IN reasserting the importance of science and education in Muslim-majority countries, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as chairman of the recently concluded KL Summit placed them as the first two commitments of seven priority goals, namely: COMMITMENT to implement pragmatic solutions, improving the current situation of the ummah, and expanding the outreach of economic development, science, technology and innovation for the benefit of future generations; and, REAFFIRMING the commitment towards building an ummah that lives a fulfilled life with dignity and prosperity, and possessing the highest level of education and skills, advocating peace and justice, and contributing to the international community.
There were many issues raised by the delegates during the summit. However, one pertinent issue that would assure our faith is the time when Muslims were recognised for their advanced civilisation. They were wellversed in all fields of knowledge, including the sciences and engineering.
London-based Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation chairman Professor Salim al-Hassani said among the modern products introduced by Muslims since the Islamic Renaissance were the use of catgut sutures (absorbable suture)to stitch wounds by the celebrated doctor Al-Zahrawi, the discovery of coffee in Yemen in the ninth century, the introduction of algebra in the ninth century by Persian mathematician Al-Khwarizmi and the study of modern optics pioneered by Muslim physicist Ibn al-Haitham.
Prophet Muhammad popularised the use of the first toothbrush around the year 600. Using a twig from the miswak tree, he cleaned his teeth and freshened his breath. Substances similar to miswak are used in modern toothpaste.
But that was a long time ago. Today, as asserted by Dr Mahathir, “many Muslim countries are in a state of crisis, helpless and unworthy of this great religion”.
For example, 21 of the 48 least developed countries in the world are Muslim-majority countries.
In conjunction with the KL Summit,the Indonesian Institute of Science, the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology, the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences of Pakistan and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey agreed to establish a virtual Centre of Excellence (COE).
COE is aimed at bringing together organisations from Muslim-majority countries and experts from renowned universities and research laboratories to share knowledge and facilities.
However, a more inclusive process needs to be formulated to encourage their participation. We should also think big and think out of the box. Two things need to happen: one, political will (which was amply demonstrated by the heads of government during the summit), and two, big-time funding.
We should emulate the success of industrialised countries in forging international collaboration on a grand scale.
One example is CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, that has 20 European member states. It has been a world leader in particle physics for half a century, and is host to the world’s biggest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider.
The Muslim world must realise by now that the way forward is to jointly mobilise resources to provide the necessary infrastructure for Muslims to pursue education and carry out world-class research in their home countries.
It is no wonder that the three Muslim Nobel Prize winners in the sciences, Abdus Salam of Pakistan, Ahmed Zewail of Egypt and Aziz Sancar of Turkey, did their seminal works in Western countries.
The writer is a senior fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia and a fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences
KUALA LUMPUR: Penubuhan Pusat Kecemerlangan (COE) sempena Sidang Kemuncak Kuala Lumpur 2019, mampu mengembalikan kegemilangan dan kecemerlangan Islam dalam bidang sains, teknologi dan inovasi.
COE bakal menggabungkan kumpulan pakar daripada universiti terkemuka, makmal penyelidikan dan korporat dari negara Islam.
Gabungan organisasi berfikiran sama daripada negara anggota ini, akan berkongsi pengetahuan dan kemudahan secara aktif dalam aspek penciptaan dan reka bentuk bersama, melalui keupayaan serta inisiatif kapasiti yang praktikal.
Kumpulan Industri-Kerajaan Bagi Teknologi Tinggi Malaysia (MIGHT) yang bertindak sebagai sekretariat sementara COE, menegaskan pusat itu juga berfungsi sebagai platform bebas mempromosikan diplomasi sains dan saling melengkapi.
Dalam kenyataannya semalam, MIGHT berkata, kerjasama itu seterusnya akan menyumbang kepada Agenda Pembangunan Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu 2030.
“Ini akan mendorong transformasi umat Islam sebagai pemain utama dalam bidang sains, teknologi dan inovasi serta mengembalikan kegemilangan Islam,” katanya.
