National Technology and Innovation Sandbox Invites Applications from July 1

Following the government’s economic recovery plan (PENJANA) announcement last Fri, 5 June, several initiatives to stimulate economic recovery are in motion – including the Technology and Innovation (NTIS) which will start receiving applications in three weeks. Meanwhile the Social Enterprise Elevation (SEE) initiative will release details soon as well.

NTIS will be spearheaded by Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti), with the support from Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), Technology Park Malaysia (TPM) and Mimos Bhd as the secretariat to enable and coordinate the rollout of the NTIS.

“Through NTIS, our goal is to drive talent development to fulfil Malaysia’s potential of becoming a high tech nation, as well as accelerate R&D and commercialisation through simplified policies and regulations,” said Khairy Jamaluddin, Mosti Minister, after a work visit to MaGIC yesterday.

Khairy explained that the NTIS will allow researchers, innovators, startups and high-tech entrepreneurs to test their products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms in a live environment. NTIS will enjoy some relaxations from all or selected regulatory requirements to encourage the development of innovative and creative solutions as part of promoting and facilitating route to market.

It also aims to reduce dependency on foreign labour, increase employment opportunities for Malaysians, increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP)/Gross National Income (GNI), enhance the participation, investment and collaboration in research by the private sector as well as improve the country’s commercialisation rate.

MaGIC CEO Dzuleira Abu Bakar said that MaGIC as the lead NTIS Secretariat will be working with Mimos and TPM alongside other Mosti agencies ranging from technology development to funding entities and other ministries. The NTIS secretariat would act as a national solution coordination centre for existing and new problem statements brought about by the public sector, corporates as well as from the community – particularly through the use of advanced technology.

“Covid-19 has impacted businesses and led to rising unemployment, whilst surfacing several sectoral issues such as foreign labour dependency, local supply chain resilience, food & health security and patchy digital infrastructure. These issues can be addressed by using advanced technology including in key sectors such as services, healthcare, manufacturing and agriculture.”

The NTIS Secretariat will look to support solutions and products that feature advanced technology, in addition to reskilling and upskilling initiatives, capacity building programmes, market access, preparation of platform and test environments, facilitation and review of regulations and laws and multi-industry adoption.

“Advanced technology is the next step forward in the innovation roadmap for Malaysia to gain a competitive advantage through the creation of new socio-economic value. The window for advanced technology products and solutions to be commoditised is getting shorter and the ability to commercialise becomes faster – therefore the right time to foster this is now,” she said.

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