MGC is introduced to encourage R&D, commercialisation and innovation of the country
by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
THE Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) is targeting to commercialise 114 local products with the support of five new funds under “Program Dana Pemacu Teknologi Strategik”, also known as Pemacu.
Mosti Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar (picture) said the government is stepping up its efforts to commercialise local products and innovation this year to reduce the reliance on other countries’ technology.
Overall, he said Malaysia is aiming at increasing its GDP on research and development (R&D) from 1.08% at present to 3% by 2030.
The five funds — Strategic Research Fund (SRF), Technology Development Fund 1 (TeD 1), TeD 2, Bridging Fund (BGF) and Applied Innovation Fund (AIF) — are offered via the Malaysia Grand Challenge (MGC) which was launched last Friday.
“The MGC is introduced to encourage R&D, commercialisation and innovation of the country.
“Starting this year, Mosti will offer R&D funds under Pemacu that have been expanded to applicants among start-ups, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through agencies under the ministry,” Khairy said at the launch last week in Putrajaya.
SRF provides up to RM15 million to SMEs and multinational companies for a matching period of 36 months for products with technology readiness level (TRL) 3 to 9.
TeD 1 offers a quantum of RM1 million in 24 months for TRL 2 to 4; TeD 2 (RM3 million within 36 months for TRL 4 to 7); BGF (RM4 million in 36 months for TRL 7 to 9); and AIF (RM500,000 in 12 to 18 months for TRL 2 to 4).
Khairy said MGC calls for intensive and collaborative measures to harness and mainstream science, technology and innovation, and to transform Malaysia into a high-technology nation in line with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals.
He said Malaysia seeks to address and find innovative solutions to challenges it is facing such as climate change, food and water security, energy sustainability, rapid urbanisation, health pandemics, rising non-communicable diseases, and sustained economic growth and inclusion.
Besides the new funds under the MGC, Khairy said Mosti has streamlined all funds available through its various agencies including Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Technology Development Corp, Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd, Kumpulan Modal Perdana Sdn Bhd, Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd, NanoMalaysia Bhd and Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre.
On a separate matter, Khairy said the government will roll out an effective communication strategy to educate the people about the safety and process of vaccinations as Malaysia has opted for a voluntary vaccination approach.
He said, to his knowledge, no other country has mandated vaccinations by law, including Malaysia, adding that making vaccinations compulsory may lead to some resistance.
As it is, he said the communication plan will tackle vaccine confidence among the people.
He added that the government is guided by requirements on vaccine dosage as outlined by each producer.
The minister assured that a second dosage within 21 days after the first one will be reserved for the recipients of Pfizer Inc’s vaccine as required by the manufacturer, taking into account the shipment timeline.