Selain MIGHT, COE adalah inisiatif tiga pengasas dan ahli lain iaitu Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI); Pusat Pengajian Kimia dan Biologi Antarabangsa Pakistan (ICCBS) dan Majlis Penyelidikan Sains dan Teknologi Turki (TUBITAK).
Penubuhan COE sempena Sidang Kemuncak Kuala Lumpur itu, disaksikan Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad; Presiden Turki, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan dan Presiden Iran, Dr Hassan Rouhani.
Mengulas lanjut, MIGHT berkata, COE akan memberi penekanan kepada keperluan asas dan kualiti kehidupan iaitu Keselamatan, Makanan, Kesihatan dan Kesejahteraan, Mobiliti, Tenaga, Utiliti dan Maklumat serta yang berkaitan.
“Kemajuan teknologi dalam bidang itu berpotensi besar untuk memenuhi keperluan asas umat Islam serta menerokai inisiatif projek yang mempunyai masa depan, hasil kerjasama yang tinggi.
“Apabila perancangan ini diterjemahkan ke dalam aktiviti perdagangan, ia akan meningkatkan pekerjaan, merangsang pertumbuhan ekonomi serta memacu produktiviti di kalangan negara anggota,” katanya.
Katanya, kedudukan itu juga akan membuatkan pasaran lebih berkembang serta membuka peluang besar untuk perdagangan dan pelaburan kepada negara anggota.
Menjelang 2050, bilangan umat Islam dijangka meningkat kepada 2.76 bilion atau 29.7 peratus daripada penduduk dunia, termasuk negara di luar kategori 50 negara majoriti Islam.
“Pada 2018, jumlah perdagangan eksport antara lima negara berjumlah AS$32.48 bilion (RM134.2 bilion).
“Hanya kira-kira satu hingga tujuh peratus daripada jumlah eksport setiap negara yang didagangkan di dalam kumpulan, dengan Indonesia yang paling tinggi (7.31 peratus) dan Turki paling rendah, pada kadar 1.31 peratus.
“Jadi, ada peluang yang mencukupi bagi negara masing-masing meningkatkan perdagangan di antara satu sama lain,” katanya.
Malaysia has been pursuing an export-oriented industrial development strategy since the early 1970s and is not likely to deviate from this strategy in the foreseeable future. Since Malaysia’s high-tech manufacturing industry contributes over 36% to the total merchandise exported in 2018, it’s relevance to the Malaysian economy is paramount. However, the growth trend of Malaysia’s high-tech exports in the past 7 years has been sluggish. With the cessation of most E&E-NKEA projects in 2018 and the ending of the third industrial masterplan (IMP3) in 2020, the need to put in place new plans and policies to reinvigorate the existing high-tech sectors, as well as seeking out new and emerging sectors is ever more urgent.
Malaysia embarked on an export-oriented industrialization strategy in the early 1970s. The strategy entailed the reliance on foreign direct investments to achieve high economic growth. Through the establishment of industrial free-trade-zone, export incentives, and generous investment incentives for foreign manufacturers to offshore their manufacturing facilities to Malaysia, the strategy resulted in a significant inflow of foreign direct investments (FDI) into the manufacturing sector. Since then, Malaysia’s export-oriented industrialization strategies, guided by various industrial development policies (such as IMP1, 2 and 3), has resulted in significant economic growth throughout the 1980s and 1990s. To further strengthen exports, especially in high technology related industries, Malaysia’s has embarked on a Knowledge-Based Economy the 1990s, with the establishment of the multimedia super corridor and the creation of Vision 2020. Today, Malaysia exports USD247.32 billion (2018) worth of merchandises to the world, of which, 36.54% or USD90.36 billion are high-tech merchandises. This is testament to the success of Malaysia’s export-oriented industrialization strategy and reflects the importance of high-tech export performances for Malaysia.
