2 November 2019 – Osaka University (OU), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) and Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) held The Third Joint Symposium of Osaka University (OU) with Higher Educational Institutions of Brunei Darussalam at the Lecture Theatre 2, PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, UBD.

Following the success of the past symposia that took place at UBD and Osaka University, Japan on 21 February 2018 and 6 August 2018 respectively; the 3rd Symposium with the theme ‘Innovation in Science and Technology’ is held to focus on the joint research conducted so far and also the way forward with the outcome of the research. This symposium hopes to share findings and results of the collaboration as well as to determine areas that has potential for collaboration.

The symposium began with welcoming remarks by Yang Mulia Prof. Dr. Kazumasa Hirata, Director of Campus Innovation Unit, OU. In his remarks, he highlighted that the main objective of OU’s partnerships with the Higher Education Institutions in the country is to develop its human resource capacity, enabling its people to work successfully and effectively in an international setting and environment.

Officiating the symposium was the Guest of Honour, Yang Mulia Dr. Haji Azman bin Ahmad, Permanent Secretary (Higher Education), Ministry of Education. “Brunei Darussalam is fortunate to have such partnerships that enables us to progressively move towards reaching the global standard in research and innovation as well as improving the quality of our lecturers and students,” said Dr. Haji Azman in his welcoming remarks. He added that with the advancement of technology and knowhow will help to work hand-in-hand in discovering new bio-based products, which will inevitably replace the non-Halal ingredients, and even in discovering new environmentally friendly products.

Also present were Vice-Chancellor of UBD, Yang Mulia Datin Dr. Dayang Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Aziz; Rector of UNISSA, Yang Mulia Dr. Haji Norarfan bin Haji Zainal; Acting Vice-Chancellor of UTB, Yang Mulia Awang Haji Ady Syarmin bin Hj Md Taib; representatives from governmental bodies, Osaka University and Higher Educational Institutions in Brunei.

The one-day symposium was divided into three scientific sessions. The first session focuses on the area of Bioresource and Biotechnology (BB) facilitated by Prof. Dr. Masayoshi Arai from OU. The speakers comprise of eight Academics from OU, UBD and UTB. Speakers from OU; Professor Dr. Masayoshi Arai – talked on Bioactive compounds from Marine resources and their mode of action; and Professor Dr. Kazuhito Fujiyama touched on International collaborations for Bioresource and Biotechnology. Representing UBD were, Dr. Hartini Hj Mohd Yassin on Antioxidant Activities in selected plants of Brunei Darussalam, Dr. Fairuzeta Hj Muhd Ja’afar, in which she highlighted on Utilising local bioresources: Virgin coconut oil and stingless bee. It was then followed by Dr. Yasuaki Tanaka in which his topic was on Environmental gradients and aquatic plant diversity in Brunei river and Brunei bay. UTB was represented by Dr. Syazana Abdullah Lim. Her topic was on the Development of intelligent packaging based on starch and ploy (lactic acid) bilayer films. Meanwhile Dr. Aida Maryam Basri, also from UTB focuses on Cytotoxicity and antioxidant activities of selected Brunei medicinal plants for development of functional foods.

The second session on NanoTechnology and Photonics (NTP) was facilitated by Professor Dr. Eiichi Tamiya from OU. The speakers include two Academics from OU, Professor Dr. Eiichi Tamiya highlighted on Nanophotonics and electrochemical biosensors for medical applications while Professor Dr. Yoshihiro Kobayashi explained on Structure-controlled synthesis of Nanocarbon materials by high temperature process. Dr. Minhaz Uddin Ahmed from UBD, presentation title was From Biomarker discovery to detection: Halal food analysis in Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

The final scientific session of the joint symposium was on Halal Science and Technology (HST) facilitated by Professor Dr. Quamrul Hasan from OU. A total of five Academicians from OU and UNISSA spoke in this session. Representing OU were, Professor Dr. Quamrul Hasan highlighting on the Development of halal science and technology leading to development of global halal industry by utilizing Japan’s strength; and Associate Professor Dr. Yoshinori Sumimura. He focuses onFood insecurity and food loss: Structural comparison between Brunei and Japan. Presenters from UNISSA, Hjh Norliza Mahalle presented a talk on An Attempt in strengthening food safety and halalness through halal logistics system; Pg. Dr. Hjh Norkhairiah Pg Hj Hashim speaking on Traditional Bruneian sausage (belutak): A research on Halalan Thayyiban aspect; and lastly Ms. Raihana Mohd Raffi, whose talk focused on Food quality and safety in Japan: Exploring Halalan Thayyiban aspect.

This symposium then proceeded with poster session, parallel discussion sessions and combined presentation sessions. The symposium concluded with a discussion on the measure of success of the collaboration between OU and Higher Educational Institutions of Brunei Darussalam.

All sessions resulted in fruitful discussion and with potential collaborative activities between the Universities.

The collaboration between OU and the Higher Educational Institutions in Brunei Darussalam officially commenced on 22 February 2019 under the project of Osaka University-ASEAN Campus. Its establishment coincided with the opening of Osaka University Office (ASEAN Campus) in Brunei Darussalam by the Executive Vice President of Osaka University, Professor Kawahara.

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