Najib: Researchers must be rewarded for their work

Ministry of Science, Education and Technology,

03.08.2007 | PUTRAJAYA: Local researchers must benefit financially if their findings are commercially viable, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. He said they must be rewarded, either by having shares in the spin-off company or a cut of the profits, for their R&D work. "We must ensure that the R&D work conducted in our universities can be commercialised via collaborative efforts with other agencies such as the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry as well as venture capitalists.

"They should be given a part of or an interest in the spin-off companies," he said in his speech at the National Academician Awards here yesterday. At the ceremony, four universities - Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia - received declaration letters from the Higher Education Ministry on their new status as research universities. The status will allow each of them to enjoy an additional allocation of RM153mil for management and development for each year over the next three years. Later, when opening the 5th International Convention of Asia Scholars, Najib said Asian countries, with its diversity, should strengthen as one by learning from one another. "There are those who hold steadfastly to the view that Asia can never be strong as a united region because it is simply too diverse. The simple equation is that where there are too many differences, there can never be consensus, and where there is no consensus then there is no strength in unity. "I am not in agreement with this logic as I choose to see the diversity in a more positive light. Because we are so different in our respective histories, our cultural makeup and our political evolution and because Asia is so vast, there is all that much more to learn from each other.

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Author | bptm