5 mins read

Budget 2023 the wind in MRANTI's sail

October 9, 2022
5 mins read
Budget 2023 the wind in MRANTI's sail

On behalf of The Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology & Innovation (MRANTI), I would like to thank the Ministry of Finance for the initial allocation of US$3.88 million (RM18 million) to elevate MRANTI Park into a global innovation hub. MRANTI Park is already a leading technology park, but we must enhance it further if we are serious about attaining a Top 20 rank in the Global Innovation Index, which puts us on course to becoming a high-tech country and innovation driven economy.

While a large part of the Master Plan is focused on Phase 3 of 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 make their breakthrough. We want to make the entire MRANTI Park 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.

Our intention is to position MRANTI Park 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, transforming ideas to impact.

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.

[RM1 = US$0.21]

Besides talent development, having an innovative co-location with strong infrastructure is important to reinvigorate Malaysia’s technology ecosystem. The co-location concept is important as it brings together the community of innovators and researchers to one meeting point, while emphasising the importance of a physical ecosystem coupled with shared infrastructure and amenities.

Agritech company Boomgrow, which is based at MRANTI Park and a participant of the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) in which MRANTI is the lead secretariat, has also changed the way we approach urban farming by adopting the indoor vertical farming concept, aided by the application of AI and Internet of Things (IoT).

On tax incentives extended to local pharmaceutical and aerospace companies - we are sure some of the companies based at MRANTI Park will benefit from this, as we are committed to developing five tech clusters, which are drone tech, agri tech, health tech, bioscience and 4IR enabling tech at MRANTI Park.

The notable increase in healthcare allocation is most welcomed, which includes the procurement of medical devices such as 3D printers for the purpose of making dentures. With the recent launch of the healthtech hubs under NTIS and the 10-acre Integrated Healthcare Cluster, 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.

We are committed to helping Malaysia accelerate its journey towards becoming a high-tech nation and innovation driven economy. Every 1% increase in our innovation capacity increases the GDP per capita by 0.36%. This means an additional RM5.6 billion to our GDP.

MySTI accreditation programme

In our consultation with MOSTI, we learned that products, services and technologies produced through local R&D activities lacked visibility in the market. In response, MOSTI developed guidelines for the accreditation of these products, services and technologies.

MRANTI has been tasked to process the applications, which will allow the companies to use the MySTI certificate and logo.

The MySTI programme will allow these products and services to be marketed more strategically and systematically either in Government procurement or in the local and foreign open markets.

MySTI will provide an end-to-end platform that connects the Government, researchers, product/technology owners, technopreneurs, potential buyers, potential investors, potential partners and the people. The MySTI inventory will bring together goods and services from local R&D that have been recognised and are ready for commercialisation.

Malaysia Techlympics 2023

As the implementing agency for Malaysia Techlympics 2022, MRANTI is encouraged that MOSTI will be managing a RM7 million allocation for the initiative next year, allowing a deeper and greater degree of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) enculturation amongst the children and youths, even as the programme has benefitted one million Malaysians this year.

Since its inception, we have rolled out over 50 roadshows nationwide, featuring a series of informal STI-based lessons and contests at school, district, state and national level to develop the next generation of innovators and changemakers. This programme lays a strong foundation to STI and will have a long term impact on our STI agenda.

Overall Response to the Budget

I personally welcome the 3Rs of Budget 2023 - Responsive, Responsible, Reformist. MRANTI’s role as technology commercialisation accelerator falls within the final R, in which we are tasked to reinvigorate the technology ecosystem and drive the country’s transformation towards becoming a high tech nation and an innovation driven economy.

There is a real and critical need to transform the national development landscape to ensure it is more inclusive and sustainable in order to attract foreign and domestic investment.

The empowerment of core technology will continue to function as a disruptive medium that encourages innovation in new fields, becoming an enabler of economic growth that will facilitate and support government planning and policy in facing the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), further making Malaysia a high-tech country.

Dzuleira Abu Bakar is CEO of MRANTI.

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