Malaysia’s Sunway University, through its innovation arm, Sunway Innovation Labs (Sunway iLabs), and Malaysia-based integrated car e-commerce platform Carsome, have forged a strategic partnership which includes the setting up of a data innovation lab in Sunway University.

To be launched by the end of January 2022, the data innovation lab aims to revolutionise Southeast Asia’s used car industry through data, and power the future of mobility by creating value in multiple areas including customer empowerment, sustainability, and cybersecurity, said both parties in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the data innovation lab involves a multi-disciplinary research consortium that consists of the Sunway University Business School, School of Engineering and Technology, School of Mathematical Sciences and the stakeholders of Carsome.

The statement also noted, Sunway University is the first to collaborate with Carsome on data innovation which will see various initiatives take place including collaborations involving student coursework, student hackathons and contract research and consultancy.

Carsome Co-Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer Eric Cheng said, data is key in today’s fast-paced world, and it will shape the future to come.

“As a data driven company, Carsome always wants to push social mobility through empowerment and education. We look forward to this industry-academic collaboration with Sunway University to accelerate the revolution of the region’s used car industry through capacity-building in data science and machine learning,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sunway Education Group Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Lee said the collaboration will allow the university’s students the opportunity to work on real-world solutions in one of the most exciting growth industries in the region as well as learning from Carsome’s data team.

Sunway Berhad Chief Innovation officer and Director of Sunway iLabs Matt van Leeuwen also said collaborative efforts between start-ups and academia will prepare the youth for Malaysia’s digital economy as well as accelerate innovation which will drive the nation’s economic sustainability.

Prior to the launch of the data innovation lab, Sunway University and Carsome will co-host a hackathon where teams of Sunway University students will work hackathon-style on a used car database and price prediction system for one of Carsome’s key markets. The students will be mentored and assessed by members of the Carsome’s data team.

As a result of the hackathon, a predictive model will be built with consideration of data points such as car model, variant, manufactured year, colour, mileage and historical transactions.

Carsome is Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e-commerce platform. With operations across Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore, Carsome aims to digitize the region’s used car industry by reshaping and elevating the car buying and selling experience.

The company provides end-to-end solutions to consumers and used car dealers, from car inspection to ownership transfer to financing, promising a service that is trusted, convenient and efficient. Carsome currently has more than 2,000 employees across all its offices.

Sunway University is one of Malaysia’s private universities which is governed by the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation. The not-for-profit institution is dedicated to quality education, supports enterprise, and undertakes research focused on key global problems.

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