13 January 2020 – A signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) and Gropoint Sendirian Berhad was held at the Main Conference Room, UTB.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Guest of Honour, Yang Mulia Professor Dr. Dayang Hajah Zohrah binti Haji Sulaiman, the Vice-Chancellor of UTB.

The MOU was signed by the Director of Centre for Research on Agri-Food Science and Technology (CrAFT), Yang Mulia Professor Dr. Beston Faek Nore for UTB, while signing on behalf of Gropoint was Yang Mulia Mr Lee Wei Sheng, the Chief Executive Officer.

Also present at the ceremony were UTB Principal Officers, representatives from Gropoint, officers from the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood (DoAA) of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, staff and students of the University.

Under the MOU, UTB and Gropoint, a producer and exporter of specialty muskmelon will work together in the fields of research and development, education and in specialized training programmes. Through the MOU, Gropoint will also provide industrial placement opportunities for the students and staff of the University.

Currently, two UTB postgraduate students under the Food Science and Technology programme area from the School of Applied Sciences and Mathematics (SASM) have initiated their research activities in collaboration with Gropoint and, Department of Agriculture and Agrifood (DoAA) of Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism. The students are studying and gathering data on morphological and physiological characteristics of locally grown Japanese muskmelon and also doing scientific investigation on packaging technology for export for these specialty muskmelon.

Future collaborative plans between Gropoint and UTB will also include Research and Development (R&D) in the areas of marketing; post-harvest studies; disease and pest management; and food product development. These efforts are part of CrAFT’s strategic plans to translate research outcomes into products and process as well as on-going efforts to link academia with the industries.

In providing quality education, UTB emphasizes on the importance of close linkages between industry and academia for its students to receive first-hand exposure to the real world. These efforts will also help in the development of agri-food industries in the country in general, particularly in contributing to the enhancement and application of scientific knowledge as well as technical capabilities.

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