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.
31st July 2018 marks a momentous comeback when MIGHT welcomed nation’s beloved YAB Tun Dr Mahathir as our Patron. MIGHT, a brain child of YAB Tun, was first established on 22nd February 1993 under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s Department as a think-tank to develop the high technology industry through partnerships between the public and private sector. The return of YAB Tun, MIGHT’s first Patron from 1993 to 2003 is like welcoming home the long awaited father.
It was a great feeling to be back in business under the leadership of YAB Tun and thus far we have organised two successful MIGHT Consultation series. MIGHT CONSULTATION is a significant platform for the Prime Minister to regularly convey his aspirations and mandates to the stakeholders especially the industry players. Various issues were discussed pertaining to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Sustainable Development Goals. YAB Tun encouraged more industry driven research-based activities, where MIGHT is tasked to develop a National High Technology Industry Agenda 2.0. He further highlighted the needs for the Industry players to exploit the vast applications of semiconductor technology especially in the security, environment and communication fields.
The “Blockchain” hype entered the mainstream consciousness when it was promoted as one of the key movers of fintech, in the process stirring questions about the viability of the global financial system and the role of financial intermediaries. As an answer, the financial system is a complex platform for an array of stakeholders that probably has benefited best from the wake up call to innovate and to be mindful about the interests of the users. Improvement is work in progress, as change is a constant to be calculated in matters of days and the idea of “rational decision” assumed in the traditional economics.
On the quieter side, technically, Blockchain technology have helped to solve swarm robotics challenges, enhance NASA’s aviation and space management and actively discussed at international level by growing number of collaborative and standard bodies. The stakes are high, especially with “smart contract” as a part of the blockchain narrative expected to impact global supply chain management. The standard architecture, definition and its position in the data-driven world is yet to be formally established, but innovation hits the world at unprecedented speed under the “blockchain” hype. It appears like the open source is galvanising the digital native to step up in taking charge of public environment and this has created an new ecosystem of social capital.
To be realistic, many of these progress are coated by technical jargons which might have refrained the public from embracing this ecosystem wholeheartedly.Against this background, MIGHT started its journey to explore how Malaysia could benefit from the maverick blockchain technology in solving some of its challenges in 2016 as a Foresight effort.
Blockchain communities were mostly informal and existed in closed ecosystem. MIGHT found them through MAGIC’s start-up events and started planning for the KL Blockchain Conference 2017 to gather the communities and make them counted. What follows has been a three years journey and history communicated in this report.
The report proposes that the next level of development involving blockchain technology to be espouse as a cluster of emerging technologies (develop an ABCD-I framework), social (shared prosperity by mobilising open source and social capital) and industry (develop via partnership and new business models) for Malaysia. Blockchain where network effects reign could help position Malaysia as a country which capitalises knowledge and technology to navigate its future which is in line with the national principle embedded in Rukunegara.
The Shared Prosperity 2030 will be the thrust of the government’s policies and programmes in its bid to make Malaysia on a path of sustainable development that prioritises equitable growth of each value chain, class, community and geography to support a greater sense of harmony and stability among the people. The new economic model comprises three main objectives which includes to ensure the income gap and people’s wealth would be looked into, to create a more structured, progressive, knowledge-based and high-value economy; and to turn Malaysia into an important economic axis in Asia.
This requires strengthening the local industry capabilities and to embrace advanced technologies, innovation, and research and development. R&D is widely recognized to be the prerequisite of technological advance, and levels and rates of growth of R&D expenditures are viewed as reliable indicators of innovative capacity. Across the world, two-thirds to three quarters of all R&D activities are carried out in the private sector. Therefore, the private sector is not only the principal financing sector of R&D, it is also by far the main performer of R&D activities. The involvement of the private sector in research-driven activities is thus crucial for Malaysia’s future economic growth and competitiveness for various reasons.
Firstly, the private sector R&D can create wealth because they are closer to the market. By actively participating in R&D activities indirectly create the process of transforming knowledge into products and services that Malaysian and others in today’s global marketplace, need, want and will pay for.
R&D done in private sector will also strengthen the technical advances made possible by innovation which will allow them to improve productivity, succeed in competitive markets, and meet environmental and regulatory requirements. Although the private sector has traditionally developed research capabilities in house, they have also need to established collaborative links with other organizations, such as universities, and acquired the results of innovation from other enterprises through licensing or takeovers. Indirectly the involvement of the private sector in R&D could also generate high skills human capital which is needed for the country.
