German-Malaysian engineering laboratory connects research and industry for innovations in medical technology

German engineering meets Malaysian medical technology: Based on a fruitful cooperation for many years the Fraunhofer-Institute for Mechatronic Systems Design IEM and the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) start a research presence in Kuala Lumpur connected with two major questions: How will intelligent medical technology products be developed in the future and which key technologies are used?

The project “Research Alliance for Intelligent Systems in Medical Technology in Malaysia” (RAISE-MED) started with a ceremony on August 14, 2017 at UiTM in the presence of the Malaysian Deputy Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Dr. Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah, the Counsellor for Economic, Commercial and Environmental Affairs of the German Embassy Jens Brinckmann, the Director at Fraunhofer IEM Professor Dr. Roman Dumitrescu, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) of UiTM Prof. Ir. Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Omar and the Director of the Research Management Center at UTHM, Professor Doctor Mohamad Amri Lajis.

“The idea for our innovation laboratory arose out of a long-lasting, friendly and loyal cooperation between Fraunhofer IEM, UiTM and UTHM. Based on that and together with competent partners we will build up an excellent research network”, said Professor Dumitrescu.

“I hope Fraunhofer IEM will bring the products of Malaysian researchers to the next level towards market ready innovations”, said the Malaysian Deputy Minister Dr. Abu Bakar.

Innovation laboratory brings together research and industry

Central component of the cooperation is an innovation laboratory that will be built up at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) near Kuala Lumpur, the biggest university in Malaysia with 160.000 students and 18.000 employees. The objective: Establishing a research presence in the field of development of intelligent systems for medical technology (Smart Health). The facilities of the lab with “Digital Engineering”-Workplaces, areas for prototyping technologies as well as for workshops and trainings will be open for students, researchers and industry. “The aim is to bring both – academia and industry – together. In Germany this concept of cooperation promotes innovation for a long time, especially Fraunhofer represents this perspective. Now we will work with Malaysian companies and researchers in the same way”, said Professor Dumitrescu.

“The research alliance will act as a catalyst for both countries in boosting the much needed development in intelligent medical technology. It is hoped that the innovation laboratory will be a hub to strengthen current and future research”, said Deputy Vice Chancellor of UiTM Prof. Abdul Rahman.

“We are excited to see engineering experts, medical specialists and technopreneurs from Germany and Malaysia work hand in hand in tackling key issues in health care by designing intelligent systems using the Fraunhofer approach”, said Vice-Chancellor of UTHM Professor Wahid of UTHM.

Network offers events and workshops

The new German-Malaysian research alliance will organize workshops and events alternating between Germany and Southeast Asia in order to encourage exchange between companies and scientist and to build up a network. For this purpose the project cooperates with the German Technology Network “Intelligent Technical Systems OstWestfalenLippe (it’s OWL), where research and industry work together and which was awarded by the German government as so-called Leading Edge Cluster in 2012.

The events will be offered free of charge, details will be announced (www.iem.fraunhofer.de/RAISE-MED).

Partners of RAISE-MED

The partners contribute to the project with broad expertise: Fraunhofer IEM brings in its methods of Systems Engineering in the context of Digitization and Industry 4.0.  Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) are the leading Malaysian universities for medical technology. Monash University Malaysia, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) are also renowned for the field of “smart health”. The specialist in medical technology Techcare Innovation and the Malaysian Association of Rehabilitation Physicians help to match the research questions with application scenarios.

Funding by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

The project RAISE-MED is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). During the first period (2017-2019) of “RAISE-MED” the innovation laboratory and innovation network will be built up. Further funding until 2022 will likely be permitted.