Participating in innovative competitions is also an essential part of our branding process. BICTA 2015 is an annual competition organised by the Ministry of Communications and supported by Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry (AiTI) to stimulate innovation and creativity in the ICT industry and open to the public and students. This year, there was a joint effort between ILO and BICTA organisers to conduct a roadshow and information-sharing session to garner interests from the students and academics. This resulted in the submission of 5 entries from UBD in the Tertiary Education category with one of the entries winning the Special Award for Green ICT with a project titled ‘Intelligent Energy Monitoring and Management System.’
The Industry Liaison Office (ILO) has been keeping abreast of trends and developments in the areas of technology transfer by participating and attending conferences such as the inaugural event U-Start hosted by UMCIC (University Malaya Centre of Innovation and Commercialisation), ASEAN U-Start, ASEAN Economic Community Forum, AUTM (Association of University Technology Managers) Asia, amongst others.
These events not only increases information-sharing but also helped in building networks and create new partnerships for our new office, that will be beneficial and rewarding for all parties concerned. UBD has since signed with Platcom Ventures in May 2015, which is the national commercialization agency in Malaysia that sits under the purview of AIM (Agensi Inovasi Malaysia), to assist ILO in the commercialization activities of its patents. Furthermore, ILO is also in active discussions with other Technology Transfer Offices (TTO) such as NUS Enterprise, ISIS Innovation Oxford, etc on sharing best-practices and exploring possible collaborations.
ILO was also invited to attend a two-week training program sponsored by Japan Patent Office (JPO) on Managing Intellectual Property (IP). The course was useful in deepening our knowledge in Intellectual Property as well as learning efficient and effective methods in managing these IPs specifically for universities and learning institutions.
Industry outreach is also a critical component for ILO. ILO is actively engaging with both local and international companies to seek research, consultancy and commercialization opportunities. ILO is currently in talks with one of the major players in the aviation industry in engaging expertise and skills available in UBD to assist in its operations. ILO has also started discussions with international companies such as Panasonic, General Electric on possible opportunities for collaboration in research and commercialization.
Universiti Brunei Darussalam researchers play an important role in advancing research and technologies in the country. Consequently patenting and commercialization of IP has significant importance in protecting and utilizing the full potential of these technologies. The infographic outlines UBD’s technology trends:
To date UBD has filed 33 inventions for National and International Technologies and out of these, three inventions have already been granted patents one each in Brunei, Singapore, and the USA. The technology portfolio is diverse and covers different industry needs. Most of UBD technologies are research outputs by researchers from different faculties. In addition to National Protection for all cases, 23 inventions have been filed in the USA. Inventions that have been granted patents include flower power, tapecasting machine, and improvement of power factor.
The technology related to improvement of power factor has been granted a joint USA patent to UBD and IBM. The Power factor improvement removes inefficiencies in electric power systems by scheduling inductive and capacitive appliances together. This helps to circulate the reactive power between capacitive and inductive appliances in order to minimize the back and forth movement of reactive power between source and load. The researchers estimated that if the technology were to be implemented, the average household could save around 5% – 15% on energy costs depending on other parameters.
A patent in Singapore was granted on Tape casting which is a well-known technique for the fabrications of thin ceramic substrates. The invention, however, is a low-cost alternative to the more elaborate conventional tape casting machines which require larger foot-prints and large quantities of raw materials. This invention thus brings simplicity and practicality for tape casting to be applied for smaller scale requirements – such as for use in teaching and demonstrations – and mainly for small-scale casting of prototype substrates.
Method of generating current using flower pigments of Scurulla ferruginea, an angiosperm aerial hemiparasitic plant, commonly known as mistletoes was granted patent in Brunei. Mistletoes have spectacular abilities to adapt to their environment including the competitive advantage of absorbing more sunlight energy than other plants that live in lower strata. The mistletoe flowers provide dyes (pigments) for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC). The function of the dyes, as in the photochemical phase of photosynthesis, absorbs solar radiation. The simple production method brings down the cost by replacing synthetic dyes with naturally occurring ones. Natural dye can be produced by simpler processing methods, and this invention has a low cost novel process of dyes extraction from plant pigments of Scurulla ferruginea. The other added advantage of the dye production method is the reduced toxicity of the by-products. The groups of pigment extracted are anthocyanin, charlcones and aurones.