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The Great Lab 2014

Where greater solutions are created

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Made by engineers and scientists

The Great Lab (TGL) is a student-led initiative to gather industrial problem statements from science, technology and engineering companies, and challenge all Malaysians overseas to solve them. TGL, my friends, is a dare.

We started off in a little meeting room in London. Engineers and scientists from 9 different universities in France and UK came together to discuss technology advancement in our home country and how we can contribute to it. It was then we realized how little we know about our home - we know nothing of the vast solar panel fields or the world class fabrication plants, the Olympic standards of our communication unit development capabilities, or the cutting edge microprocessor research. We want to know more, see more, and do more.

Hence TGL was born. You will be exposed to the current state of the advanced research going on in Malaysia, through seminars, workshops, interactive sessions with professionals, and industrial mentorship and placements. You will be introduced to the working environments in the industry. You will build up new useful skills. You will learn of the amazing opportunities back home. You will tackle and solve industrial challenges, and see your ideas come to life!

So, come on! Accept this dare. Join The Great Lab.

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Supported by leaders and visionaries

  • CREST Malaysia

Get Involved

If you would like to contribute to The Great Lab as a project sponsor please get in touch with us at [email protected] for more details. We cannot wait to welcome you aboard!

Altera Corporation

Altera Corporation is the world's pioneer of system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) solutions founded in 1983. With annual revenues in CY 2009 of US$1.20 billion, Altera combines the reprogrammable logic technology originally invented in 1983 with software tools, intellectual property (IP), and design services to provide high-value programmable solutions to approximately 14,000 customers worldwide. Altera is headquartered in San Jose, California, and employs approximately 3,000 people in 19 countries.

In the Altera® Penang Technical Center, more than 1000 engineers currently work on all aspects of R&D including VLSI Design, Layout, Test and Software Development. These graduates from all over the world use state-of-the-art CAD tools to develop multimillion transistors Programmable Logic Devices and associated software. This includes the high-density Stratix® II FPGAs, Stratix® II GX FPGAs, low-cost Cyclone II ® FPGAs, HardCopy® II Structured ASICs, low-cost MAX® II CPLDs, Quartus® II Software and extensive IP offering which are Altera's latest products.

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Clarion's history is closely tied to the history of the automobile industry itself. As a worldwide front-runner who created Japan's first car radio and Japan's first car stereo, Clarion has always led the field in any era. We give top priority to understanding driver needs and supporting them through sure technology, as well as steadfastly proposing unique new products based upon our advanced creativity. From car radio to audio-visual devices and beyond to car navigation systems, although times may change, we will continue to pursue the "ideal interface for music and information" for the car as well as all other mobile environments, as "Clarion H.M.I."

Since its inception in 1970, Clarion Malaysia has always adopted the philosophy of providing superior products to our customers and being creative in meeting our customer's needs. Since then, Clarion Malaysia has evolved towards fulfilling its vision as a company to manufacture Malaysian-made world class in-car entertainment products for the global market. The activities of Clarion Malaysia encompasses a wide range of activities, from design, development, production, quality control to marketing, sales and warranty services.

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Intel Malaysia is a multi-national company. It is one of the largest assembly and test facilities supporting a broad product range such as microprocessors, chipsets, network processors and system on chip (SOC) for the semiconductor industry. Established in 1972, it is the first and largest offshore Intel site. Today with about more than 9,000 employees across two campuses located in Penang and Kulim, Intel Malaysia has developed into a mature site with multi-functions in manufacturing, design and development, as well as local and global support services. Intel Malaysia has also produced leaders to cater to the site, regional and global needs. The company's success is credited to its diverse employees' dedication, innovation and commitment.

Beyond Assembly & Test, Intel Malaysia has scaled to add value-added Design and Development capability. The Malaysia Design Centre engineers contributed significantly to Intel's latest 4th Generation Core processor (Haswell), launched in June 2013 at Computex. The team also is significantly involved in the development of current and future generation Clover Trail, Bay Trail and Broadwell platforms.

