aerospace City and its business units.