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Re-energising the Malaysia-China Science, Technology, and Innovation Ecosystem

April 25, 2024
Astro Awani
5 mins read

China's pre-eminent science, technology and innovation hub, Zhongguancun (ZGC) is acclaimed as China's Silicon Valley. The ZGC Science City LTD. was established by the local government of Haidian district in 2019, with a mission to serve the innovation ecosystem construction of ZGC Science City and high-qualitydevelopment of Haidian District of Beijing.

It is also a home to nearly 22,000 high-tech companies, with an average of 90 new businesses being born there each day. Global companies such as Lenovo, Baidu, Xiaomi and Beigene started up from Z-Park, as did over 80 Unicorn companies such as Toutiao, Mggvii and Cambricon. Over 200 branches and R&D centres of the world's Top 500 companies have offices at Zhongguancun Science Park.

MRANTI visited Zhongguancun Science Park (Z-Park) demo centre last December 2023, where it showcases the real park covering an area of 120,000 acres with approximately 16 parks distributed across Beijing, including those situated within Haidian district. The two organisations thereafter continued to explore strategic collaboration areas.

Today, MRANTI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Beijing Zhongguancun Science City Innovation Development Co. Ltd. witnessed by The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).

This MoU marks a pivotal moment in the longstanding relationship between Malaysia and China, aligning with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations.

Under the terms of the MoU, the two organisations have committed to several strategic initiatives aimed at fostering significant advancements in technology and innovation. The five (5) key areas of collaboration are:

1. Personnel Exchange and Shared Development Experiences: This initiative will set up a robust system for personnel exchanges to leverage each other’s development experiences in managing Science and Technology parks. This collaboration is expected to enhance the implementation of best practices andpromote mutual learning and growth.

2. Training and Seminars: Both parties will collaborate on developing and implementing training programs and seminars. These will focus on enhancing entrepreneurial capabilities, constructing robust innovation ecosystems, incubating technology businesses, and transforming scientific research intocommercial success stories.

3. Mutual Benchmarking & Knowledge Visit System: A mutual-visit system will be established to support direct interactions and cooperative endeavours among enterprises from both countries. This system aims to facilitate business collaborations and market expansion through organised exchanges and visits.

4. Collaborative Research: The partnership will also explore collaborative research-projects that further the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation. By combining the strengths of both entities, the initiative aims to tackle global challenges and achieve industry-redefining breakthroughs.

5. Soft-Landing Services for Market Entry: To assist companies looking to enter each other’s markets, both organisations will provide soft-landing services. These services are designed to offer the necessary support and resources for companies to navigate new opportunities with greater ease and confidence. "This collaboration underscores the deepening partnership between Malaysia and China, especially in the crucial fields of science, technology, and innovation." stated YB Tuan Chang Lih Kang, Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation.

The Minister further underscored the extensive reach of the partnership, adding, "We are eager to expand our cooperation across various sectors, including interconnectivity, the digital economy, the green economy, modern agriculture, and biomedicine. These efforts reflect our mutual interests and the dynamic capabilities of our nations to drive substantial progress together."

Datuk Wira Dr. Hj. Rais Hussin Hj. Mohamed Ariff, Chief Executive Officer of MRANTI reiterates that through this partnership, MRANTI is poised to elevate Malaysia's technological capabilities on the international stage, ensuring that we are not just participants but leaders in the global innovation arena. He also stressed that this cooperation is essential in creating a common platform for Malaysia and China to access capital, market, talents and innovation.

“For Malaysia, the ability to access the massive market in China, tap into funding/capital through the 80 unicorns in ZGC, not forgetting the highly robust talents and innovation that can engender massive impact and outcome to the nation and society. A new deal that will shape the future of technology and innovation landscape in Malaysia, exciting times ahead indeed”, Dr. Rais added.

As MRANTI and Beijing Zhongguancun Science City Innovation Development Co. Ltd embark on this exciting journey, the partnership is set to unlock new possibilities and propel both nations towards a future dominated by innovation and sustained growth in the global arena.

Also present at the signing ceremony were:

● Honourable Minister Chang Lih Kang, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Malaysia

● Mr Ling Ji,Vice Minister of Commerce, People Republic of China (PRC)

● Mr. Xia Linmao, Executive Deputy Mayor of Beijing, Member of CPC Beijing Standing Committee, People Republic of China (PRC)

● Datuk Ts. Dr. Mohd Nor Azman Hassan, Deputy Secretary General (Technology Development), Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Malaysia

● Mr Zhang Ge, Secretary of the Haidian District Committee, People Republic of China (PRC)

● Prof Dr. Rofina Yasmin Othman, Chairman of the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology & Innovation (MRANTI)

● Datuk Wira Dr. Hj. Rais Hussin Hj. Mohamed Ariff, Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology & Innovation (MRANTI)

● Mr Li Junjie, Chief Executive, Haidian District Government, People Republic of China (PRC)