Mosti to groom country’s start-ups for the global arena

Datuk Ir Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) is on a mission to groom the country’s start-ups to propel them to the global arena, considering that they have made a name for themselves and have impacted the Malaysian economy positively.

Players like Aerodyne, Carsome, EasyParcel, Fave, Grab, iFlix, Kaodim and Pop Meals (previously dahmakan) are some examples of companies riding on the bandwagon and causing disruptions, said Mosti secretary-general Datuk Ir Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir.

“The government is fully aware that facilities go a long way towards attracting start-ups and so we offer speedy processing, improved infrastructure and increased accessibility.

“It is noteworthy to say that our success so far has been due to multi-ministerial efforts and no one entity can be singled out,” she said in Bernama’s Thoughts column via www.bernama.com.

Siti Hamisah said the Covid-19 crisis has impacted many Malaysians and businesses, and it has also proven a major struggle for start-ups, especially in terms of capital and demand.

“The government came in as a white knight introducing incentives, among others, the RM250 billion Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin), RM35 billion Short-Term National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) and the RM15 billion Malaysian Economic and Rakyat’s Protection Assistance Package (Permai).

“However, financial assistance alone is not enough. Start-ups need to be creative and innovative, foster collaborative partnerships with other players, as well as larger corporations, government agencies, and investors,” she said.

This drove the government, through Mosti, to launch the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) designed to accelerate Malaysia’s goal to become a high-tech and high-income nation, she added.

“Initiated under Penjana, the NTIS helps support and intensify efforts to develop technological fields and accelerate research and development (R&D) and commercialisation of local technologies.

“The advantage is NTIS allows researchers, innovators, start-ups, and high-tech entrepreneurs to test their products, services, business models, and delivery mechanisms in a live environment with some relaxation from all or selected regulatory requirements,” she said.

Siti Hamisah further said Mosti will provide the opportunity for start-ups and innovators, together with other industry players, to leverage Expo 2020 Dubai and connect with global players and markets, to ensure Malaysia rises to the challenge of having top start-ups globally.

The world expo, themed ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, takes place from Oct 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 in Dubai, with 192 participating nations and organisations.

Throughout, the Malaysia Pavilion will host specially-curated 26 weekly thematic business and trade programmes.

“Mosti and its agencies, Technology Park Malaysia and Cradle Fund, will debut the programmes, namely Commercialisation – From Lab to International Week and Creating Tomorrow’s Sustainable Start-ups Week, respectively.

“The participating companies in the programmes include those in the information and communications technology, advanced engineering, advanced material, biotechnology, agriculture, healthcare, cosmetics, and medical technologies sectors,” she said.

Siti Hamisah, who is also the Commissioner-General for Malaysia at Expo 2020 Dubai, said this goes hand-in-hand with the Malaysia Commercialisation Year 3.0’s intention to bring the industries to global markets and put Malaysian innovators, researchers and start-ups on the global map.

“Mosti is not the only ministry taking the lead in bringing our start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the forefront at Expo 2020.

“The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives will spearhead 19 start-ups and SMEs during its Start up Local, End up Global Week at Expo 2020,” she said.

Over 200 companies, start-ups, SMEs, innovators, technopreneurs, social entrepreneurs, and government-linked companies will participate as business delegates. – Bernama