Malaysia’s high-tech export performance for 2018 is commendable, with a total high-tech merchandise export value of USD90.36 billion, and a year-on-year growth of 22.0%. From a global perspective, Malaysia commands 2.90% of the world’s total high-tech merchandise exports in 2017, up by 0.27% from 2016. In 2017, Malaysia is ranked the eleventh (11th) largest exporter of high-tech merchandises in the world (in terms of export values), up by 1 ranking position from 2016. Despite two consecutive years of declines in high-tech exports during 2015 and 2016, Malaysia has since recovered with two consecutive years of positive, double digit year-on-year growth of 17.2% in 2017 and 22.0% in 2018.
Figure 1 Overview of Malaysia’s high-tech merchandise export performance. (Note: The World Ranking and % of World Exports data reported herein are for year 2017, due to the absence of China’s export data at the time of writing this report.)
Despite the uncertain growth path over the last 7 years, Malaysia’s overall compounded annual growth rate CAGR (2010-2017) in high-tech exports remains positive at 1.73%. However, when benchmarked against the rest of the world, the growth of Malaysia’s high-tech exports is much slower than the world’s growth of 2.67% (CAGR 2010-2017). This could be an indication that Malaysia’s high-tech industry is struggling to keep-up with the rapid expansion of the world’s market for high-tech merchandises.
Malaysia’s high-tech merchandises was exported globally, reaching a total of 190 countries in 2018. Most of Malaysia’s high-tech exports were destined for East and South Asian destinations, specifically Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, and India. Collectively, these 9 destinations imported 70.39% of Malaysia’s high-tech export merchandises worth USD63.60 billion. Among them, the largest importer of Malaysia’s high-tech exports in 2018 was Singapore, followed by Hong Kong, amounting to USD15.52 billion and USD15.42 billion, respectively. Other major importers of Malaysia’s high-tech exports include the U.S.A, Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico, Australia, and France, totalling USD20.80 billion or 23.02% of total exports.
Malaysia’s high-tech merchandises consist mostly of electronics integrated circuits, telecommunication devices, and computer office machines, which account for 87.64% (or USD79.19 billion) of total high-tech merchandise exported in 2018. They include microprocessors (or CPUs), other integrated circuits (ICs), light-emitting diodes (LEDs), computers, semiconductor medias (such as SSDs), and storage units (such as HDDs). However, most of these top exporting merchandises are intermediate products (parts and components) that need to be further value-added to produce the intended final products.
From a global perspective, China is leading the global export of high-tech merchandises (2017). With a total export value of USD654 billion, China is way ahead of her nearest rival Germany, followed at a distance by South Korea, the U.S.A, and Taiwan.
Figure 2 World ranking of high-tech merchandise exports, in terms of export values.
In 2017, Malaysia’s world ranking in high-tech exports is at position 11, an improvement by one position from 2016. However, this transition from position 12 to 11 should be seen as a recovery, as oppose to an improvement, since Malaysia was consistently ranked at position 11 over the last 7 years, with the exception of 2016. Overall, countries that appear to be on the uptrend on the ranking board are Taiwan, Vietnam, France and South Korea. Among those on the down trend are Japan, the U.K., and Switzerland.
The most notable change in 2017’s ranking is Vietnam, which leapfrogged 4 positions from position 14 in 2016 to position 10 in 2017, surpassing the U.K., Malaysia, Switzerland, and Mexico. Together with Mexico, these are stellar examples of developing countries pursuing aggressive high-tech export strategies and appear to be moving much faster than Malaysia. Vietnam for instance, experienced a phenomenal growth in high-tech exports with a CAGR (2010-2017) of 42.97%. Its high-tech exports grew from USD6 billion in 2010 to USD74 billion in 2017, a 12-fold increase within a 7-year period. In 2017, Vietnam finally overtook Malaysia in terms of high-tech exports by a slight margin. Majority of Vietnam’s high-tech exports are telecommunication devices, focusing mostly on mobile telephones. In 2017, 40.16% of Vietnam’s high-tech exports were mobile telephones, amounting to USD 29.76 billion. That said, Vietnam’s export of electronics integrated circuits is also growing rapidly at a rate of 49.66% CAGR (2010-2017). If Vietnam is to continue its current growth trajectory, there is a strong possibility that Malaysia’s current leading position in the exports of electronics integrated circuits, will be overtaken by Vietnam within the next 8 years.
