UNIVERSITI Brunei Darussalam (UBD) has begun a move to legally protect the work of its researchers and academic staff as its energy research has already generated a few research articles.
Intellectual property protection of its research material will help ensure the country's main university attain the objective of raising its academic ranking, said UBD Deputy Vice-Chancellor Associate Professor Dr Zohrah Hj Sulaiman.
"We aim to produce papers in tier one journals and patents from this research," she said, referring to high-impact scientific journals. "At present, energy research has generated research articles and (we are) in the process of filing for patents."
Speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony to mark the start of construction of a facility for such research, Dr Zohrah explained that targeting tier one scientific journals would help to raise UBD's prestige within the international community.
Having its research published in such globally-read journals would increase the chances of UBD's work being cited by others, which could improve the university's world ranking among other varsities, she told The Brunei Times.
"This will indeed help to realise our vision to become (one of the) top 50 universities in Asia by 2015."
As for protecting the university's work, Dr Zohrah said that UBD has its own intellectual property infrastructure for research. She added though that the university welcomed the recent announcement of a patent order being drafted by the government.
In his 65th birthday titah in July, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam said that the legislation on copyright would be enforced "InsyaAllah, not too long from now".
This also came with the announcement of a budget being prepared specifically for research and innovation under the National Development Plan.
"Through research and innovation, many ideas and thoughts can be developed. In light of this, let research and innovation have a solid base in shaping our economy, considering our small population," His Majesty said. "We must strengthen the necessary institution and infrastructure."
Dr Zohrah said that the research landscape at UBD has changed significantly with not only work on alternative energy being undertaken at the local university but also "cutting edge research in modelling and simulation" through the UBD/IBM Centre, and in efforts to expedite Brunei's e-government initiative through the e-Government Innovation Centre (eG.InC).
The availability of graduate research scholarships has also increased UBD's enrolment of graduate students, with a graduate student to every undergraduate student recorded in January 2011, the deputy vice-chancellor said.
"The pool of graduate students will help us to grow research and move towards a knowledge-based society," she said.
The university's anticipated Science and Technology building for its Energy Research Group, for which the foundation-laying ceremony was held yesterday, "will no doubt help to boost confidence among researchers in the university and shows how serious we are with our research agenda". The Brunei Times