| Syazwani Hj Rosli & Zee Yusri |
TWO topics were highlighted yesterday during a symposium dubbed ‘Innovation in Science’ by two notable presenters at the Knowledge Convention 2014.
Present during the symposium were Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Wahab bin Juned, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dato Paduka Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar, Permanent Secretary (Technical and Professional) at the Ministry of Development and Haji Yahya bin Haji Idris, Permanent Secretary (Corporate Affairs and Public Administration) at the PMO.
The first presentation on ‘Lessons from 1,000 Years of Innovation to Inspire Young Learners and Business Leaders’, delivered by Professor Dr Salim Al Hassani, President of Science, Technology and Civilisation of the United Kingdom, shared the scientific legacy of Muslims’ contribution to the world towards civilisation.
Explaining his book, “1,001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World”, Prof Dr Salim highlighted how the scientific and technological achievements made by numerous men and women of various faiths and cultures, contributed in generating new scientific inventions in enriching the lives of the societies in which they were a part of.
His presentation encouraged youth to re-perceive the past so as to alter the world towards the betterment of society. It also highlighted the commercial aspect that needs a new business paradigm; one that is ethically-guided and culturally rooted.
He also emphasised how the book is reaching millions of young people and inspired them to seek achievements in the field of science, technology and innovation.
The term “TAJiR”, as emphasised in his presentation, refers to an Arabic word for merchant or businessman where T stands for Taqwa (Awareness of God), A for Amanah (Trustworthiness), J for Juraah/Jasarah (Courage) and R for Rahmah (Mercy).
It is believed that early Muslim leaders had the TAJiR characteristics. Today’s businesses would benefit from such traits, it was explained at the presentation.
The second presentation was by Associate Professor Dr Hajah Zohrah binti Haji Sulaiman, Acting Vice-Chancellor of Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB) titled ‘Innovation Unleashed: The Role of Higher Education Institutions’.
She mentioned that the higher education institutions (HEIs) are agencies for producting of new knowledge and there is a need for their institutions to be steered towards building, assessing, sustaining and divesting knowledge and innovations for the overall requirements of the societies, governments, enterprises and stakeholders worldwide.
Dr Hajah Zohrah highlighted that in order to cater for the demands of globalisation, Brunei’s HEIs will fuel the nation’s innovation and economic growth by providing 21st century learning and strategic research agenda.
“Education has to be shaped for future-readiness including meeting the demand of the global job market.”
She also mentioned that innovations such as nanotechnology, information technology and communications, has already boosted world GDP.
“HEIs are to push boundaries in providing education goals that include technological innovations from research activities.
“They should also encourage and foster students to be entrepreneurial and be able to become problem solvers. Innovation will continue to thrive in HEIs and other relevant agencies including industries will play pivotal role in assisting HEIs to commercialise their innovative products,” concluded the acting vice-chancellor.
Today will see another symposium dubbed ‘Emerging Science’, with two highlighted topics – ‘Nanotechnology: The Enabling Tool for the 21st Century’ by Professor Dr Jackie Y Ying and ‘Inflammasomes: Redefining the Way We Understand Cancer’ by Dr Adi bin Dato Paduka Haji Idris.