Who needs gold medals when you can be a serious global contender for a grand prize in gobbledygook….
Apparently, the Science University of Malaysia is planning to spend RM450 million to build a “science and arts innovation space”. USM had reportedly bought the 12.4ha plot of land in Bukit Jambul for RM59 million from IJM in March. (So much spare cash, huh? Or is it borrowed money? Or ultimately the rakyat’s money?) Looks as if USM is venturing into Big Business.
Today, in theSun, there was a four-page cover wrap-around ad (how much did that cost?) which featured this [email protected] thingy. It was full of gobbledygook and jargon.
Take this example from the V-C’s foreword:
The world of [email protected] will represent an innovative space that promotes highly integrated search and research with dedicated incubators and collaboratories as platforms to nurture transdisciplinarity as the way forward.
Huh? Could someone translate that please…
Under “Sustainability and Space”:
Sustainability, which is epitomised through the use of energy efficient design, not only embeds features that have long been successful in tropical micro-climate such as large overhangs and well-ventilated spaces but also inspires new and creative ideas.
Help! Can you imagine four pages of similar gobbledygook?
If you cut away all that gobbledygook, this is what they are planning:
- a convention and exhibition centre
- a boutique hotel “catering to the digital traveller” (as opposed to the discerning space traveller?)
- “leisure and wellness facilities” (for a massage after long, boring meetings?)
- retail spaces
- galleries for Fine Arts and Sciences with a mini-theatre for performing arts
- a day-care centre
- “community-linked facilities and activities”
- an international school
- federal labs and facilities
- USM’s Graduate Business School
- GLC-linked research centres
- MNC-linked research and training facilities (who’s paying for this? USM or the MNCs?)
Sounds a lot like property development work for a few lucky companies. If you own a bit of green space, cover it with concrete and call it sustainable development.
I don’t know about you but to me, if you want to do some research, you don’t really need lots of buildings, do you? But then, what do I know…
“[email protected] is designed to be a premier integrated community for the incubation and nurturing of start-up companies produced from the research community of USM”
I suppose times have changed and you have to start “synergising creativity and nurturing enterprise”! I guess they intend to go in a big way into biotech, nanotechnology (the next “in” thing) and clinical trials.
I just have this mental image of rows of incubators with ventilators furiously pumping life-giving oxygen… err, I mean start-up capital… into these tiny tot companies, as proud CEOs-to-be peer through the viewing gallery window, rubbing their hands in anticipation of new life filled with abundant profits.
This is from yesterday’s Star:
USM builds R&D park
GEORGE TOWN: Universiti Sains Malaysia will spend RM450mil on its science and arts park in Bukit Jambul here, which is expected to be ready in 2014.
Vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak said the park would have apartments, a hotel, an international school, incubator laboratories, galleries, a mini theatre and research centres.
The centre, dubbed [email protected] which stands for Science and Arts Innovation Space, would serve as a research centre, tourist attraction and public park, he said.
“It will represent an innovative space that promotes integrated research with dedicated incubators and laboratories.
“[email protected] will not only represent the ideal space for academia and businesses to thrive, it will also reach out to communities near and far in a truly comprehensive and holistic manner,” he said at the launch of [email protected] at Dewan Budaya, USM here yesterday.
It was launched by the university’s chancellor Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail.
Also present were his consort Tuanku Fauziah Tengku Abdul Rashid, Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas and his wife Toh Puan Majimor Shariff.
An MoU was also signed between the university, Khazanah Nasional Bhd and six corporations to collaborate on [email protected]
At the function, a representative from the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), Norhalim Yunus, presented a RM24.35mil mock cheque for the funding of eight research projects at [email protected]
And this is from the Business Times Online:
USM research park pulls in RM20m investments
By Marina Emmanuel
UNIVERSITI Sains Malaysia (USM) has attracted RM20 million in capital investments from local companies which will operate at its new research park at Bukit Jambul on Penang Island.
USM is set to ink memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with several companies tomorrow, which will include the government’s investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Malaysian Biotechnology Corp Sdn Bhd (BiotechCorp) and Biotropics Malaysian Bhd.
The [email protected] Bukit Jambul park will boast, among others, incubator laboratories, government-linked company research centres and those operated by multinational corporations, USM research and innovation division director Professor Zainul Fadziruddin Zainuddin said.
“The MOU with Biotropics (a company which is developing natural products) is for the setting up of a laboratory for standardisation of natural products for clinical trials, while BiotechCorp will be using the park to disperse nanotechnology to other universities in the country,” he told Business Times.
Zainul added that USM has also secured RM23 million worth of research commercialisation grants from the Malaysian Development Technology Corp, which will be used in part for start-up operations and pilot plants at the new park.
In March this year, USM had purchased a 12.4ha plot at Bukit Jambul for RM59 million from IJM Properties Sdn Bhd.
Zainul, who is set to head the development of the park, said that USM will set up a company to manage the research park, which will also boast a boutique hotel, convention and exhibition centre, performing arts centre and arts colony, along with retail space and apartments.
“We want to create an environment for local and international academia and businesses to interact and synergise,” he said, adding that among the economic potentials of the park would be to foster innovation, technology transfer, commercialisation of technology, while serving as a springboard for new intellectual property creations.
Zainul said while USM will seek public funding for some of the projects at the park, which will be carried out in three phases, other projects will be done via joint ventures.