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British defence giant identifies five areas for investment

July 30, 2012

BAE Systems is looking for new partners with industries, universities and government agencies in Malaysia.

LONDON: BAE Systems has identified five specific industries for investment in Malaysia – systems integration, green technology, nano technology, homeland security and electronic warfare – as part of its strategy to expand its relationship with local partners.

“The defence giant is not only looking for new partners with industries but also collaborations with universities and government agencies,” its senior industrial partnerships and offset manager, Mike Perret, told Bernama.

Perret said BAE Systems recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Composites Technology Research Malaysia Systems Integration Sdn Bhd to set up system integration business and talked to the company on a number of opportunities.

“We’re looking at rail and military aircraft side,” Perret said, adding that systems integration was not an easy industry as there were less than five companies in the world that could do it at aircraft level, particularly military aircraft.

“It is a capability that takes many, many years to develop,” he said.

On green technology, Perret said, the group was looking at a whole range of green fuel and biofuel technology.

“We’re looking at how we might exploit researches that are currently being done in Malaysia with regard to fuels. We operate fighter aircraft and the fuel element is still a very high cost. We have to make sure that we get the right standard of fuel to operate our aircraft,” he said.

Perret said all biofuel researches being done in both civilian and military aircraft were important to the group.

Natural products

Meanwhile, on nano technology, BAE Systems was keen on areas that Malaysia was looking to exploit such as natural products like rice husk that could be produced into fibres for manufacturing processes.

“We’re also looking at opportunities in carbon nano chips and marrow-gel,” he said.

BAE Systems has also been significantly developing its cyber security businesses and was keen to work with homeland security, banks and financial institutions, Perret said.

“At the moment, we’re talking to Mimos Bhd in terms of work they have been doing on closed-circuit television cameras and behavioural analysis and putting them together in our cyber security businesses.

“It is an important area for us,” he said.

As for electronic warfare, Perret said, the company was looking at a whole range of opportunities in security and military network and it could utilise its military network and knowledge to develop national strategic and tactical capabilities.

“We had done this with a number of Middle Eastern countries,” he said.

Perret said BAE Systems met a lot of innovative companies in Malaysia.

“We found at least one to work with in every area we have been to,” he said.

Besides looking for new partners, BAE Systems had also been growing its industrial participation reach outside the Klang Valley by visiting Sabah, Sarawak, Kelatan, Pahang and Johor to engage with state government, regional development agencies and local businesss, he said.



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