Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) with the support from Ministry of Education (MOE), Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM), KPerak Implementation & Coordination Corporation (KPerak) and Yayasan Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (YUTP) gathered more than 1,000 experts from over 40 countries from 3 to 5 June 2014 for a gathering of presentations, lectures, panel discussions and debates on research and innovation in the 3rd World Engineering, Science and Technology Congress (ESTCON2014) to determine a more sustainable future.
Held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the 3-day congress was the only event where industry, academia, government and the public converge to take part in global business roundtables to discuss ideas, share knowledge, learn about the latest inventions and research and facilitate commercialisation of ideas to the market that benefit industry and the economy.
ESTCON2014 is the largest congress in the world with nine simultaneously-held international conferences, namely International Conference on Integrated Petroleum Engineering & Geosciences (ICIPEG2014), International Conference on Civil, Offshore & Environmental Engineering (ICCOEE2014), International Conference on Production, Energy and Reliability (ICPER2014), International Conference on Process Engineering and Advanced Materials (ICPEAM2014), International Conference on Intelligent and Advanced System (ICIAS2014),International Conference on Computer & Information Sciences (ICCOINS2014), International Conference on Fundamental and Applied Science (ICFAS2014), International Conference on Leadership and Management (ICLM2014) and International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences (ICHSS2014).
Themed “Engineering, Science, Technology and Humanities: Convergence for a Sustainable Future”, it featured 20 parallel sessions and more than 1500 research and industry papers from around the world, bridging all community of experts in research and innovation.
21 plenary speakers, from various countries such as the United States of America, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Spain, China and Japan delivered their talk at the nine conferences accordingly.
There were a wide range of programmes including topics such as leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship and finance to technical topics of exploration, nanotechnology, green computing, environmental & water resource engineering, infra-structure, geo technology and transportation engineering.
Launching the congress on behalf of Second Education Minister, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, Dato' Seri Ir. Dr. Zaini Ujang said the ministry acknowledges the importance of integrating science with arts, humanities and philosophy.
“Universities should find a balance between social sciences and humanities with the fields of science, engineering and medicine. This must be translated into academic programmes and research initiatives.
“Sciences and humanities should never be marginalised as the arts and humanities nurture the critical and creative perspectives," he said.
Dato' Seri Ir. Dr. Zaini was also one of the keynote speakers who delivered his address titled “Demand-Driven Entrepreneurial Academic Ecosystem New Academia”.
The second keynote titled “The Path to a Sustainable Energy Future” was delivered by Prof Dr Paul Komor, the Energy Education Director at the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), University of Colorado Boulder, USA. He shared in the Nobel Peace Prize awarded in 2007 to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Organised since 2010, ESTCON has emphasised the importance of innovation, creativity and commercialisation. Continuing with this tradition, ESTCON2014 has introduced a new section called Innovation Pitching.
“The innovation pitching is designed to directly connect researchers and inventors to potential investors and business partners. In addition, it will create opportunities that will enable the university to increase revenue and create new jobs,” said Datuk Ir (Dr) Abdul Rahim Hashim, Vice Chancellor of UTP.
“The Innovation Pitching allowed participants from different categories to showcase and present their innovation products. Not only will it provide a platform for the university’s community to present their work, successful research and innovations will also gain reputable recognitions from external parties through the participation in this exhibition,” said Dr. Zulkifli Mohamed Hashim, Deputy Secretary General (Science) of Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), who represented YB Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah, Deputy MOSTI Minister for the closing ceremony on 5 June 2014.
“ESTCON2014’s Innovation Pitching is in line with MOSTI’s commercialisation year with the theme “Science, Technology and Innovation for Wealth Creation”. This initiative provides opportunities to technopreneurs to commercialise their R&D products while addressing key issues of commercialisation,” added Dr. Zulkifli.
Dr Zulkifli also presented the best papers and best presenters award for participants of ESTCON2014.
A total of 26 innovation pitches were carried out during the congress, with nine innovations are now in discussions with AIM and five with KPerak.
The main sponsors of the congress were PETRONAS and Exxon Mobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc as Diamond sponsors, while Dialog Group Berhad as the Gold sponsor.
In conjunction with ESTCON2014, UTP has also worked on a special Carbon Offset Project by planting 121 trees at the ESTCON Park, UTP campus. To reduce carbon footprint in organising ESTCON2014, UTP has focused on reducing and reworking strategies to minimise carbon dioxide in areas such as air travel, paper usage and electricity consumption. The trees were sponsored by the university’s staff and student. The sponsorship received was also channelled to YUTP Bursary Fund to provide a financial aid for UTP students of RM300,000 per semester.
The next ESTCON is scheduled to be held in 2016.