UBD Signs Statement of Interest With Panasonic Corporation
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Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and Panasonic Corporation have inked a Statement of Intent on Cooperation to explore the possibilities to develop prototypes by UBD in collaboration with potential or existing startups with Intellectual Property and technical support from Panasonic Corporation. The signing took place on Dec 6, 2018 at the Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam. The agreement was signed by Pg Dr Mohamad Iskandar Pg Hj Petra, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Yoshiaki Tokuda, Director, Intellectual Property Center of Panasonic Corporation.

Present to witness the signing were the Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam His Excellency Motohiko Kato, UBD Vice Chancellor Datin Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Aziz, representatives from BRUIPO and Darussalam Enterprise (DARe), and UBD officers.

UBD has been in discussion with Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) since September 2018 to explore collaborative opportunities between Japanese corporations and UBD in using the former's Intellectual Property, specifically patents to boost commercialization. Panasonic was identified as one such company that UBD can collaborate with and it is also aligned with UBD's vision as the University of Innovation and Enterprise.

The signing marks a major milestone for UBD as it links the university with one of the major industry players in technology as well as research and development. Exploring this new linkage, patents that match UBD researchers' interests mean that the university's research and development cycle may be significantly shortened, hastening its commercialization efforts.

Panasonic Corporation is a major supplier to the Intellectual Property market with over 180,000 granted patents and 690,000 patent applications. The model to support start-ups by providing both Intellectual Property and technical support is beneficial to both parties.

The ambassador expressed interest in how engineers, scientists and experts will explore the Intellectual Property to create prototypes which can lead to new businesses and startups. Pointing out how Brunei Darussalam is in need of such innovations, His Excellency also hopes to see the youth take the initiative and take advantage of the huge potential this partnership holds.

Pg Dr Mohamad Iskandar, during the press conference following the signing ceremony, explained that the synergy between existing patents and experts in UBD and Panasonic Corporation can greatly close the gap between research, development and the creation of novel products. With the signing, UBD hopes to continue the dialogue with Panasonic Corporation and realize the full potential of this partnership.

UBD is currently ranked 34th in the world's top universities under 50 years. This year, QS has classified UBD as 'very high' research intensive, the highest level of recognition for this category and a trait possessed by other top universities in the world. UBD is also one of the leading innovative research institutions in Brunei with over 50 patents filed and 23 patents granted which are ready for licensing both locally and internationally. UBD has signed their first licensing agreement for an 'Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Fungal Photocatalytic Smart Coating' technology with Smart Coating Technologies (B) Sdn Bhd in May 2018. For more information on UBD's Innovation and Enterprise, please contact Industry Liaison Office at office.ieo@ubd.edu.bn.

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