NACOTS, Prof. Dr. Zainiharyati’s groundbreaking DNA sensor for virus and cancer detection wins INNOVATHON, revolutionizing diagnostics.
NACOTS, a revolutionary DNA sensor device designed for detecting viruses and cancer, emerged as the champion of the first season of the prestigious science, technology, and innovation-based reality show, INNOVATHON. The groundbreaking medical device, developed by Professor Associate Dr. Zainiharyati Mohd Zain, a chemistry lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), took home the coveted title, along with a cash prize of RM100,000 and a substantial business development support investment worth up to RM1 million.
NACOTS has taken the world by storm with its ability to detect cancer genetics through a simple blood test. The project has secured two patents and six copyrights, highlighting its significance in the field of medical diagnostics. Notably, NACOTS also received sponsorship of RM1.2 million from the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI).
Dr. Zainiharyati Mohd Zain, the visionary behind NACOTS, has dedicated an impressive 25 years to her role as a chemistry lecturer at UiTM. Her innovative creation promises to revolutionize the landscape of medical diagnostics, offering hope to millions of patients globally.
“The victory at the final stage of INNOVATHON is the result of friends who are willing to fall and rise together and supporting through ideas, moral, physical, emotional, financial, time, energy & tirelessness in the effort to the final of INNOVATHON,” Prof. Dr. Zainiharyati Mohd Zain shared on her Facebook page, expressing her gratitude for the unwavering support she and her team received throughout their journey.
The esteemed judging panel for INNOVATHON included prominent figures such as the Minister of Economy, Rafizi Ramli, the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Chang Lih Kang, and celebrity entrepreneur Fazura. They played a crucial role in the decision-making process, evaluating the innovative concepts presented by the participants.
Minister Chang Lih Kang congratulated NACOTS on Facebook on its victory and expressed his commitment to supporting local innovators, saying, “The next step is how Rafizi and I can help, especially in terms of policy and policy for us to help deal with the challenges that have been shared throughout the INNOVATHON. I hope that this effort can foster community interest, further mainstreaming innovation among Malaysians to form a developed and competitive nation.”
The runner-up position was claimed by PUTRA UAV 2.0, a ‘Drone Frame Kit’ innovation featuring pineapple leaf fiber, led by Navaneetha Krishna a/l Chandran. The team received RM80,000 in cash and a trophy for their innovative creation. The third place was awarded to ‘Plastic-To-Fuel,’ a groundbreaking innovation by Mensilin Green Energy Sdn. Bhd., led by Mohamad Ashraf Zulnizam and Ahmad Luqman Mohamad Adan, along with a cash prize of RM50,000 and a trophy.
The fourth place was awarded to ‘The Other Self,’ an innovation that focused on creating a specialized jacket for food delivery personnel equipped with essential prayer necessities. The brainchild of Mohd Ehfan Ibrahim and Aziq Fadzly Amir earned them RM10,000 in cash and a trophy.
In the fifth position, ‘MAIDS5,’ a multi-functional rehabilitation tool designed for patients with late gross and fine motor development, secured a cash prize of RM5,000 and a trophy. This innovation was developed by the Rehab Charger Group from the Rehabilitation Medicine Unit of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Kelantan.
Three additional innovations also competed in the INNOVATHON finals: ‘Herba Untuk Ternakan’ by Ustaz H. Azmi Nor, ‘M-Braille Typewriter’ by Muhammad Hafidzuddin, and ‘Floating Stretcher’ by the Captain Innovator Group from the Malaysian Civil Defense Force, Slim River branch, Perak, led by Shahrizal Hussin.
Minister Rafizi Ramli underscored the importance of innovation for Malaysia’s future, stating, “In Malaysia, we are leaders in the digital economy but followers in innovation; it’s time for us to see ourselves as creators, not just consumers. Mainstreaming innovation and improving technology talent is essential to building a successful digital economy, and this ecosystem must be driven together by government and private agencies and able to stimulate growth in the innovation and technology sector.”