In summary, Malaysia’s 2018 performance in the export of high-tech merchandises is commendable, and a new milestone was established. However, Malaysia’s lacklustre growth performance over the last 8 years is hampering it from competing effectively against many fast-moving emerging economies, like Vietnam. Besides competing economies, there is also a need for Malaysia to keep-up with the world’s growth in demand for high-tech merchandises. Moving forward, Malaysia should review and renew its high-tech export strategies, as well as rejuvenate its high-tech exporting industries, in order to meet the growing challenges in exporting high-tech merchandises to the world.
You may have experienced this at least once while driving along the highways – the streetlights still switched ON in broad daylight. You cringe at the sheer waste; there must be a better way of handling this – and indeed there is.
In today’s world of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the many green sustainability programmes, the idea isn’t too far-fetched. Potential energy efficiency programme using light emitting diode (LED) lighting, and retrofit of air-conditioning units, installation of solar panel system, and installation plus operation and maintenance of a network of electric vehicles (EV) charging stations are significant developments that can effectively address the need for prudent energy consumption in the modern transportation industry and its infrastructure.
The SDGs which is also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call for action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that everyone enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
In 2009, Malaysia formulated the New Economic Model (NEM) which further cemented Malaysia’s commitment to pursue sustainable development based on three pillars, namely high income, inclusivity and sustainability, which mirrors the three elements of the SDGs, namely economy, social and environment. The NEM is the basis of Malaysia’s 5 year SDGs Plan until 2020. The current 5-year Malaysia Plan i.e. the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020) is premised on the three pillars of NEM, themed “Anchoring Growth on People” with people as the centrepiece whom will benefit from the overall nation’s SDGs development programme.
In support to the SDGs commitment, MIGHT, TNB Energy Services Sdn Bhd (TNBES) and Projek Lintasan Kota (PROLINTAS) embarked on the GREEN ENERGY PROGRAMME (GEP) which supports the implementation of Malaysia Green Highway Index (MyGHI) under Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia (LLM). This is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through conservation approach of a highway from the design, planning, construction through the maintenance stages of roadway which combines transportation and ecological sustainability nationwide.
The initiative endeavours to strengthen, promote and develop collaboration between the respective parties towards achieving compliance with the Malaysia Green Highway Index (GHI). It encourages and promotes collaboration in developing potential projects involving renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) initiatives to support the national targets of emission reduction, and carbon reduction, Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station and Energy Management System (Enmesh).
A green highway programme will benefit not only the transportation infrastructure, but also the ecosystem, urban growth, public health, and surrounding communities.
Kumpulan Industri Kerajaan Malaysia bagi Teknologi Tinggi, MIGHT mengesahkan anak syarikatnya Venture-Tech Sdn Bhd ada melakukan pelaburan RM20 juta kepada syarikat aplikasi dron Aerodyne Group pada 1 November lalu. Bagaimanapun, pelaburan itu bukan digunakan untuk pembangunan kereta terbang. Perkara berkenaan disahkan Presiden dan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutifnya Datuk Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman kepada Astro AWANI pada Jumaat.
KUALA LUMPUR: Kumpulan Industri Kerajaan Malaysia Bagi Teknologi Tinggi (MIGHT) mengesahkan anak syarikatnya VentureTech Sdn Bhd ada melakukan pelaburan RM20 juta kepada syarikat aplikasi dron Aerodyne Group pada 1 November lalu.
Presiden Dan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutifnya Datuk Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman pada masa sama bagaimanapun turut mengesahkan pelaburan itu bukan digunakan untuk pembangunan projek ‘kereta terbang’.
Sebaliknya, pelaburan RM20 juta itu adalah sebahagian daripada Pusingan Pelaburan Siri B Aerodyne.
Malah Mohd Yusoff mempertahankan pelaburan itu sebagai pelaburan yang strategik berdasarkan potensi tinggi Aerodyne yang merupakan pemain ketiga terbesar dunia dalam aplikasi dron.
Pada pelaburan Siri B Aerodyne itu, Aerodyne berjaya memperoleh AS$30 juta daripada pelabur antaranya dari Jepun dan Korea Selatan, selain Malaysia.
