On 26 October 2014, UPM submitted a proposal for the SATREPS (Science & Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development) program entitled “Development of Sustainable Aquaculture Industry through Recycling of Wastes for Bioresource Production” to JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) through the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) and Economic Planning Unit (EPU). On 26 February 2015, the project was shortlisted and presented to JST (Japan Science and Technology) Agency assessment committee in Tokyo on 19 March 2015. The project was approved on 22 April 2015 and announced by JST and JICA on 13 May 2015. First JICA-JST mission to Malaysia was despatched on 17-28 August 2015 to assess the suitability of Malaysian collaborators (UPM, UMT and UNISEL) to undertake the project. The project was renamed as the “Continuous Operating System for Microalgae Culture Optimized for Sustainable Tropical Aquaculture (COSMOS)”. The second JICA and JST mission came to Malaysia on 4 – 8th December 2015 to determine the equipment, training and experts required for the project.
MOA for SATREPS-COSMOS project was signed on 29th Feb 2016 in UPM: President of Soka University Tokyo, and VCs of UPM, UMT and UNISEL (+ Uni. Of Tokyo, NIES (National Institute of Environmental Studies) and TITech (Tokyo Institute of Technology). RoD (Record of Discussion) was signed on 25th March 2016 in MOHE by JICA Chief Representative Malaysia, and the Secretary General, MOHE.
Signing of MoA (29th February 2016) at UPM represented by Prof. Dato' Dr. Nor Aieni Haji Mokhtar, UMT VC; Prof. Datik Paduka Aini Ideris, UPM VC; Prof. Dr. Yoshihisa Baba, President of Soka University; and Prof. Dato' Dr. Mohammad Redzuan Othman, UNISEL VC (sitting at the table from left)
|Signing of RoD on 25th March 2016 between the Government of Japan (JICA Malaysia Office Chief Representative, Mr. Matsumoto Kojiro) and the Government of Malaysia (Ministry of Higher Education Secretary General, MOHE, Prof Dato’ Seri Ir. Dr Zaini Ujang)|
|Project representatives from UPM, UMT and UNISEL with JICA and MOHE officers. From left, Prof. Dr. Mohd. Effendy Abd. Wahid, Prof. Khozirah Shaari, Prof. Fatimah Md Yusoff, Mr. M. Kojiro, Prof. Dato Seri Ir. Dr Zaini Ujang, Prof. Datuk Asma Ismail, Datin Paduka Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir, Prof. Raha Abd Rahim, and Prof. Kushairi Rajuddin|
The overall goal of the COSMOS project is the adoption of mass-culture of high value microalgae by aquaculture farms to ensure a sustainable aquaculture industry in Malaysia and/or other aquaculture producing countries.
The project purpose is to establish an energy-efficient mass-culture system of high value microalgae using recycled nutrients from aquaculture pond sludge.
Main projects in COSMOS are grouped under four main themes: