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Japan-aided Industry 4.0 centre in view

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The Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP). Hong Menea

Japan-aided Industry 4.0 centre in view

The Cambodian government, through the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) and with the support of Tokyo, plans to establish the Cambodia-Japan Digitalised Manufacturing Centre (CJDM), in a move to provide high-quality professional training solutions in the Kingdom that focus on the Industry 4.0 concept.

Mey Kalyan, RUPP chairman and RUPP-DMG Mori project founder, told a press conference on preparations for the CJDM on October 14 that Cambodia must keep pace with the breakneck speed of digital technology innovations and blistering rate of Industry 4.0 adoption that has taken the world by storm.

The Kingdom must maintain a strong base of well-trained human resources to meet the demand of foreign investors who bring sophisticated equipment and techniques to Cambodian industry, he said.

“The initiatives incorporated into the project are for us, now the dream has come true. It is my conviction that human resources are everything, if we were to implement Industry 4.0 without human resources, things wouldn’t work out.

“It is truly amazing that we have done this, even during the tough time of the Covid-19 pandemic – we will now embark on our own initiative,” Kalyan said.

He voiced appreciation to the Japanese people and government, underlining that their support was essential to make the centre a reality. “The centre will serve to educate our people on Industry 4.0 and provide real world applications,” he said.

“We will follow through on these concepts and everything that has to be done, through engagement between the private sector and government. We’ve already started, and though we acknowledge that we still have a long way to go, we are committed to make it happen.

“We’ll establish a centre for our people to conduct research and receive training, and we’ll also aspire to become a hub linking industry and academics – not only associated with science-related technologies but also with industry,” Kalyan added.

Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami noted that the CJDM was funded by a grant aid from Japan, saying the centre would create highly-skilled engineers to cater to the needs of the Industry 4.0 revolution.

“We are very much pleased to cooperate with this project,” Mikami said.

“With sophisticated digital technologies and the evolution of Industry 4.0 rapidly progressing all over the world, it is quite important for Cambodia to have human resources with high-level manufacturing skills, to be able to compete in the global manufacturing arena,” he added.

The ambassador suggested that the payoff of the CJDM would have considerable sway on Japanese companies’ decisions to select Cambodia as their next investment destination.

CJDM project manager Nguonphan Pheakdey believes the nascent Industry 4.0 sector will provide marked boosts to the economy in the near future.

While admitting that the Kingdom is still far away from the wide adoption of the fourth industrial revolution, he noted that the government is embracing the concept in its visions towards 2030 and 2050.

The government has pinpointed science, technology and innovation (STI) as the key elements to pave the way for Cambodia to achieve its broader ambitious vision of becoming an “upper-middle income” country by 2030 and a “high-income” economy by 2050, as defined by the World Bank.

To deliver those visions, Pheakdey highlighted the need for several policies, development strategies and reforms, such as industrial development and economic diversification plans, a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Stem) education strategy, and the promotion of research and development, and innovation.

“Industry 4.0 will be one of the key drivers that’ll allow Cambodia to achieve its long‐term goal of becoming an upper-middle income and developed country,” he said.

He added that RUPP will work together with DMG Mori “to contribute to the production of high‐capacity resources and training programmes in the field of digital manufacturing at top-level quality and precision”.

Pheakdey billed DMG Mori as “a Japanese‐Germany joint venture and the world’s number-one high‐tech CNC [computerised numerical control] machinery manufacturer”.

The ambassador stressed that training highly-skilled engineers who can use state-of-the-art machinery will be crucial to a slew of industries with great untapped potential such as automotive, medical and even aerospace.

“In this context, the Cambodian government has made every effort to realise industry 4.0, with the aim of advancing industry in Cambodia,” Mikami said.

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