KUCHING: Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) has established a collaboration with POLI.design, Milan, Italy on potential areas of research and design to develop the local timber industry.
According to STIDC, POLI.design, together with the design department and the design school, has contributed to the ranking of Politecnico di Milano as the fifth best university in the world, based on the QS 2021 ranking (Art & Design area).
The virtual signing ceremony of the MoU took place yesterday in the presence of Chief Deputy Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who is also Chairman of the Board of STIDC.
During the signing ceremony, STIDC was represented by Managing Director Hashim Bojet while POLI.design was represented by its President, Professor Francesco Zurlo.
The company said the MoU is very important to STIDC and POLI.design as it marks the start of collaborative efforts that will bring mutual benefits to both parties and both countries.
The effort marked another important step for STIDC to intensify the company’s engagement and collaboration with international institutions, such as POLI.design, in efforts to develop the local timber industry.
The main purpose of the MoU is for STIDC and POLI.design to collaborate and research the materials available in the state.
It also involves working on programs aimed at increasing the visibility of Sarawak Young Designers in order to promote Sarawak’s own brand in Italy and Europe.
STIDC has developed and implemented the Sarawak Young Designers (SayD’SignersSarawak) training program since 2018 in collaboration with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Design and Fine Arts Faculty (FSRD), Institute Teknologi Bandung (ITB) through the signing a memorandum of understanding and a memorandum of understanding. Agreement (MoA) respectively.
This is a two-year training program with the first year of industrial attachment with local furniture manufacturers in Sarawak.
The second year training will be an attachment to FSRD to further enhance their design skills and knowledge.
“The goal of this training program is to train new graduates from local universities to design furniture and serve the furniture industry in Sarawak. This collaboration will also aim to enhance the skills and talent of our young designers, ”said STIDC.
Through this collaboration and with the help of POLI.design, STIDC said that young designers in Sarawak will be able to increase their international exposure and broaden their design knowledge.
He also said that research into the existing vast availability of local materials was very much needed.
“Sarawak has over 2,000 different types of wood species that can be explored and studied in terms of utility and use as materials for the production of exotic and luxury furniture.”
STIDC said that this data and information collected and verified through the research and development process will enable the company to establish a materials laboratory in the state.
It is now also embarking on research on bamboo, a raw material that will complement local materials for the furniture industry.
“STIDC is also working closely with the private sector to develop the bamboo industry across the entire supply chain for the production of bamboo products for export.
In addition, he said that they had started research on acacia with the private sector as an alternative material for the furniture industry, which would be among the few local materials that STIDC had identified and explored for their potential to support the development of the state timber industry.
In 2020, STIDC said the state’s exports to Europe were only RM1.2 million, mostly as secondary products such as plywood, and accounted for less than 1% of revenue. total state exports.
The company hopes that the collaboration with POLI.design will allow the state to further expand the market share in Europe, especially for furniture.