Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and EVYD Technology signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for joint research; training; and to increase the university's international exposure and recognition in the fields of research, education and in training programs of mutual interest.
The MOU will run for an initial five years, with an option to extend for another five years. It was signed by Chua Ming Jie, CEO of EVYD Technology, and Dr Hazri Haji Kifle, Vice Chancellor of UBD.
Under the MOU, EVYD Technology and UBD will explore collaborative research and studies in fields of mutual interest. For instance, EVYD Technology and UBD are currently working with the Ministry of Health, Brunei on a joint study of adverse events arising from COVID-19 vaccination.
The two MOU partners are also undertaking a research study with the ministry and Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. This study involves the cPass Neutralisation Antibody Detection Kit, which measures the real-world evidence of different COVID-19 vaccines in generating neutralising antibodies against the virus. The results of the study will allow the ministry to assess the immunogenicity of the different vaccines used in the country, as well as inform policy decision-making for any booster program and risk stratified COVID-19 management. The second phase is a longitudinal study where participants from the first phase of the study will be followed up at different timelines within 12 months of vaccination, regardless of their history of COVID-19 infection after vaccination.
Beyond this, EVYD Technology and UBD are also working with the Ministry of Health on a microbiome study involving the same participants from the cPass study. The research will study how the microbiome profile of an individual affects the immunogenicity of different COVID-19 vaccines. It involves the collection of stool samples of participants after COVID-19 vaccination or infection for analysis of their gut microbiome profile, and correlation with their neutralising antibodies.
The MOU also provides for industrial attachments and training stints for UBD students and staff with EVYD Technology and its affiliated companies. The scope may include study visits, field work, discussions, seminars, work attachments and training courses. EVYD Technology may also send its staff to conduct lectures at UBD to educate and equip the students with relevant skills, as well as share their experiences.
EVYD Technology may also participate in the UBD digital industry laboratory where real-life industry projects will be conducted by students and staff, in addition to plans to organize and participate in joint academic and scientific activities such as seminars, short courses and conferences for knowledge transfer and capacity building.
Chua Ming Jie, CEO of EVYD Technology, said: "We are pleased to sign this Memorandum of Understanding with Universiti Brunei Darussalam, and it is the latest initiative to reinforce our strong relationship. We have already been working with the university on several projects, as well as recruited its graduates."
"This agreement is a further testament to our commitment to develop the talent pool, research capacity and healthcare ecosystem in Brunei. It ties in squarely with our philosophy on engaging the research community and the many other stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem. Research is the core element that drives the insights and knowledge to power our solutions and enable our artificial intelligence and big data to deliver analyses for more informed decision-making."
"This MOU will bring our partnership with Universiti Brunei Darussalam to the next level. We look forward to working further with them on research, education and training that will benefit the health of many people."
"We are very pleased to sign this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with EVYD Technology," UBD Vice Chancellor Dr Hazri Haji Kifle said. "This MOU reaffirms UBD's pursuit of academic and research excellence through strategic university-industry partnership. It will undoubtedly pave the way for more joint research projects with national relevance that bring deep societal impact, as well as promote more staff and student exchange."
He added, "Leveraging the expertise of EVYD Technology in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, our collaboration with EVYD will ensure our curriculum stays relevant and current in today's ever-changing digital landscape, thus allowing us to produce industry-ready graduates."
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