Petronas FutureTech 2.0 to accelerate innovation among Malaysian start-ups

The programme aims to scale up homegrown tech start-ups to be at par with international standards

by ANIS HAZIM / pic credit: Petronas FB

PETROLIAM Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is inviting Malaysian start-ups to participate in the second edition of its technology accelerator programme, Petronas FutureTech 2.0.

The programme is aimed at encouraging local innovations and scaling up homegrown technology start-ups to be at par with international standards.

This year, Petronas is teaming up with Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and Sime Darby Plantation Bhd while it continues to partner global venture capital firm, 500 Startups.

This collaboration is expected to bring in greater prospects for participating start-ups, as well as to unlock synergies from cross-industry expertise and maximise the programme’s value impact on local start-ups.

According to Petronas, the strategic partnership will allow the partnering companies to uncover potentially game-changing technologies and accelerate new ideas that can help transform local industries while enabling the teams to have greater market access for growth.

The themes for FutureTech 2.0 are Industrial Revolution 4.0, Specialty Chemicals and Advance Materials, Future of Energy, Digital Transformation and Retail Innovation.

Petronas Ventures head Arni Laily Anwarrudin said following the success of the first FutureTech programme in 2019, bigger prospects are expected towards nation-building this year.

“Collaborating with major corporations is the right way to further nurture the ecosystem for Malaysian start-ups,” she said in a statement yesterday.

Arni Laily said the programme also creates a positive socio-economic impact to the community through education and skill investment, as well as fostering tech-driven innovations that support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

She added that it will also support the country’s aspiration to spur start-ups and venture capital ecosystem builders in Malaysia by working closely with the National Technology Innovation Sandbox programme.

TM chief strategy officer Tengku Muneer Tengku Muzani was thrilled to join hands with Petronas and Sime Darby Plantation to help nurture the start-up ecosystem in Malaysia.

“In line with our drive towards a ‘digital Malaysia’, we hope to explore common grounds with the FutureTech 2.0 corporate partners and start-ups in accelerating digital innovation by leveraging each other’s strengths,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sime Darby Plantation chief strategy and innovation officer Dr Shariman Alwani Mohamed Nordin said the company looks forward to identifying innovative start-ups with the technology capabilities and game-changing solutions to help the company overcome its various challenges and pain points.

“When it comes to innovating, the sky is the limit and there is always more that can be achieved.

“We may have the wealth of experience and the fundamental knowledge in the palm oil industry, but new innovative ideas can come from anyone,” said Shariman Alwani.

FutureTech 2.0 seeks to build on the success of its inaugural batch two years ago, where the programme funded two start-ups from the first cohort — robotics and automation for agriculture technology start-up Braintree Technologies Sdn Bhd and sustainable energy start-up SOLS Energy Sdn Bhd.

Shortlisted start-ups in FutureTech 2.0 will undergo an intensive 12-week virtual programme from September, which includes masterclasses, workshops and coaching from 500 Startups’ mentors, as well as C-suite and experts from Petronas, TM and Sime Darby Plantation.

Applications for FutureTech 2.0 are now open via until July 27, 2021.