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MRANTI to Accelerate Malaysia’s Commercialisation Rate

New technology commercialisation accelerator agency will contribute to RMK-12 2.5% Gross R&D Expenditure (GERD) to GDP to propel Return on Ideas agenda by 2025

Kuala Lumpur, 10 November 2021 – The Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI), a recently-launched agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), today laid out its mission to drive higher “return on ideas” in the research and development to commercialisation space.

MRANTI, a convergence of Technology Park Malaysia (TPM) and the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), aims to accelerate the process, raise the profile and expand the portfolio of ready to market technology and innovation developed in Malaysia. MaGIC’s programmes have impacted 2,800 startups and created an economic value of RM2.1 billion, while TPM has brought in more than RM1 billion in total investments by providing world class infrastructure and a comprehensive eco-system to businesses
“We want to bring back the much needed vibrancy to our economy and help our industries rise from the pandemic. This is a much needed boost for TPM which will play a key role through MRANTI in accelerating the ecosystem, strengthening pipeline of ideas, while harnessing the talent and tenacity needed to help organisations identify, develop and enable innovation,” said Datuk Abdul Razak Abdul Rahman, Chairman, TPM.

“MRANTI’s mandate is to take the ecosystem forward, fast. It’s not about 1 company or 10, but unlocking value across the entire research, development, commercialisation life cycle – aimed at strengthening our innovation supply – with the resources to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative ideas and concepts,” said Dzuleira Abu Bakar, CEO, TPM.

Ideated from Meranti, the world’s tallest tropical tree, with a canopy and far reaching, strong roots, MRANTI will galvanise the country’s technology and commercialisation landscape through its strong network branching across diverse industries, and a solid foundation rooted in technology and innovation to elevate Malaysians to the global stage.

MRANTI will commence its operations come January 2022, serving as a one-stop agency with resources to support technology development, market access, prototyping and testing, funding, facilitation and more.

MRANTI to Accelerate Malaysia’s Commercialisation Rate

Malaysia’s scientific research output increased by 4.5 times between 2008 and 2018. Recent data from the Malaysian Science and Technology Information Centre (MASTIC) show that the country’s commercialisation rates sit anywhere between 5 to10 percent, a drop from 8.3 percent from between 2005 and 2015. Meanwhile, countries such as China and Korea have commercialisation rates at above 30 percent, and the rates in highly developed economies such as Japan and USA are reportedly as high as 60%1.

“With MRANTI, we don’t want discoveries to just be discoveries. We are bringing them out of the laboratories and into real life to unlock more socio-economic value. It’s about scalability, with speed, through synergy. As we serve the larger goal of becoming a high-tech and high-income nation that is globally competitive, we need to play the real catch up game. The key to this is to take a whole of government and quadruple helix collaboration approach. MRANTI will link the web of partnerships within and outside the ecosystem to catalyse the technology and innovation agenda. We have a lot to do!” said Dzuleira.

In recognising this, the government, in the recently-announced Budget 2022, allocated RM423 million for both MOSTI and the Ministry of Higher Education for the acceleration of R&D activities, and another RM30 million to implement TPM’s International Innovation Hub, which amongst others will offer early prototyping and tech immersion programs through TPM’s maker space and the newly-launched Area 57 – a Centre of Excellence for Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles (UAV).

Additionally, through the 12th Malaysia Plan, MRANTI will be supporting several R&D related targets: a. 2.5% Gross R&D Expenditure (GERD) to GDP; b. 70% of R&D Expenditure by the Private Sector (BERD) to GERD; c. Top 20 for Ranking in the Global Innovation Index; and d. 500 Number of Products/ Solutions commercialised through the National Innovation and Technology Sandbox (NTIS) and the Malaysian Year of Commercialization (MCY).

MRANTI aims to enable Malaysian research to be more mission focussed. According to Dzuleira, MRANTI is developing an Ideas to Impact blueprint. “In other words, we are looking creatively at ways to spur the development of products and solutions which can be more affordable, available and accessible towards improving quality of life for all Malaysians.”

“We welcome investors and corporations who wish to strengthen the ecosystem by way of funding, market access, technical expertise and more,” Dzuleira said.

Based on the National Survey of R&D in Malaysia 2019, the Public to Private ratio on R&D spend in Malaysia was 43:57 in 2016. The aim under the 12th Malaysia Plan is to shift this to 30:70.

Several initiatives are underway to realise MRANTI’s mission including the upgrading of TPM’s Engineering, IT, Biotech and other building infrastructure. Moreover, a total investment of US$1 billion (RM 4.15billion) AI Park is also in progress at TPM to foster the development of AI solutions in areas of computer vision, speech recognition, natural language and human/robot, folding in the development of technology and talent, data management, R&D and a commercial ecosystem.

MRANTI will also draw learnings from the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS), which currently supports 139 companies in terms of technology and market validation, regulatory facilitation, funding and more through the sandbox. Working hand in hand with various ministries and agencies, the NTIS also has the support of 26 innovation acceleration partners.