Tegas Mohd Yusoff, pelaburan VentureTech ke dalam Aerodyne dibuat berdasarkan syarat-syarat yang ditetapkan.
Pelaburan itu juga sebahagian daripada mandat yang diberikan kepada VentureTech untuk melabur dalam syarikat teknologi tinggi yang mempunyai potensi besar.
“VentureTech ada jawatan kuasa pelaburan dan lembaga pengarah yang terdiri daripada (wakil) Kementerian Hal Ehwal Ekonomi, Kementerian Tenaga. Sains, Teknologi, Alam Sekitar dan Perubahan Iklim dan pakar-pakar dalam bidang teknologi kewangan.
“Mereka menentukan syarikat yang boleh dilabur. Ada (permohonan) kerana tidak memenuhi kriteria. Tetapi Aerodyne memenuhi semua kriteria,” jelasnya.
Sehingga kini VentureTech sudah membuat pelaburan RM123 juta ke dalam 14 syarikat berpotensi tinggi tempatan, termasuk Aerodyne.
Pelaburan RM20 juta itu dibuat bagi mengembangkan perniagaan Aerodyne dan menjadi pemain utama global.
Ketika ini Aerodyne, yang merupakan sebuah syarikat milik bumiputera, merupakan pemain dalam industri aplikasi dron yang ketiga paling utama di dunia.
Isu pelaburan RM20 juta ke Aerodyne, yang dikaitkan dengan projek kereta terbang dibangkitkan Jawatankuasa Kira-Kira Wang Negara (PAC) pada Khamis.
PAC dalam laporannya mengenai projek ‘super drone’ yang dibentangkan di Dewan Rakyat pada Khamis, dan turut dimuat naik di laman web PAC, menyatakan Menteri Pembangunan Usahawan Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof membuat pengumuman terlalu awal mengenai projek tersebut.
Menurut laporan berkenaan, PAC juga mendapati MIGHT melalui VentureTech telah meluluskan pelaburan dalam Aerodyne sebanyak RM20 juta yang disalurkan pada 1 November lepas.
PAC juga meminta Jabatan Audit Negara (JAN) supaya membuat pengauditan terhadap pelaburan RM20 juta itu.
Kekeliruan terhadap isu ini mula timbul apabila Mohd Redzuan menyatakan RM20 juta itu disalurkan untuk pembangunan projek kereta nasional baharu, bukan untuk projek kereta terbang.
It is not quite common knowledge that as at 2018 Malaysia has more than 100 shipyards and close to 200 SBSR industry-related activities. These include a myriad of activities such as marine parts and component manufacturer, maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) and design works among others. It is proving to be pretty lucrative deal too with the average annual turnover for the industry chalking between MYR 5 to 10 billion since 2011. At its peak in 2011 the industry provided in excess of 33, 000 jobs.
The Malaysian Shipbuilding and Ship Repair (SBSR) industry’s humble beginning is rooted in the establishment of the Brook Dockyard in Sarawak some 100 years ago. Since then the industry has grown to be a highly strategic industry having spurred the development of numerous spill-over and support activities in fisheries, oil & gas, port operations as well as tourism.
Fully realising the potential of the industry in expanding the nation’s economy MIGHT has produced the Malaysian SBSR Industry Strategic Plan 2020 advocating the use and adoption of high technology products and processes in Maritime industry. Moving ahead, the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, 3D Design and 3D Printing promises to create new opportunities especially for local players. The SBSR industry is also to be developed as a promoted industry as outlined in the Malaysia Shipping Master Plan 2017 – 2022.
There is no underestimating the criticality of technological advancement in the SBSR industry to national security. Currently, Malaysian government is in the midst of acquiring 6 Littoral Combatant Ship, 2 Littoral Mission Ship, 3 Offshore Patrol Vessel, 6 New Generation Patrol Craft (NGPC) with the latest being the acquisition of the 18 Fast Interceptor Craft for the Royal Malaysian Navy and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. These procurements are worth over MYR11 billion.
