Science And Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development-Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (SATREPS-OTEC) Project Management Team and Secretariat had successfully organised the 4th Meeting of SATREPS-OTEC Programme for Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) with five outputs via an online platform, Cisco Webex Meetings from 24 till 26 August 2021.
In July 2019, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Ocean Thermal Energy Centre (OTEC) and Institute of Ocean Energy Saga University (IOES), Japan, formed a research collaboration to develop the first Hybrid Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (H-OTEC) Testing Facility at the International Institute of Aquaculture and Aquatic Science (I-AQUAS), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan. This project was funded by the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) of Japan and the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), Malaysia.
The objectives of this semi-annual meeting were to provide progress updates for each sub-project on general information, financial reporting, physical progress, challenges and activities plan for the next six months, to provide updates on the SATREPS-OTEC overall goal and project purpose through five outputs, as well as to discuss other arising matters, namely technical transfer activity plan and others.
These five outputs were the development of H-OTEC pilot plant that suits Malaysian environment, the optimum condition for H-OTEC in Malaysia was specified based on the experiment using pilot plant, a suitable combination of DSW multiple uses in Malaysia using H-OTEC was established, effects on the environment and CO2 emission were quantified, and the human capital on the OTEC technologies and the DSW multiple uses for business was developed.
The participants of the event included Project Leaders of 10 Sub-Projects from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), University of Malaya (UM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) as well as Project Members, Postgraduates Students and Interns from UTM, UPM, UKM, UM, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), UCSI University, and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS). The event was also attended by the Japanese Researchers from Saga University, University of Tokyo and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).
Among the Malaysian Officials present were representatives from the Special Funds and Coordination Section, Higher Education Institute of Research Management Division, Department of Higher Education, MoHE and International Cooperation Division, Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department. Also presented were Japanese Officials from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).
In general, despite the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic and the enforcement of a series of Movement Control Orders (MCOs) in Malaysia, all the 10 projects funded by MoHE have made some progress, and any shortfalls would be overcomed in the coming months and in the following budget year.
In addition, the preliminary findings were very encouraging, hence pose further possibilities in project enhancement and inter-project collaboration, namely the integration of projects under three Clusters; Heat exchanger, turbine and nanofluids (Cluster 1), Seaweed and abalone culture (Cluster 2) and Water quality analysis (Cluster 3).
Nevertheless, more efforts would be put in place to enhance education, technology transfer, information sharing, awareness promotion, visibility of all projects through registration of IPs and publication of impactful articles, and above all, the need to conduct pre-feasibility/feasibility studies at least at two selected sites in Sabah.