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USM PENANG, 12 May 2019 – Sustainability looks at how we could reduce the negative effects on the environment and its inhabitants as a result of our activities and actions, while looking at ways and means to increase the positive effects too.

Being a sustainability-led university, and which was ranked recently at #49 in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) University Global Impact Rankings 2019, surely Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) would prioritise sustainability in all its activities, such as in developing their research products.

15 research products were contested by researchers from USM at the recent 30th International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition (ITEX 2019) in Kuala Lumpur.

The research products were among many other outstanding ideas at the exhibition, which was organised by the Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS) in strategic collaboration with C.I.S. Network Sdn Bhd, and supported by the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) and Ministry of Education (MoE) and is validated by Malaysia Research Assessment Instrument (MyRA).

All the products contested by USM researchers won either a gold or silver medal. In total, USM won 7 gold and 8 silver medals for all the research products. A 100% win!

Here are 5 of the 15 research products or inventions from USM which are geared towards sustainability, in no particular order:

  1. Mozzie Off Natural Insect Repellent: Water-Gel Formulation – made from plant extracts and essential oils, it provides the user full protection from pests and mosquitoes for four hours. And it’s safe for children too.
  2. Sustainable Ankle-Foot Equipment (SAFE) – comfortable foot support for patients with ankle deformity resulting from other health issues, which could be used with ease.
  3. Bio-Crete – lightweight and cost-effective bio-composite structural material for rapid building construction, which also has a low-carbon footprint and which could replace sand and rock in the production of construction materials.
  4. IVFIT – intelligent virtual fitness trainer using AI and VR applications to develop customised individual fitness or workout routines.
  5. e-Meva – a software platform that offers basic and advanced data verification analysis, which can be used by medical laboratories or research institutes as it offers convenience, efficiency, flexibility and scalability.

USM is the only university awarded the APEX status (2008) in the country, and it will continue to focus on sustainability as it moves forward into the future. Ensuring that mankind, the economy and the environment be more sustainable in the future is a move that is both fair and justified for all living things and the planet. 

Emphasising on sustainability should be an imperative, as clearly stated on a ‘green centre’ website in Wisconsin, USA:

Without justice, there can be no peace;

without peace, there can be no sustainability;

without sustainability, there can be no future.

Text: Mazlan Hanafi Basharuddin

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