Hong Leong to invest in innovation exchange

The exchange aims to curate, develop and operate ecosystems focused on accelerating innovation in the digital economy

by SULHI KHALID/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

HONG Leong Financial Group Bhd (HLFG) has earmarked RM40 million to develop the HLX Integrated Innovation Centre, a 32-storey innovation exchange.

Fully owned by GuocoLand Malaysia Bhd — the property arm of HLFG, the exchange is located along Jalan Kia Peng in Kuala Lumpur, offering 250,000 sq ft (23,225.76 sq m) of co-working spaces, event facilities, high-tech talent development and training centres, co-living facilities and more.

“To date, a total of 100,000 sq ft has been taken up by start-ups and corporates, including a Vietnamese co-working space with 50,000 sq ft and local training academy KCOM Group plc, which will occupy about 16,500 sq ft,” HLX Management Sdn Bhd GM Mohd Reezan Mohd Fadzil told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur recently.

The exchange aims to curate, develop and operate ecosystems focused on accelerating innovation in the digital economy.

Currently, about 35% of the infrastructure facilities have been completed and will be ready by December next year, Mohd Reezan added.

The project is a private-to-public partnership, with Malaysia Development Economy Corp spring-boarding HLX to be part of the digital economy ecosystem.

“There will be no better place than the HLX community for start-ups, scale-ups and corporates to come together, collaborate and co-create.

“This is an ambitious initiative bringing together market access and corporate collaboration to increase investment into the Malaysian innovation ecosystem over the next five years,” Mohd Reezan said.

The KCOM Group will be a key stakeholder of the HLX Academy — HLX’s Digital Campus, providing specialised development and upskilling programmes under its Beyond4 training banner, matching talent skill sets to the needs of the industry and government, and providing mentoring and industry placements.

It will be the anchor tenant at level 6 of the HLX, which is positioned as the nexus of learning and training for human capital development.

“We at KCOM Group, with our Centre of Excellence Training (CoET) Beyond4 platform, have been leading this upskilling journey towards Industrial Revolution 4.0 since 2016 with our CoET partners,” its CEO ST Rubaneswaran said.

Level 6 will host the Beyond4 training and certification programmes, which will be conducted beginning December 2019.

Citing KCOM Group as a game changer in local human capital development, Mohd Reezan expressed his targets for Beyond4.

“With the launch of Beyond4 programmes, we hope to train 2,000 people in 2020 and transform the workforce, raising strong leaders to lead the fast-evolving digital economy of tomorrow,” he said.