MARii, SUT and Sabah-based companies collaborate on Smart Furniture development
The signing was in conjunction with the announcement of the Smart Furniture Design and Manufacturing Programme by MARii and Swinburne University of Technology (SUT).
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing was held between the Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) and two timber-based furniture companies, Worldtrend Golden Furniture Sdn. Bhd. and Syarikat Perniagaan Kilang Perabut Nuri Sdn. Bhd., at MARii Satellite Sabah today.
The Smart Furniture Design and Manufacturing Programme will act as a catalyst to further develop local manufacturers in the fields of Design, Research and Advanced Manufacturing in which, participants of the programme will be able to modernize their products and manufacturing methods, thus increasing the quality of their products while meeting the demands of consumers.
The MoU was been signed by MARii Deputy CEO, Azhar Taib (representing MARii CEO, Dato’ Madani Sahari), Madam Sharon Tsang, Director of Worldtrend Garden Furniture Sdn. Bhd. and Pn. Rohaizan Arshad, Operational and Finance Manager, Syarikat Perniagaan Perabot Nuri Sdn. Bhd.
Also present at the event was Professor Ajay Kapoor, Pro-Vice Chancellor of SUT, Professor Blair Kuys, Director, Centre for Design Innovation (CDI) of SUT, Matt Blythman, Centre of Design Innovation Design Manager and Senior Industrial Designer of SUT, Assistant Professor Suresh Palanisamy, Director, Transport Innovation Centre of SUT, and Mohamad Za’im Azyze bin Mustapha Azyze, Senior General Manager of MARii.
The Smart Furniture Design and Manufacturing Programme is structured to occur in stages, where participants will begin developing multi-functional, dormitory-based furniture such as beds and study tables, slowly progressing towards the development of smart furniture, including its materials, sensors and technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.
“The technologies and practices that are developed and applied within the automotive industry are in actuality transferable and applicable within other sectors. This technology spin of is key, as MARii expands its reach to enhances other sectors beyond the automotive sector”, said Azhar.
“We also believe that the launch of this programme in Sabah will allow this flourishing local sector to be further enhanced in line with future trends of furniture design and manufacturing, through the MARii Satellite in Sabah”, he added.
The industry-academia collaboration also aims to accelerate the transfer of know-how to the furniture market, and to develop further linkages in the styling and engineering design of furniture through MARii’s expansive network, through which a highly skilled local talent pool of designers and engineers can be produced.
“Industry 4.0 will create new business models for the Malaysian industries, and it will drive innovation, productivity and enhance competitiveness at a global scale. This can be only achieved through appropriate training and up-skilling of the Malaysian workforce for this new wave of manufacturing.”, said Professor Ajay Kapoor, Pro-Vice Chancellor, SUT.
MARii is keen to provide a great platform for talents in Sabah to develop and gain more opportunities in the market, which suits the trend and community demand for strategic and transformative design and development.