More Opportunities and Funding for Startups, Innovation and Technology Companies To Collaborate and Commercialise Solutions
Cyberjaya, 23 September, 2021 – From urban farming and cooking oil subsidy applications to drone-powered maritime surveillance solutions and traffic management systems, 22 early stage innovative government projects were recently sparked off, aimed at public and industry benefit.
Through the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS), startups and technology companies will have the opportunity to be given access to funding, technology and regulatory support in order to mature these early stage government solutions and bring them out to market.
Qualified innovations will be given funding, technology and regulatory support towards bringing them out to market. This includes funding for companies in the NTIS programme, made through the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), ranging between RM250,000 to RM5 million, depending on the requirements and Sandbox category.
According to the E-Government Development Index (EGDI) 2020 by the United Nations (UN), Malaysia’s persistent efforts and innovative initiatives have enabled the country to climb the rankings into the Top 50 in the past two years, joining the very high EGDI group for the first time in 2020. The Index provides a snapshot of country trends and relative rankings of e-government development in the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“As such, the NTIS is designed to fast-track ideas to impact. Through this, we want to create solutions to enhance the rakyat’s quality of life and income, create new high-skilled jobs, attract the best local talent, provide opportunities and foster shared prosperity, while reducing dependency on foreign labour. An innovation-driven government will shape an active, resilient and competitive society,” said Amiruddin Abdul Shukor, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) which serves as the Lead Agency in the NTIS Secretariat.
“Local technology development is an imperative for the country, we need to slowly move from being just tech users to also be strong technology producers. Importing technology for domestic consumption is not sustainable from an economic or talent development perspective – which is why we are fostering more locally-developed solutions through the NTIS,” pressed Dzuleira Abu Bakar, CEO of Technology Park Malaysia (TPM), an NTIS secretariat and technology audit partner.
Last year, the government directed RM100 million through PENJANA towards the NTIS initiative, laying the groundwork for Malaysian-bred technologies to be recognised, supported, funded and brought to market in an expedient way.
“NTIS is a critical platform to accelerate efforts to connect with more government agencies to unearth a variety of use cases leading towards stronger commercialisation activities and success stories for the country.. By unpacking a spread of challenges, we enable more exploration, development and testing – which fosters the enculturation of innovation,” Dzuleira said.
“Government Chief Information Officers, CIOs, are key players in realising this aim as they have the capability to deploy technologies that can address many of these issues requiring a multi-sectoral approach.”
As such, between May and August, the NTIS engaged all 26 Malaysian Government Ministries in a 12-week Innovation Masterclass, to design and develop products or solutions which could enable Malaysia to tackle issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. These include:
● Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI): developed a digital system to expedite the decision-making and approval process of internal documents via e-documents as well as e-signatures.
● Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) in collaboration with the Ministry Ministry of Housing and Local Government (MHLG): a solution to scale up micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by providing training, financing and business matching support to assist urban farmers and entrepreneurs in the B40 group.
● Ministry of Works (MOW): designed a mobile App for an Industrialised Building System (IBS) Monitoring System to improve monitoring and reporting, provide access to industry players and training programmes nationwide.