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​UTP and Hitachi launch a research hub to promote global collaboration in Applied Brain Science for Optical Topography

(13 February 2017)  

Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), Hitachi Ltd. (Hitachi) and Hitachi Asia Ltd. (HAS) has recently announced that they have entered an agreement for UTP Centre for Intelligent Signal and Imaging Research (CISIR) to establish the first Optical Topography-Hub (OT-Hub) located outside of Japan to drive international joint research related to Optical Topography (OT) with technical support from Hitachi.


The CISIR OT-Hub will serve as the hub for an open innovation network - promoting joint research among universities, hospitals and companies to accelerate research in Applied Brain Science. UTP, Hitachi and HAS will collaborate with partners of the OT-Hub to solve a range of societal challenges related to medicine, education and other areas.


UTP CISIR first introduced OT technology to Malaysia in 2013, through joint research with Hitachi and HAS. OT is a technology developed by Hitachi that enables the non-invasive mapping of brain activity. It offers great potential as key enabling technology to develop solutions based on brain science as OT allows for the real-time measurement of brain function in our daily life.


The application of brain science technology in the fields of medicine, education and industry is expected to contribute to the realisation of improved quality of life (QoL) through better healthcare, learning experience and social living. To attain these goals, the development and validation of new solutions, as well as validation through collaboration with research institutes and companies in various fields, are required. The technology and knowledge attained through joint research between UTP and Hitachi will be shared with other collaborators of the OT-Hub, who will then conduct open multi-centre studies.


The representatives from UTP, HAS and Hitachi agreed on the CISIR OT-Hub launch.


Speaking at the event, Datuk Ir (Dr) Abdul Rahim Hashim, Vice Chancellor of UTP said that, "At UTP, we are not only committed to fundamental research, but also emphasise on translational research. We are committed to ensure that our research is impactful and beneficial to our society. UTP welcomes collaborations that would complement our research capability and strength in Applied Brain Science. The establishment of CISIR OT-Hub will assist our outreach efforts to serve the research and clinical community better, as we move towards global prominence. We are honoured to have this opportunity which further signifies UTP as the leading private university in Malaysia."


Dr. Norihiro Suzuki, Vice President, Executive Officer, and CTO of Hitachi, spoke of how "Hitachi aims to contribute to both economic growth and a high QoL as it undertakes to resolve various challenges in society through innovations in science and technology. In doing so, it is important to understand human and undertake human-centric technology development, that is, technology which enhances human well-being. The OT-Hub will serve as an integral role where expertise and knowledge in Applied Brain Science will be gathered and disseminated."​