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Motorola Solutions

Motorola Solutions connects people through technology. Businesses and government agencies around the world turn to Motorola Solutions innovations when they want highly connected teams that have the information they need throughout their workdays and in the moments that matter most to them. You can find Motorola Solutions products and services in a wide range of workplaces. From the retail floor to the warehouse floor, and from the small town police station to the most secure government offices, our products support customers who make up the diverse global economy. We are proud that our products support mobile transactions of all kinds, as well as the safety and security of citizens everywhere.

Our customers rely on us for the expertise, services and solutions we provide, trusting our years of invention and innovation experience. By partnering with customers and observing how our products can help in their specific industries, we are able to enhance our customers' experience everyday.

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National Instruments

National Instruments Global is transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for measurement, automation and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware, and sells to a broad base of more than 30,000 different companies worldwide, with its largest customer representing approximately 4 percent of revenue in 2010 and no one industry representing more than 15 percent of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has approximately 5,200 employees and direct operations in more than 40 countries.

National Instruments ASEAN opened its doors in Singapore in 1994. Led by Southeast Asia Managing Director, Chandran Nair, NI ASEAN also has direct field offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam. NI ASEAN is one of six regional operations in Asia Pacific, along with China, Japan, Korea, India and Oceania. Our consistent growth and rapid expansion in Southeast Asia is testament to the success we have enjoyed in the adoption of Graphical System Design platform across diverse industries in ASEAN.

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OSRAM Opto Semiconductors (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd first established its presence in Penang in 1972. And we were one of the pioneer companies to be set up on the island, widely recognized as the Silicon Valley of the East and home to many of the world's multinational corporations. Today, as one of the largest and best equipped OSRAM Opto Semiconductors production facilities, with an overall floor space of 55,000 square meters, the Penang operations features cutting-edge development capabilities and has already employed 4,900 staff as of 2013.

Currently OSRAM is a significant participant in the professional opto semiconductors market, with substantial market shares in Surface Mounted LED, Intelligent Displays, Infrared Components and High Power Laser Diodes. In 2009, we expanded our production capacity by opening a new LED chip fabrication plant, the world's most advanced chip factory. By supplementing the Regensburg production site in manufacturing LED chips, this plant is the first to export strategic technological capabilities to a region outside of Germany.

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Penchem designs and manufactures advanced materials especially for the electronic and automotive industries. It is a wholly owned Malaysian company established in 1999. The factory is located in Penang, Malaysia. We are therefore at a strategic location to serve customers in the Far East, Europe and USA. Penchem has a wide range of advanced material products. These include LED encapsulation silicones, LED epoxies, thermal conductive materials, silver electrical conductive pastes, fast cure UV adhesives and customized products.

Customer satisfaction is our top priority. We have the capability to formulate special adhesives to exact customer requirements, at competitive prices, and within a few weeks. We will like to establish long-term partnerships with our customers. Therefore no order is ever too small for us. We have the confidence that our customers and their projects will continuously grow.

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Silterra is a project of strategic national interest to promote front-end semiconductor manufacturing and a catalyst for high technology investments in Malaysia. It was founded in November 1995 as Wafer Technology Malaysia Sdn Bhd and was renamed as Silterra Malaysia Sdn Bhd in December 1999. Silterra broke ground on first manufacturing facility in Kulim, Malaysia in June 1999 and produced working silicon in November 2000. Since its inception, Silterra has served many top-tier global fabless design and product companies covering the consumer electronics, communications & computing, and mobile device market segments.

Silterra offers CMOS design and a broad range of fabrication processes for Integrated Chips (IC) in Advanced Logic, Mixed Signal & Radio Frequency and High Voltage applications. The CMOS High Voltage Technology being used in the design and fabrication of Display Driver IC's (DDI), is widely used in the mobile devices market segment. This includes display drivers for mobile phones, GPS equipment, MP3/4 Personal Media Players (PMP), Digital Cameras and other similar applications.

