Dr Ainurul Rosli and Dr Sharifah Alwi research helps to strengthen rural community capacity in Borneo

This project, in collaboration with Dr Jane Chang of Gritse Community Interest Company, contributes towards strengthening the capacity for the community to support the local economic and social development agenda in Sabah.

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The researchers work with 14 rural smallholders of Ulu Sapi community, in Beluran Sabah, Borneo to help them increase their resilience and build the community brand through entrepreneurship. The Ulu Sapi community in Sandakan, Sabah has been struggling to survive due to the fluctuation of prices in palm oil, and the lack of economic development in the area.

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The rural smallholders learnt and defined the right and meaningful distinctiveness: of who they are – individually and collectively as entrepreneur(s), and what they stand for. Due to financial resources limitation, these rural, poor and less educated independent palm oil smallholders who rely on their community to survive, actually neglect the importance of branding, particularly their community.


On the 14th Feb, 2020, the researchers presented the results to a policy maker, the Honourable YB Assaffal P. Alian, Assistant Minister of Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Department.

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From left: Puan Rosnah, YB Assaffal P. Alian, Dr Rosli and Dr Alwi. Dr Chang was sitting
on the left with the audience. The assistant minister congratulates the researchers  and the Ulu Sapi villagers


In his speech, he expressed his gratitude to the team of researchers, and stated: “Whatever we are doing today with this project is correct and I will take this programme [project] and send our team from Sabah Tourism Board to come here [to Ulu Sapi] to evaluate for product update and do any plan on what we can do together to make this work. We are not supporting you, but working with you to take this forward to grow this place.”


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Left: Researchers site visit to brand the waterfall as part of the local community offerings
Right: Pak Jefri, feeding his school of fish, a project he developed while attending the programme

To know more about the project, visit: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Projects/Entrepreneurship-resilience-and-rural-community-branding

Meet our new colleagues: Dr Jingui Xie

Dr Jingui Xie is a Senior Lecturer in operations management. Before joining Brunel Business School, he was a visiting researcher in Cambridge Judge Business School. He specializes in healthcare operations management.


His works have been published in Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, among others. He is an ad-hoc reviewer of many international journals. He is also a member of Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS).

Meet our new colleagues: Dr Pavel Laczko

Dr Pavel Laczko joined us as a Lecturer in Digital Marketing.


Dr Laczko is an advocate and practitioner of the systems approach, and visual & design thinking in both organizations and classrooms. He specialises in phenomenon-driven longitudinal processual research in the domains of the digital economy and organizational change.


In addition to his teaching experience in Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship, New Product & Service Development, Pavel has also worked as a digital strategy consultant and advisor to early start-ups & SMEs.


He joined Brunel after finishing his bursary-funded PhD in ‘Digital Innovation’ at Portsmouth Business School, UK.


Outside academia, Pavel’s interest spreads across several areas; he plays chess, and likes solving chess puzzles (…” the only sport that goes well with Islay whisky”); he specialises in Austro-Hungarian history (975-1918), and he is an amateur horticulturist, collecting and hybridising plants in Nepenthaceae genus. Since early childhood, Pavel has a passion for alpine mountaineering, every year, spending both summer and winter holidays in alpine zones around Europe

Government of Bangladesh show interest in Dr Bidit Dey’s work

The Government of Bangladesh has commended Dr Bidit Dey’s research findings on co-technology development in mobile telephone industry, and shown interest in applying it in their current and future policies in supporting the electric vehicle industry.


Dr Dey has been extensively researching and publishing on co-creation in mobile telephone industry. His articles published on Technological Forecasting and Social Change and Information Systems Frontier drew significant interest amongst the policy makers in Bangladesh, who are keen to boost the electric vehicle industry as part of their strategy to reduce dependency on fossil fuel.


Bangladesh is already one of the world’s most energy-poor countries, and there is a large gap between power supply and demand. In rural areas, only 42% of the population have access to electricity, and the Government has been struggling to boost production. As Bangladesh is also among the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, it has vowed to use 100% renewable energy by 2050. However, the country is off track to meet that target.


The Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of the Government of Bangladesh is determined to change this. In this regard, Dr Dey’s research on ICTs and co-creation has strong potential to inform the implementation of policies in the energy sector. The State Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Mr Nosrul Hamid has expressed his keen interest to emulate the business ecosystem and co-technology development model suggested in Dr Dey’s published work.


More information about Dr Dey’s work, can be found here.