Malaysia will soon be adding another exciting playground for innovators of all ages, expanding the funnel for bright ideas through capacity building, experimentation and rapid prototyping.
In a statement by the Malaysia Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI), an agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, it said that it will be opening a 2,000 sq ft MakersLab in May.
The agency said this is aligned to ramp up its technology-savvy talent pool and its innovation portfolio, putting Malaysia further along the path to achieve a high-income country status.
It added that the new learning and development center will offer a spectrum of 4IR focussed tools, technologies and technology immersion programmes, aimed at gathering communities for greater experimentation and collaboration in a bid to increase local inventions.
According to Dzuleira Abu Bakar (pic), chief executive officer, MRANTI, opportunities in artificial intelligence, automation, electrification, data science, cloud computing and 3D printing are booming. “However, many reports show that Malaysia needs more scientists, engineers, technologists to fill critical occupations as we enter the 4IR era - just as much as we need to up-end our innovation commercialisation rate,” she said.
“While roadshows allow us to reach all corners of Malaysia to fan interest in technology and innovation, a central hub allows for the meeting of minds. This is where ideas for impact are sparked, where thought and tinkering become a thing,” Dzuleira said.
According to a KPMG survey Kuala Lumpur is among top 10 cities in Asia Pacific seen as a leading technology innovation hub.
“We want to maintain our competitive edge,” Dzuleira said, adding that this requires the company to cultivate ideas from an early stage, effectively transition and scale them for sustainable impact.
As a connector, MRANTI aims to match solutions to problems, MakersLab would be a springboard to cultivate creative and innovative problem-solving skills from within the community, she added.
Located at MRANTI Park in Bukit Jalil, MRANTI MakersLab will offer innovators, students and hobbyists with quick, affordable and convenient access to tools, equipment, space and knowledge for the rapid prototyping of solutions.
It is ideal for sandboxing smaller scale ideas and tinkering of hardware and software in a dedicated space, the agency said.
Meanwhile, Dzuleira said between April and May, a pop-up makerspace will serve as a prelude to MRANTI’s MakersLab and we invite school students, youth and the science, technology, enginering and mathematics (STEM) community to come over to realise their ideas now.
“Visits are currently by appointment basis for best maker experience,” she added.
Dzuleira explained that MRANTI’s MakersLab adds to the suite of MRANTI Park’s 686 acre integrated facilities for end-to-end research, development, commercialisation and innovation services.
MRANTI Park currently hosts five Living Labs for dronetech, unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAV), 5G, BioScience (Agriculture, Healthcare, Bioindustry and 4IR technologies - ideal for stress-testing innovations in a closed environment.
From here, viable products and solutions can be brought on to real-world test beds including the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox sites for live environment testing
They can be further primed for industrial-scale contract manufacturing, consulting and a host of go-to-market programmes at MRANTI Engineering and MRANTI Nexus facilities, MRANTI said.
“Ultimately we want to increase the R&D commercial output of local innovations,” Dzuleira said.
At the MRANTI’s World Engineering Day launch recently, Dzuleira shared that one of the key measures for Malaysia to achieve the high tech nation status is having a one to 100 engineer to population ratio.
“There is high demand for engineers and the skills gap in engineering will negatively affect areas of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in terms of clean energy, sustainable cities and climate action,” Dzuleira said
MRANTI’s World Engineering Day celebration, in collaboration with BEM, the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM), and STEM4ALL Makerspace, drew in over 500 students, educators, innovators and technology enthusiasts.
Over two days, events and activities included a series of talks, forums, competitions, exhibitions and design workshops themed Build Back Wiser - Engineering The Future.
MRANTI’s community, corporate, academia and research outreach engagement sessions are aimed at strengthening collaboration within the innovation ecosystem.
Check out here to find out more about interactive exhibits and experiential activities including 3D design modelling and printing, coding and robotics, and soldering and more at the pop-up area and register your interest today.