In 2003, the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), Taiwan, together with the Presidents of prestigious universities of Southeast Asian countries initiated the "Presidents' Forum of Southeast Asia and Taiwan Universities" (SATU Presidents' Forum), a platform for academia and international cooperation. Through the partnership and friendship in SATU, the Universiti Malaya (UM)-NCKU Joint Research Center at the UM-Industrial Innovation Center (eUM-IIC), Faculty of Engineering was established in 2017. This center initially focused on biomedical engineering, and later expanded to include areas such as medical, engineering and dental science. Special programs such as dual PhD degree programs, mutual faculty and student exchange/visiting programs, joint research programs, innovation pitch/competition programs and joint academia–industry projects were initiated between the two universities to strengthen the collaboration through education, research and innovation.
Last year, the Office of International Affairs of NCKU was empowered to leverage on different resources and explores the best possibilities towards a multilateral academia-industry-government-alumni exchange and a multi-facet network bridging academic research to industrial application. As a result, the functions of the UM-NCKU Joint Research Center were upgraded and the NCKU Overseas Hub in Malaysia was launched on August 13, 2020 as a proof of deep commitment and unflinching support to accelerate cross-border collaborative projects.
UM as the host university is currently ranked 59th by the QS World University Rankings 2021 and, this is the first year that the other four Malaysian research universities; Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) are ranked among the world’s top 200. This exciting news has made Malaysia as an attractive target for NCKU and overseas partners.
The NCKU Overseas Hub in Malaysia aspires to encourage and promote NCKU and Malaysian academicians and industrial players to join forces in closing the gaps between research, innovation and entrepreneurship.