PENANG, 17 July 2014 - It was a moment in the annals of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) history when the USM-Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) Joint Laboratory for Natural Rubber Research was officially launched during a ceremony here today.

The opening ceremony of the laboratory which is located at the USM School of Biological Sciences (SoBS) was attended by USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Dr. Omar Osman; SoBS Dean, Assoc. Professor Dr. Ahmad Sofiman Othman; SoBS Principal Researcher of the project, Professor Dr. K. Sudesh Kumar; SRI Senior Executive Officer, Kozaburo Nakaseko; SRI Material Planning Department Manager, Kazuhisa Fushihara; Material Planning Department Researcher, Dr. Yukino Miyagi; the School’s Deputy Deans and Programme Chairmen; postgraduate students as well as fellow researchers.

Omar said in his speech that this joint laboratory for natural rubber research will be used to conduct research on sustainable supply of high quality natural rubbers.

“With this university-industry collaboration, it is beneficial to both parties as well as enhancing the economics of the nation,” he said.

Omar also called on the students to emulate the Japanese’s good work ethics such as the cultivation of teamwork, discipline, punctuality, and cleanliness.

Ahmad Sofiman highlighted that the School has benefitted from the collaboration in the form of the upgrading of the existing tissue culture laboratory and the acquisition of advanced equipment to help in the research.

After a series of presentations on the outline of the collaborative research, Omar and Kozaburo signed a brass plaque at the laboratory before being taken on a guided tour of the facilities led by Sudesh Kumar. - Text/Photos: Yong Check Yoon

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