BY: DZULEIRA ABU BAKAR
The Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology & Innovation (MRANTI) would like to congratulate the Prime Minister and Finance Minister YAB Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) for the successful tabling of Budget 2023 in Dewan Rakyat.
Guided by six Madani values to uphold sustainability, prosperity, innovation, trust, respect as well as care, and compassion, we applaud the government’s commitment to support the establishment of innovative and high-growth companies under the 2023 Budget.
We would also like to thank the MOF and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) for its support towards the development of the nation’s capacity in three areas: innovation, investment and inclusive growth.
MRANTI will continue fulfilling our role with earnest, closely collaborating with corporates, innovators, academia and communities to accelerate more Malaysian technologies to market and raise the stature of our R&D for commercialisation.
The Budget will allow us to strengthen Malaysia’s position globally and prepare us for future shocks in key areas of environmental sustainability, health and food security, with innovation as a core enabler.
1) INNOVATION: MRANTI’S ROLE AS A NUCLEUS FOR R&D AND C&I
The government’s allocation of RM428 million for R&D activities under the Ministry of Higher Education and MOSTI to address sectorial and societal challenges is timely, and reinforces the support to continually invest in our security of innovation supply. Since our inception, MRANTI has signed 7 MoUs with leading institutions of higher learning to accelerate the commercialisation of technologies, in addition to connecting the ecosystem through programmes and events.
In this, MRANTI will play a key role as Malaysia’s nucleus for R&D&C&I. It will accelerate innovation on the back of “impact technologies” in key industry sectors, for sustainable development and the rakyat’s well-being, by transforming ideas and innovation to impact.
2) INVESTMENT INFRASTRUCTURE: MALAYSIA A CO-LOCATION HUB FOR HIGH-TECH
Through innovation in new fields, and support by the government in planning and policy, Malaysia can be an exciting investment destination.
In accelerating the adoption of digitalisation and technological innovation, and to attract foreign and domestic investors, I am pleased to share that MRANTI Park is Malaysia’s foremost 4IR focussed, 5G enabled leading technology park.
Under the five-year MRANTI Park Master Plan, we target a gross development value of RM20 billion, with returns from land lease valued at RM2.8 billion, and create 8,000 jobs by 2030.
Within the 686-acre park, Phase 1 and Phase 2 will be retrofitted and upgraded to ensure the infrastructure and amenities meet the technology requirements of our innovators and researchers to bring more products and solutions to market.
Phase 3 development plans will see MRANTI Park as a fully integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI) Park which upholds the principles of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria.
In this, the government’s move to support sustainability start-ups and green-tech companies with an RM2 billion funding will help us draw in and enable companies with such principles at the Park. This strategic move will help Malaysia differentiate itself in the global market as there is a pressing need worldwide for solutions that uphold planetary health.
MRANTI Park is also ready to support initiatives under MOSTI in R&D efforts towards developing and commercialising vaccinations. Already MRANTI Park is host to several bio-technology firms including InterVenn and SolBio – which develop anti-cancer vaccines and with facilities to locally formulate, fill and finish a range of human vaccines.
With a number of leasing and business-friendly models available, MRANTI Park is an attractive innovation hub. We believe the move on attracting local and foreign investment, companies that relocate their operations to Malaysia will enjoy tax incentives, along with a rate of 15 percent for C-suite executives – will help us draw in the right talent and move Malaysia up the innovation value chain.
3) Inclusive Growth: Rakyat’s Well-Being: Health Tech, Food Tech
In the trajectory to become a high-tech country and innovation driven economy, MRANTI focuses on five clusters: drone tech, agri tech, health tech, bioscience and 4IR enabling tech.
In Agri-tech, the RM50 million matching grant to encourage the automation of the plantation sector through the use of robotics and Artificial Intelligence is an important instrument to elevate Malaysia’s growth in core industries.
The government’s subsidies and incentives for the agriculture and fisheries industry and implement various initiatives to improve food supply, including high-tech fresh agricultural produce for agro-food operators in Budget 2023 will also help strengthen Malaysia’s competitiveness in this area.
In terms of enabling high technology for food security, the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) programme in which MRANTI is the lead secretariat, has supported almost 70 agri-tech and health-tech companies for funding, commercialisation and regulatory access in doing LIVE testing.
These Malaysian companies are changing the way we approach farming and healthcare, aided by drones, the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) across 10 sandbox sites.
Through the NTIS, MRANTI is also developing a 10-acre Integrated Healthcare Cluster. Through this, and other initiatives, we are committed to helping the Ministry of Health (MOH) elevate the quality of healthcare in the country via the application of new and advanced technologies.
Through this, five hospitals have also been identified as Health Technology Hubs to be used for the testing of robotics, the internet of medical things (IoMT), while leveraging 4G/5G facilities.
The vision is to transform lives by providing affordable, inclusive and sustainable medical and healthcare innovation.
** The views expressed on this opinion is of the writer and not the publisher