Smart Technology, AI, Robotics & Algorithm discussed at IBC 2023

Front row, from left: Mr Eddie Mok, Prof Dato’ Ewe, Mr Nelson Beh and Prof Choong

The 6th Industrial Business Conference (IBC) 2023, themed The 4th IR: Smart Technology, AI, Robotics & Algorithms, took place at Sungai Long Campus from 28 November 2023 to 29 November 2023. The conference aimed to convene industry experts for discussions on current global concerns and business trends, fostering the exchange and sharing of knowledge. 

Organised annually by the UTAR Student Development and Alumni Relations (SDAR) team, which consists of the Department of Student Affairs (DSA), the Department of Soft Skills Competency (DSSC), the Department of International Student Services (DISS), the Department of Financial and Students Aid (DFSA), and the Department of Alumni Relations and Placement (DARP), the event this year was organised in collaboration with Persatuan Usahawan Maju Malaysia (PUMM), UTAR’s external industry MoU partner.

It was also held in collaboration with the Division of Community and International Networking (DCInterNet), the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Computing Applications, the Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science, and the Department of Modern Languages.

Present at the opening ceremony were UTAR President Ir Prof Dato’ Dr Ewe Hong Tat, Persatuan Usahawan Maju Malaysia (PUMM) National Deputy President Mr Nelson Beh, UTAR Vice President for Student Development and Alumni Relations Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong, and Parcel 365 Sdn Bhd Founder and CEO Mr Eddie Mok.

Prof Dato’ Ewe said in his opening speech, “As part of a holistic approach to preparing our students to become more digitally competent, we have collaborated with industries and encouraged our students to participate in competitions, research, and entrepreneurial projects that would showcase their skills and talents. It is important that our students have the opportunity to experience these impacts first-hand, so they can better understand the way digital integration has benefitted businesses and community.”

Prof Dato’ Ewe delivering his speech

Mr Nelson Beh said, “As a proud co-organiser representing PUMM, it is an honour to collaborate with UTAR for this event that holds immense significance in forest entrepreneurship and economic growth. PUMM has been at the forefront of empowering entrepreneurs and driving Malaysian economic development for the past 30 years. Our mission is the commitment to developing an ecosystem that inspires and nurtures Malaysian entrepreneurs and communities. Our focus extends to promoting entrepreneurship at a grassroots level, particularly within schools and universities. We firmly believe that students upon graduation should not merely view themselves as an employee, but as potential employers and entrepreneurs. We are here to facilitate knowledge sharing, mentorship and community building, empowering student entrepreneurs to transcend their academic journey and achieve their entrepreneurial goals.”

Mr Nelson Beh sharing his experience

Mr Eddie Mok delivered a thought-provoking keynote on the concept of “Digital Village”, offering insights into its implications for the industrial landscape. He founded Parcel365 and Shopla365 to bridge rural digital gaps. Collaborating with Measat, he provided satellite internet services to over 3,000 villages through a profit-sharing model. Mr Eddie Mok addressed payment issues, introduced digital payment habits, and ensured stable electricity using solar panels. Focusing on customer experience, he established service stations with computers and regular product deliveries. Inspired by China’s model, Mr Eddie Mok created a sustainable digital ecosystem, engaging local youth in production and sharing sales revenue with villagers. His initiatives positively impacted rural income and education, and contributed to Malaysia’s digital rural economy.

Mr Eddie Mok sharing his experience of founding Parcel365

Following a luncheon session, Mr Robert Ng Hock Leong, Consultant/Technical Advisor at YEN Premium Coach, delved into the practical applications of Industry 4.0 in manufacturing and farming, highlighting both its progress and challenges. A forum titled “Sustainable Growth of New Villages SMEs in the Era of the 4th Industrial Revolution” ensued, moderated by Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) academic Ts Dr Wong Whee Yen. The discussion, which centred on the 4th Industrial Revolution, featured industry experts such as Mr Eddie Mok, LKC FES academic Ir Dr Danny Ng Wee Kiat, Sempah T-Farm Co-founder Mr Edwin Chin, and MG Formula's Special Advisor Mr A. F. Loke. The insightful session explored strategies for fostering sustainable growth among SMEs in emerging villages.

Mr Robert Ng

From left: Dr Winnie Wong, Mr Eddie Mok, Dr Danny Ng, Mr Edwin Chin and Mr Loke

On the second day, LKC FES Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Computing Applications Chairperson Prof Ts Dr Yau Kok Lim explored the harmonious integration of humans and robots, shedding light on future collaborations between man and machine. A Mandarin session delved into the intersection of TikTok, entrepreneurship, and AI for creating secondary income streams. The session was led by industry experts, namely The Future Brands Sdn Bhd Director Mr Hoe Wai Khuen and Non-Executive Director Mr Eric Lim Jing Jie.

Prof Yau talking about collaborations between humans and robots

From left: Mr Hoe and Mr Eric Lim

In the afternoon, Prof Ts Dr Yau Kok Lim moderated an English forum. He discussed the reshaping of business models in the 4th Industrial Revolution, with a specific focus on Artificial Intelligence. The invited experts were Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU / APIIT) Assoc Prof Dr Lai Nai Shyan, VSNR Partner Ms Sabrina Tan, SanWei Consulting General Manager Mr Ricky Sio, and GoAutomate Sdn Bhd Managing Director Mr Tan Wei Qiang.

From left: Prof Yau, Dr Lai, Ms Sabrina Tan, Mr Ricky Sio and Mr Tan

Prof Choong said in his closing speech, “I would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to all of you for attending and participating in this conference. We genuinely value your presence. Organising this event has not been easy, especially after the pandemic. This marks our first physical conference post-pandemic, while we consistently held virtual conferences each year, uninterrupted even during the pandemic. These virtual events provided valuable opportunities for students to learn and engage with our industrial partners. We believe our industrial partners have contributed significantly by providing advice, various perspectives, and constructive feedback for our continuous improvement.”

Prof Choong delivering his speech

This conference was made possible through the generous sponsorships of Parcel 365 Sdn Bhd, MG Formula Sdn Bhd, The Future Brands, The Everly Group Sdn Bhd, ASK Education & Training Sdn Bhd, Public Mutual Berhad, Prescott Ace KL-Cheras, Ascella Consulting Sdn Bhd, and Jom Global. Additionally, the event received support from Mr Lim Yong Joo and Mr Vincent Hoh.

The exhibition booth during the conference

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