SIRIM Bhd, the country's premier industrial research and development organisation, is going all out to reinvent and transform itself to spearhead technological developments in Malaysia and prioritise its offerings to support the needs of industries as a one-stop solutions provider.
SIRIM chief technology officer Ir Dr Mohamad Jamil Sulaiman said its new vision is to be a premier total solutions provider in quality and technology innovation, transforming the way the company does business.
Mohamad Jamil said transformation initiatives began this year, involving six strategies and three priority flagships areas - energy and environment, medical technology and plant and machinery.
"The transformation is in line with the government's aspiration to become a developed country in industrial technology development, producing home-grown products and becoming one of the world's top research and development agencies.
"By 2020, SIRIM aims to be a significant research and development organisation among its global counterparts, capable of developing technologies of significant global impact and enhance its products to meet the best international standards," said Mohamad Jamil.
"In future, it is hoped that SIRIM can rely less on government funding and generate its own revenue through royalty payments from its commercialised products. However, at present, SIRIM will need the utmost support from both the government and the private sector towards ensuring greater business sustainability in the long run, capable of meeting the growing needs of its stakeholders, businesses and end-users," he added.
Mohamad Jamil says the public is yet to be aware that SIRIM is not only just a standards and quality body but also carries out key research and development activities and many other services for the local industry and community.
"After an internal study as well as numerous discussions and gathering feedback from stakeholders who include industries and government agencies, we found that some of our activities are too specialised in one narrow field and do not cater to wholly fulfilling the needs of an industry," he said.
"So we decided to take on a multi-disciplinary approach, integrating several fields and prioritise three flagship areas to develop innovations that are ready for commercialisation right from the project completion stage."
For starters, Mohamad Jamil said, the body had merged its research and engineering divisions.
"This is part of our strategy to develop a product throughout its whole lifecycle - from conceptualisation and design into a full-fledged commercialised one.
"We want to make our services attractive and offer total solutions to our clients with the latest quality and technical innovation."
SIRIM will be able to provide the industry and end-users total solutions in research and development, testing and certification through its core business in technology development, technical services and conformity assessment, he added.
Mohamad Jamil said SIRIM wants to play an active role in Malaysia's aspiration to be a world champion with globally accepted products.
"SIRIM plays an important role in research and technology innovation as it helps translate what the industry wants into physical form.
"Many industries have a lot of ideas but can't translate them. We, at SIRIM, can help conceptualise and translate these ideas into physical form and turn them into a reality."
He said the government has helped a lot in providing facilities and it is inviting industries to explore them.
SIRIM also wants to tell industries that it has the best testing facilities with the best standards.
"SIRIM is recognised internationally and is intensifying joint collaborations, its recent one being a RM8.8 million project with the European Union to assist local SMEs cut carbon emissions through carbon footprint labelling," he said.
Mohamad Jamil said SIRIM is also placing itself in a leading role in promoting the application of new technological development at the international level through affiliations with foreign counterparts.
"We are a member of the Global Research Alliance (GRA), an alliance of nine knowledge-intensive organisations from around the world with a network of 50,000 scientists and engineers with expertise in a wide range of disciplines, committed to the promotion of science, technology and innovation in development."
SIRIM has also been hosting the Secretariat for the World Association of Industrial and Technological Organisations (WAITRO) since 2002. It has placed the company in a leading role in promoting the application of new technological development among 160 member organisations in 80 countries, Mohamad Jamil added.
He said SIRIM has some 10 potential products ready to be commercialised this year. Among them are the Lithium-Ion Polymer battery made primarily from padi husks and natural rubber; and carbon fibre technology, which is Sirim's processing technology to mass produce high-quality carbon fibre and develop pressure vessels for storing compressed natural gas in natural gas vehicles.