By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
COMPANIES and grant recipients under the purview of the Malaysia Technology Development Corp (MTDC) must now undergo compulsory training throughout the full tenure of the fund that they have secured.
MTDC CEO Datuk Norhalim Yunus said training is now part of the deal following the change in format of the funds offered from previous grant status to investment capital.
The change in status also means that MTDC now has to work even more closely with the companies and fund recipients to ensure the success of their ventures.
“Since the angle has changed, we now see ourselves as investors and the companies as a form of investment.
“Among the training programmes are certifications and standards, as well as technology and collaborations with the education sector,” he said in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Training under the scheme will take part at the Technopreneur Training Academy (TENTRA), the prime capacity building entity for technopreneurs and technology commercialisation.
The academy was established to develop and nurture existing and new technopreneurs via a unique programme called Symbiosis. Norhalim said one of the main challenges faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are difficulties in financial management. “We will oversee all of it and will be placing a special emphasis on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Every company is an important player in developing this revolution to future proof businesses.
“Some other efforts we will be putting in include working with professional mentors from various fields like marketing and branding, so that technopreneurs can get the chance to network,” he sad.
Meanwhile, MTDC included 10 more companies into its ecosystem yesterday, with nine companies receiving funds under the Commercialisation Research Development
Fund (CDRF) and one company under the Technology Acquisition Fund (TAF). A total of RM20 million was disbursed to the companies under CDRF and RM2 million under TAF.
Norhalim said some RM138 million were given to 60 companies last year, with RM37.9 million CDRF fund allocated to 40 companies and RM6.4 million under TAF went to two firms.
“The RM138 million was funded to companies under six funds — CDRF, TAF, Business Start-up Fund (BSF), Business Growth Fund (BGF), Bumiputra Expansion Fund (BEF) and the Halal Technology Development Fund,” he said.
MTDC is expected to receive applications worth RM170 million this year, as efforts to move into the Fourth Industrial Revolution is gearing up steadily.
“We had 130 applications in the mid- dle of last year. After going through the proposals, we approved 42 projects.
“Our main objectives are to assist SMEs to prepare for the revolution, technology wise, and to create new SMEs that are already prepared in that manner,” he said.
The CRDF and TAF projects vary from biotechnology, aquaculture, oil and gas, and machinery fields.
MTDC chairman Datuk Latt Shariman Abdullah echoed the sentiment of keeping up with the revolution, or risk getting left behind.
“We realise that if we do not embark on this course, we would be left behind. We need to speed up as fast as technology changes and accept the changes awaiting us in the future,” he said.
Among the 10 fund recipient companies were Aquatech Bio Resources Sdn Bhd, Biovic Sdn Bhd and MIT Innovation Sdn Bhd.