Various mechanisms were introduced globally in order to promote private sector R&D. Some of the widely used financial instruments includes subsidies/grants and tax incentives. For example a generation ago, the United States was one of the first nations to encourage private sector R&D through tax credits. Since then, a wide range of economists have agreed that every tax credit dollar stimulates anywhere from USD$1 to $3 in additional private investment on the part of U.S. companies. Unlike many other items in the tax code, R&D actually spurs investment and a greater return. In the case of Malaysia, there are numerous tax incentives to encourage private sector and institutions to carry out R&D activities. The main R&D incentives are granted in the form of Pioneer Status, Investment Tax Allowance and Double Deduction or tax exemption. Obviously, a new innovative approach needs to be implemented in order to enhance the private sector R&D activities for targeted foreign direct investment and also to enrich the direct domestic investment.
An innovative approach in order to encourage private sector R&D which was championed by MIGHT was the formation of Aerospace Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC). The centre is jointly funded from the Government and industry which includes Airbus, Rolls Royce and CTRM. One of the significant features of AMIC is that the R&D that will be done in the university will be based on the industry needs and will able to provide an opportunity for the local industry to participate. AMIC will also be able to train local talent by conducting training courses at Masters and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) levels in the field of aerospace technology.
AMIC is a Research & Development centre of excellence formed and bench marked after the model of Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield, United Kingdom. The AMRC with Boeing is a £45million partnership of the University of Sheffield and over 40 partner companies, which builds on the shared scientific excellence, expertise and technological innovation of the world’s leading aerospace companies, and world-class research within the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering. It develops innovative and advanced technology solutions for materials forming, metal working and castings. It also has internationally acknowledged research in the field of composite materials, an area crucial to the development of Boeing’s next generation aircraft. The AMRC’s success is built on an extensive partnership. It is situated on an Advanced Manufacturing Park, where it is co-located with other internationally significant research and technology transfer organisations. The AMRC has benefited directly from ongoing support and funding from both the public and private sector.
In the rail industry, MIGHT was instrumental to establish the Malaysian Rail Industry Consortium (MARIC), a consortium of local rail companies to enhance the local rail industry capability and capacity. The consortium will be a platform to assist these companies to enhance their capacity, competency and ability by working together or partnering with OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to have the skill to bid for projects.
With government’s support through its localisation policy, the local rail industry has developed and achieved international standard and recognition. This is evident in local player’s involvement in three major projects under The Greater Kuala Lumpur Plan 2010. The projects were awarded based on the capabilities of MARIC members, together with each respective local and international rail partner. Through these projects, MARIC members expand their expertise through knowledge transfer such as involvement in after sales, MRO and export capabilities. It also accorded MARIC members credibility as engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) partners to the international original equipment manufacturer (OEM), enabling smart-partnership between various parties, locally and abroad.
Going forward, MARIC has a vision of expanding its organisation that would further benefit its members. Amongst them are incorporation of MARIC Incorporated and MARIC Trading House, establishment of Rail Industry Zone that includes research and innovation centre, warehouse and heavy engineering storage, and establishment of Rolling Stock Anchor Company, Technology and Innovation Anchor Companies and MARIC Product Focus Group.
Through these initiatives, MARIC is ready to achieve more with the government’s support and recognition. Through collaboration with international construction, engineering and financial giants, MARIC members can adapt easily to both western to eastern technology. Such exposure also inculcates awareness on the standards of quality and expectations of the local players and increase their capabilities such as managing high level maintenance, repair and overhaul of LRT Ampang Line, KLIA Express and KTMB ETS wagons. In addition, parts and components can also be produced locally with support and assistance from OEM and rail owners. Key operators such as Prasarana and KTMB has long embarked into vendor development programme where they identify special components to be locally manufactured while opening up windows of opportunities to grow abroad.
Achieving the right blend between the public sector and private industry is a complicated economic endeavour due to the fact that Malaysia is a small country with limited resources. But neither the private sector’s invisible hand nor governmental heavy-handedness can be the solution. It is true that the private sector cannot spur an innovation agenda without the government, but it is equally true that the government cannot replace private-sector market forces. It is therefore imperative that the public and private sectors start working together through MIGHT and together we can make it happen.