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UST Global

UST Global® is a leading provider of end-to-end IT and Engineering services and solutions for Global 1000 companies. We use a client-centric Global Engagement Model that combines local, senior, on-site resources with the cost, scale, and quality advantages of off-shore operations. This client-centric focus forms the basis for how we, as a company, operate and serve our clients. Commitment to long-term client success empowers every associate to provide value and flexibility beyond the contract.

The industry-leading expertise found within our Centers of Excellence (CoEs) plays a key role in our success with clients. The CoEs deliver pragmatic IT solutions that allow clients to consistently achieve their most critical business objectives. Our Partner Program complements the Centers of Excellence. The program aims to develop strategic relationships with best-of-breed organizations to provide UST Global developers with advance access to new technology and educational resources.

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Since its inception in 2000, ViTrox designs and manufactures innovative, leading-edge and cost-effective automated vision inspection equipment and system-on-chip embedded electronics devices for the semiconductor and electronics packaging industries. ViTrox's core products are its Machine Vision System (MVS), Automated Board Inspection (ABI) and Electronics Communication System (ECS).

ViTrox serves customers from semiconductor Outsourced Assembly and Test (OSAT) companies, printed circuit board manufacturers, electronics assemblies companies, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), Original Design Manufacturers (ODM), Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) providers and Contract Manufacturers (CM) around the world.

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Kontron is a global leader in embedded computing technology. With more than 44% of its employees in R&D, Kontron creates many of the standards that drive the world's embedded computing platforms. Kontron's product longevity, local engineering, support, and value-added services helps to create a sustainable and viable embedded solution for OEMs and system integrators. Kontron works closely with its customers on their embedded application ready platforms and customer solutions, enabling them to focus on their core competencies. The result is an accelerated time-to-market, reduced total-cost-of-ownership and improved overall application with leading-edge, highly-reliable embedded technology. Kontron is listed on the German TecDAX stock exchanges under the symbol "KBC".

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Engineered for you

1. Proposal Statement

TGL's partnering companies publish an engaging range of science, technology and engineering challenges, which can be found on our Problem Statement site. Interested applicants are invited to tackle these challenges and propose innovative solutions in groups of up to 3 people. Submitted proposals should cover certain essential details for the proposed project:

  1. Introduction & Motivation
  2. Project Outline
  3. Technical Details
  4. Marketability
  5. References

Your proposal should address the key deliverables of the problem statement you choose to tackle. You can submit your proposal as a write up, or a multimedia presentation (video, PowerPoint etc), or a combination of both. We highly encourage the inclusion of diagrams, schematics, or other forms of graphical explanation for your prototype.

All queries regarding the problem statements, including requests for briefing by company representatives should be sent to [email protected].

All proposals will only be viewed by the relevant partner company that posed your problem statement and the judging panel. Proposals should be submitted through our online form by 30th of April 2014.

Next Stage

2. Pitching I

The partnering companies will vet the received proposals and call upon promising teams for a pitching session. Teams who successfully reach this stage are expected to give a 15 minute presentation on their ideas, and to answer any questions the company representatives may have.

The pitch session will happen at an agreed time between the company representatives and applicants, either through face-to-face pitching with an interviewer who will be sent by the relevant company to the participant's location, or through teleconferencing. The pitching sessions will be facilitated and aided by TGL Collaborative as well as our partner student bodies.

Partnering companies and participants may choose to arrange to carry out Pitching I at any date between submission and 15th May 2014.

Next Stage

3. Release of Interview Results

The results of Pitching I are expected to be released by late May 2014, alongside with most of the industrial placement offers for the upcoming summer break. Successful teams will receive an offer to develop their project at their host company to bring their ideas to life over the course of 3 months between June to October.

Once a team accepts an offer from TGL's partnering companies, an upfront IP agreement, Terms & Conditions Disclaimer, non-disclosure agreement will be signed by both parties. This is for protection of the rights of both the teams and hosting company.

