The 5th URICAS Workshop was held on 25th – 26th November 2019 at RIKEN’s Singapore Representative office in Singapore. The objective of the workshop was to facilitate brainstorming sessions and conduct critical discussions on the future of URICAS beyond the year 2020. The year 2020 will mark the fifth year of the URICAS program and thus, provides a good impetus for self-examination and contemplation. The workshop was attended by the URICAS principal investigators (PIs) from Malaysia and Japan. Also invited to the Workshop were several independent reviewers from higher institutions of learning from Malaysia and Singapore.
The review committee was tasked with evaluating the achievements of URICAS since its inception in 2015 and the future viability of the program for the next five years, 2020-2025. To acquaint the reviewers with the URICAS program, they were provided with a whitepaper detailing its history and collaborative efforts. They were also given specific terms of references (TOR) as a guideline to perform the evaluation.
Fruitful discussions were had, and many impending issues were critically scrutinized by the PIs while being overlooked by the review committee. Towards the end of the workshops, the review committee gave an ad hoc summary of their findings and recommendations. An official report was prepared by the review committee and presented to the Vice-Chancellor of USM, Prof. Dr. Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan and the President of RIKEN, Dr. Hiroshi Matsumoto on 14th January 2020.