It is imperative that the local content element of these procurement exercise be paid particular attention to as it holds immense potential to boost the local economy, mainly through job creation, skill strengthening, and the enhancement of suppliers and local enterprises development. This also applies to the commercial sector for example offshore support and port operations.
MIGHT greatly encourages maximisation of local content through industry localisation for example through local ship design and building. This also encourages in-house technological capabilities development through integration of local processed raw materials, production of equipment, integration of equipment and fitting, and provision of technological expertise in services such as system integration, fabrication, overhaul, modification and upgrading.
In terms of design, it is vital for local SBSR industries to adopt the complete 3D Design System which allows for the development of the Digital Twin. This will integrate with and maximise local content that complies with the specification, quality and classification requirements in the design stage.
CYBERJAYA: Asia Innovates 2019 anjuran Kumpulan Industri-Kerajaan Malaysia Bagi Teknologi Tinggi (MIGHT) dan Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), United Kingdom (UK) menampilkan 14 inovasi penyelidik terbaik yang dipilih daripada tujuh negara untuk dibentangkan di hadapan pelabur dan institusi kewangan dari Malaysia dan Asia.
Presiden yang juga Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MIGHT, Datuk Dr Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman, berkata inovasi itu bakal diketengahkan kepada syarikat pelaburan yang berminat serta institusi kewangan untuk tujuan pembiayaan dan fasilitasi bagi membolehkan ia mampu dikomersialkan di pasaran tempatan dan global.
Katanya, program tiga hari yang berlangsung pada 15 Oktober itu bakal memberi peluang kepada lebih 150 penyelidik Asia untuk terbabit dalam bidang keusahawanan dan menimba lebih banyak ilmu pengetahuan dalam bidang berpotensi.
“Asia Innovates 2019 bukan saja program yang dapat memberi peluang kepada mereka untuk meningkatkan rangkaian di peringkat antarabangsa tetapi juga untuk mengukuhkan keyakinan penyelidik ini berjaya dalam bidang keusahawanan.
“Disamping itu, program ini menjadi platform strategik untuk mengukuh dan mengeratkan ekosistem inovasi dan keusahawanan negara dan serantau.
“Pembabitan institusi kewangan, agensi kerajaan dan pihak swasta adalah penting bagi memastikan pelaburan daripada pihak kerajaan dalam membangunkan inovasi di kalangan penyelidik dapat dikomersilkan seterusnya dipasarkan di persada antarabangsa,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan.
Asia Innovates 2019 turut disokong rakan strategik seperti CIMB Islamic, Pusat Kreativiti dan Inovasi Global Malaysia (MaGIC), Yayasan Usahawan Baharu (MyNEF), Beta-Foundation dan Persatuan Pengurus Inovasi dan Teknologi (ITMA).
Program tahunan yang menjadikan Malaysia sebagai tuan rumah kali ini turut disertai rakan strategik antarabangsa dari China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Filipina dan Vietnam.
Antara aktiviti menarik yang bakal dianjurkan sepanjang program berkenaan ialah perbincangan panel yang turut dihadiri oleh pakar tempatan dan juga dari UK, bengkel, pertandingan pitching (peringkat akhir) dan sambutan ulang tahun kelima program Leaders in Innovation Fellowships (LIF).
Mohd Yusoff berkata, LIF menjadi program di bawah Newton-Ungku Omar Fund adalah program dua hala antara Malaysia dan UK dalam bidang sains dan teknologi.
Katanya, program Newton-Ungku Omar Fund memberi penekanan kepada tiga teras utama iaitu pembangunan modal insan, penyelidikan & pembangunan (R&D) dan aspek translasi.
“Program lima tahun ini membuka banyak peluang kepada penyelidik dan syarikat tempatan berkolaborasi dengan entiti di UK. Hubungan kerjasama ini mampu menyumbang kepada pembangunan ekonomi dan sosial negara.
“Malaysia adalah di antara 17 negara membangun yang menyertai skim Newton,” katanya.