Successful teams will arrange for the exact start and ending dates of their industrial placement with their host companies individually, as well as details about accommodation and transport. TGL Collaborative and our partners will aid in this process.

Next Stage

4. Workshop Series and Grand Pitching

All teams who successfully made it to the Pitching I phase are invited to come for a Workshop Series which will be organized in Penang on 4-6th July 2014. The Workshop Series is themed, and one can expect an exciting line-up of visits to company research facilities, joining in technical workshops, and engaging in mind-stimulating debate!

The Workshop Series will be concluded with the Grand Pitching, a public event where teams will present their ideas to their cohorts, company representatives, and the media. These presentations will either be a new idea based on the Workshop Series theme, or a refined version of selected proposals.

It is possible for teams who did not qualify for the industrial placement through Pitching I previously to be approached by interested companies at this stage to be absorbed for a placement with a company. You don't wanna miss this!

Next Stage

5. Industrial Placement

Throughout the agreed 3-month duration, successful teams will work to develop their ideas into a functional product under the mentorship of their host companies. The teams will be provided with the necessary tools and guidance from experienced researchers and engineers in the industry, bringing their proposals to reality, and where possible, to commercialization.

At the end of the placement, the participants are expected to demonstrate a working proof-of-concept to their host companies. These successful projects may be taken on to a next level - for further development and research, or be funded for technopreneurial purposes by CREST and/or Cradle - in our search for long lasting impact in the industry.

Your questions, answered

Can I participate in The Great Lab if I am not studying a Science/Engineering course?

Of course! We believe in inclusive knowledge creation and dissemination - all students are welcome to have a go at the opportunities we offer.

Can I participate in The Great Lab if I am a postgraduate student?

Of course! We wholly encourage the participation of postgraduate students - innovation does not discriminate between the numbers of years you have received formal education!

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Can I form a group with my buddies who are from another university/doing a course different from mine?

Of course! In fact, we encourage you to do so, because it is our belief that interdisciplinary discussion is the key catalyst that leads to innovation!

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The Great Lab's timeline and itinerary seems to be tailored for Malaysian students studying in the UK - can I participate if I'm studying in some other country?

Of course! While we chose to market our event primarily in the UK due to the large student pool there, we repeat - innovation does not discriminate! As long as you feel passionate for this cause and have something to contribute, please do join us now! The teleconferencing component of the competition (in Pitching I) will be conducted in the UK, France, Germany, and Hong Kong as well for this year, and we hope to include even more locations in the years to come!

If you are studying in the Southern Hemisphere (e.g. Australia, New Zealand etc.), complications in the form of non-coinciding vacation times may arise, and you may not be able to participate in Pitching I or be in Malaysia when the Skills Workshop and Industrial Mentorship Program take place. Regardless, if you feel you have a great idea that you think has the potential to change the way we do things, do submit a proposal to us! What we wish to create is a platform to match up innovative ideas with entities that can turn those ideas into reality, and we certainly do believe that if your idea is good enough, even if geographical and time constraints prevent you from committing to this competition physically, what's there to stop the sponsoring companies from having separate mentorship arrangements with you?

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I am interested in participating in TGL, but I don't think I know enough science to write a good proposal. What should I do?

Each of the Problem Statements provided by our partner companies comes with its own recommended background reading - do use that as a guide to bolster your theoretical understanding about the subject matter! Even as you write your proposal, it is highly recommended that you cite relevant literature where necessary; hence it would be definitely beneficial for you to have done adequate amounts of pre-reading. And if that's not good enough for you...

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Why do the Problem Statements seem so complicated? Are there simpler ones that I can tackle?

Not all of them are equally demanding! Some of them require a deeper technical understanding, while some of them just require plain creativity!

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Do I need to pay any fees to join The Great Lab?

Absolutely not! No registration fees are required, and a huge number of our partner companies provide an allowance during the placement.

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I have some more questions!

You can reach us at [email protected].

If you would like to contribute to The Great Lab as a project sponsor please get in touch with us at [email protected] for more details. We cannot wait to welcome you aboard!

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