NCIA to transform Penang into the Silicon Valley of the East

The transformation will allow the state to recover quickly from the pandemic due to additional job opportunities


THE Northern Corridor Implementation Authority’s (NCIA) collaboration with academia and industry players will boost Penang’s position as a world-class regional technology hub, reinforcing the development of a high-skilled local talent ecosystem, and further polishing Penang’s shine as the Silicon Valley of the East.

NCIA signed a memorandum of collaboration (MoC) recently with Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and the Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology Centre (CREST), respectively, as an effort to develop a strong and sustainable talent pool in relation to this region’s industrial and economic landscape.

NCIA CEO Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John said collaborations with academia and industry players would further grow Penang into a high-income and highly developed state, as well as to help it recover quickly from the pandemic as more job opportunities especially in software engineering are created.

“These collaborative programmes will also see an increase in the quality of talent that can further contribute to the region’s high-skilled workforce.

“NCIA has, in fact, already exceeded its target of RM7.2 billion of 2021 approved investments. As for job creation, it is on track to meet the 8,644 approved job creation targeted for this year,” he said.

While Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (picture) said NCIA is continuously enhancing Penang’s attractiveness to investors in the electronics and electrical, manufacturing and engineering sectors as it strengthens the state’s position as a regional leader for advanced technology, high-value talent and technology hub.

“With more than 300 multinational companies (MNCs) already having established operations in Penang, there is an inherent need for more high-skilled talent to address the demand from the industry here. We are fortunate that Penang has an abundant supply of fresh graduates that the industry can tap into.

“Our position as the Silicon Valley of the East can be further strengthened by upskilling and enhancing the quality of our graduates through the initiatives being introduced by NCIA,” he said after witnessing the virtual MoC signings.

Following the MoC signing between NCIA and USM, the Professional Excellence Programme was launched to enhance talents’ marketability by developing their Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The programme also collaborates with industry players such as Sophic Automation Sdn Bhd, Elliance Sdn Bhd and Miyazu Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

On the other hand, the MoC with CREST would see collaborations with world renowned MNCs such as Intel Microelectronics (M) Sdn Bhd and Motorola Solutions (M) Sdn Bhd, and with local technology companies such as Orionplex Sdn Bhd, Exiatec Technology Sdn Bhd and Sensoft Technologies Sdn Bhd.

The synergistic joint effort between NCIA and CREST resulted in the launch of the Engineering Software Talent Programme, aimed to address the engineering software talent gap in the fields of embedded system, android applications and embedded android operating system.