Leaders in Innovation Fellowships programme celebrates five years supporting world-changing innovations from emerging economies
- More than $80 million in business funding has been raised by the 1000 strong community of entrepreneurs supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Leaders in Innovation Fellowships programme
- The Asia Innovates summit on 15-17 October in Kuala Lumpur celebrates the five-year anniversary, showcasing innovations from entrepreneurs across Asia who are supported by the programme
- An online community has been launched to provide at-a-glance information on the innovations created, route to market and investment sought by the entrepreneurs, as well as collaboration opportunities
16 October 2019 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The Leaders in Innovation Fellowships (LIF) programme, which is run by the Royal Academy of Engineering and supported by the UK’s Newton Fund, is celebrating five years of providing unique support for entrepreneurs around the world. The Academy is marking the milestone by holding the Asia Innovates summit, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, bringing together the most promising engineering entrepreneurs from seven of the participating countries – China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – alongside notable business leaders and investors from the region and the UK. An online community showcasing the inspiring innovators supported by the LIF programme has also been launched to mark the anniversary. It provides investors and funders with an at-a-glance summary of the innovation created, route to market, and support sought from each entrepreneur. The community also provides a platform for the LIF engineers, researchers and innovators from around the world to collaborate and learn from each other to speed the commercialisation of products that will change the world for good.
Entrepreneurial training for research-driven innovators can be a powerful tool for expanding their businesses. Since 2014, the LIF programme has fostered innovation leadership by supporting 1000 of the world’s brightest engineering entrepreneurs from emerging economies. Between them they have secured over $80 million in business funding. The programme empowers its alumni to commercialise innovations that will contribute to economic and social development in their countries and beyond. Ranging from low-cost water purification and eco-friendly biofuels, to cataract treatment and assistive technology for disabled people, innovations developed by the LIF community are changing almost every industry, in all corners of the world.
The Asia Innovates summit demonstrates the role of the LIF programme in nurturing positive social change through entrepreneurship, and deepening partnerships between Asia, the UK and Europe. The 150 alumni in attendance will receive critical business training and support, from securing funding to developing a marketing strategy. As well as an inspiring opportunity for participants to network, exchange ideas and build lasting relationships through the rich programme, the summit features thought-provoking discussions, mentoring, intense workshops, a pitching competition and a showcase that aims to further develop and promote LIF alumni along their path to commercialisation.
· An online college and career readiness platform to help Indonesia’s 138m young people connect with educational programmes, vocational courses and jobs – developed by Rizky Muhammed, Youthmanual, Indonesia
· A DNA-based purity test that is up to 100 times faster than traditional methods, promising to revolutionise the seed industry by Wirulda Pootakham, HybridSure, Thailand
· IOT-ready units that filter out airborne pollutants, keeping the air inside buildings clean by Amol Chaphekar, StrataEnviro, India
Dr Mike Short CBE FREng, Chief Scientific Advisor at the UK’s Department for International Trade and keynote speaker at the summit, said “The LIF programme has made a huge impact in facilitating innovation since its inception five years ago. Almost 1000 promising inventors have benefited from the programme and being part of this global community, and the Asia Innovates summit provides a perfect place to celebrate some of the most exciting projects from across Asia that we are proud to support.”
The event is hosted in Kuala Lumpur by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), and produced in collaboration with British Foreign and Commonwealth Office representatives in the seven participating countries. The summit presents the unique characteristics that make these seven Asian markets globally competitive, and showcases sectors where Asia pioneer’s world-leading innovations. It is delivered by the Academy as part of the UK’s Government’s Newton Fund which, through a variety of science and innovation programmes, supports the economic development and social welfare of emerging economies.
Datuk Dr. Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman, President & Chief Executive Officer, MIGHT said “Asia Innovates 2019 serves as a platform that brings together the “best of the best” innovation in the region and channels the latest and potential technologies to meet the demand of industry. It is high time we bring our innovators to the centre stage and show our capabilities to the world.”
