The Launch of Platform for Technology Commercialisation (PLATCOM)
Assalamualaikum Warrahmahtullahi Wabarakatuh and Salam 1Malaysia.
Governance Council members and members of the media,
1. Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge my heartfelt thanks to the CEOs of AIM and SME Corp, for inviting me to be a part of this momentous occasion. I am delighted that we can all be here to witness what I consider to be another milestone in our quest towards becoming a leader in innovation in the region.
Ladies and gentlemen,
2. A knowledge-based economy is one that is capable of knowledge production, dissemination and use, where knowledge is a key factor in growth, wealth creation and employment, and where human capital is the driver of creativity, innovation and the generation of new ideas.
3. There is a strong correlation and mutual interaction between ‘the knowledge society’ and ‘the knowledge-based economy’. Furthermore, ‘knowledge’ has become a critical requirement for enhancing competitiveness of countries in the twenty first century.
4. In present times, it is evident that traditional global drivers of economic growth are different from those of the past. More than ever before in human history, the economy is now dependent on the knowledge factor for growth. To respond positively to these developments and ensure enhancements in terms of national competitiveness, it is essential to pay attention to knowledge, to innovation and its utilisation in all sectors. Close attention must be paid to the new role of technology, entrepreneurship, education, lifelong learning, sharpening skills of the workforce, and moving from strictly hierarchical to more horizontal management structures.
5. We have taken the initiative in formulating the fundamental developments needed in supporting Malaysia’s drive towards the establishment of a knowledge-based economy. Naturally, on this journey, industry/academia collaboration is of the utmost importance, since universities and research institutes are the major knowledge generators in a country.
Ladies and gentlemen,
6. Today, we are launching PlaTCOM Ventures Sdn Bhd – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Agensi Inovasi Malaysia, formed in collaboration with SME Corporation Malaysia. PlaTCOM is an inspiring collaboration and an amalgamation of two national initiatives; namely,
the Innovation Business Opportunities (IBO) initiative of AIM; and,
the High Impact Programme 2 (HIP2) – Technology Commercialisation Platform (TCP) – under the SME Masterplan 2012-2020 of SME Corporation Malaysia
7. AIM’s IBO has historically enabled showcasing and promoting Malaysian borne IP from academia and public research institutes. SME Corp’s SME Masterplan will help tie up the Malaysian SMEs to the national innovation ecosystem. In this respect, the amalgamation of the IBO and HIP2-TCP programmes will further enhance industry/academia collaboration and commercialisation of Malaysian Intellectual Property Rights. PlaTCOM Ventures will take the lead in this.
8. PlaTCOM Ventures is a unique model designed by AIM, SME Corp and the World Bank and incorporates best practices from successful models such as Isis Innovation of University of Oxford in the UK.
9. Currently, while there are many initiatives to promote innovation, these initiatives are fragmented and not inter-linked and there exists a gap between the different phases of innovation. Some of these include gaps in securing funds, accessing facilities, regulatory certification, as well as in obtaining timely technical assistance and advisory. Given this, the SMEs face difficulty in accessing the national innovation ecosystem.
10. The PlaTCOM programme is designed to link all existing innovation initiatives under one platform and to ensure that it is seamless for SMEs to move from one stage to another in the entire innovation process and to link with early stage financing. The model addresses the innovation gaps through a holistic and ‘market-driven’ approach in supporting innovation and industrial competitiveness. It is designed to remove market and financing barriers to innovation.
11. The programme will provide the necessary support from ‘concept to commercialisation’. This will be done through the provision of access to technical assistance, market information, incubation facilities, testing facilities and other relevant services – all in a single platform.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
12. You may recall at the recent panel discussion at the National Economic Summit and Dialogue, I mentioned that there is a German institution which specialises in helping businesses by undertaking innovations on behalf of businesses, including research and development and new business processes. Alternatively this organization also develops technology to make the clients’ business more productive and competitive. This remarkable German institution is called Steinbeis.
13. I am pleased to announce that AIM is collaborating with Steinbeis in Malaysia on a few pilot projects, one of which is the collaboration between a Bintulu-based company and UPM scientists to optimise the yield of Napier grass plantations for bio-based fuels and chemicals.
14. Also, CREST (Collaborative Research in Science, Engineering and Technology), which based in Penang, works closely with Steinbeis Malaysia to leverage its model to bring together some of its members with scientists from USM and other institutions.
15. The Steinbeis Malaysia model aims to provide an additional industry-focused platform to stimulate industry/academia collaboration from a ‘market driven’ perspective. The model does not replace any existing models and is an additional option for industry and academia.
16. The PlaTCOM programme will have access to Steinbeis Malaysia to deliver the innovative products and solutions for our SMEs. PlaTCOM takes a new approach – a public-private partnership – meaning the platform will be owned by the government but run by a management team from the private sector. The programme will provide end-to-end facilitation in moving innovations from ‘concept to commercialisation’ thereby removing market barriers to innovation and promoting SME involvement in innovation. The model takes a ‘market-driven’ approach and will focus on replacing public sector funding with private sector funding in the innovation space.
Ladies and gentlemen,
17. In this borderless age, it has become more important than ever for the various government bodies to come together to communicate and collaborate on initiatives that serve a common purpose in bringing new waves of change that can bring about improvement to the lives and wellbeing of the nation.
18. The partnership between AIM and SME Corp today has given birth to a new entity that will bring the nation’s innovation agenda one step further and with it, create a platform that encourages better visibility and marketability of home-grown IPs.
19. I am confident that this initiative will take us one significant step forward as we strive for ever greater innovation for the nation, and I wish the pioneering team in this endeavour every success. On that note, it is with great pleasure that I hereby launch PlaTCOM Ventures Sdn Bhd.