HE Charles Hay MVO, British High Commissioner to Malaysia said “Strategic science and innovation partnership is increasingly important in shaping the modern-day relationship between the UK and Malaysia. The UK Government has committed to investing up to £35 million in Malaysia under the Newton-Ungku Omar Fund and this is matched by the Malaysian Government. The Fund supports 38 sustainability related
programmes in Malaysia and The Leaders in Innovation Fellowships programme is an excellent example of this. I am pleased to see budding Malaysian entrepreneurs being paired with UK industry experts to develop market-ready innovations in health and life sciences, future cities, agritech, environmental resilience and energy security, as well as digital innovation and creativity.”
The newly-launched LIF online community brings together alumni spanning the full five years of the programme, enabling a collaborative network for LIF alumni, mentors, trainers, programme managers and in-country partners to create, learn, explore and innovate together online. The community makes it easy to connect with other entrepreneurs who are passionate about tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges and transferring research into real-world applications. Profiles of these inspiring technologies and innovations demonstrate their social and economic impact to a global audience, connecting LIF alumni with potential investors and stakeholders ready to support their path to market. You can visit the community at https://lif.raeng.org.uk/.
Just imagine one day, Malaysia, a small country in South East Asia, known as one of the leaders in high technology exports with the latest product and services. Business communities and researchers would come to Malaysia seeking out the latest technology and gadgetry coming out from our shores. YAB Tun Mahathir Mohamad also mentioned a country must ensure the proliferation of knowledge-intensive enterprises that leverage on science and technology in order to take the economy to the next level. Subsequently, many policies were formulated, many organisations were created, and large investments to support YAB Tun’s vision. However, there are some areas that requires further intervention from the Government to ensure that his vision is on the right track, especially in the realm of technology transfer.
The technology transfer landscape in Malaysia is currently in its developmental phase and is vital towards developing a knowledge-based economy. Many innovations that are being generated at research institutions (RIs) and industry, do not find their way to the market for various reasons.
According to OECD’s study Malaysia Innovation Policy Review 2016, it highlighted many challenges that the university faces which regards to technology transfers ecosystem. Some of the pressing challenges that have been identified are as follows:
1. University-Industry mismatch
Current Scenario: Most solutions created at research organisations mismatched with market need. Industry and universities need to identify and understand the problem before creating the solutions. There is a need to have a strategic national platform to coordinate “match-making” exercise.
MIGHT’s View: All stakeholders must look at this issue beyond just a mere simple collaboration and paper agreements. It needs to be viewed as a symbiotic relationship between industry and academia, or in simple term, they need each other to survive and remain competitive & relevant. Ignoring this issue will create a negative impact of inefficiency and waste for all stakeholders.
MIGHT’s Take: High Priority – Create an Interest Group specific for Tech Transfer ecosystem.
2. Tech transfer professional and technology transfer office
Current Scenario: The Tech Transfer Office (TTOs) in the university is considered as the gateway of getting innovation out to the market place. Hence, there is need to have a dedicated professional that facilitates the movement of technology for industry to uptake and well versed in many areas such as invention disclosure assessment, IPRs, marketing technologies, negotiation of deals, basics of license agreements and spinout company formation.
MIGHT’s View: There is a need to create a new career path for tech transfer professionals. High level policy makers and universities administrators must understand the importance to have dedicated professionals that will manage the movement of innovations, ingenuity and inventions to the marketplace. This responsibility should not be put on the shoulders of the lecturers that are responsible to create future leaders and new research.
MIGHT’s Take: Medium to High Priority – Further discussion with Ministry of Education and Public Service Department
3. Measuring greater impact
Current Scenario: Measurement of successful impact of technology transfer such as the patents filed, spin-out companies created are some of the common variables that is measured. However, there is a need to be deploy a methodology that will measure the true impact of technology transfer and to determine its spill over effects to an economy.
MIGHT’s View: Government must have a clear definition and policies of tech transfer. We should also look into the socio-economy impact, job creations, and environmental that will highlight the true success story. Budget is getting smaller which will result in lower probably of innovation to make it out to the market place. How will we be able to prioritize projects that has the higher chance to be monetize and commercialize?
MIGHT’s Take: Medium to High Priority – Develop policy intervention and impact matrix.