Sarawak mulls central body to manage innovation R&D

Abang Johari (second left) receives a souvenir from State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion. Photo: JaPen Sarawak

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has expressed his strong agreement and support for Sarawak State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion’s proposal for the state to have a central body which will be responsible towards managing and driving research and development (R&D) for innovative products and solutions.

He said this would allow these products and services to be developed, sustained, and enhanced as well as standardised, replicated and commercialised.

“At the same time, the agencies will be able to come up with more innovative products in the future.”

He was officiating at the Sarawak Civil Service Innovation Convention Awards (SCSICA) 2021 ceremony held in conjunction with the official closing of the Sarawak Civil Service Innovation Month 2021 at the State Legislative Assembly Complex here today (14 Oct).

“Civil servants need to find methods or ways to produce better products or services either through modifications or improvements. The innovations produced can impact and improve the quality and productivity of the organisation and the lives of the people.”

Abang Johari said these innovative ideas could be obtained from various sources either from within or outside the organisation or through the R&D process.

“R&D is very important for an organisation to create new products and innovate existing products to be adapted and used according to the needs of the department or agency.

“The innovations produced should be able to add value to the current output as well as bring transformation to the existing work culture.”

He emphasised that innovation and transformation were among the aspects given special attention by his government in efforts to achieving high-income and developed status by 2030.

He said innovation in the civil service was important as this promoted national competitiveness, adding that civil servants were important machinery in achieving every aspiration of the government.

“Therefore, it is a priority for us to continue to intensify efforts in furthering the culture of innovation, ensuring a faster, more efficient and effective government service delivery system.”

Abang Johari said innovative culture was the main agenda in the transformation programme in an effort to improve the quality of services to the people.

“Such efforts need to be supported at all levels, especially top management, to ensure that the value of creativity and innovation becomes a work culture and not seasonal or according to competition alone.”

He also said one of the strategies for Sarawak to create significant impact in the innovation-based economy was through the establishment of demand-based private-led innovation clusters.

“Innovation clusters are primarily focused areas with the concentration of knowledge and technology output, enabled by facilitative public policy, access to significant R&D funding, and human capital.

“The innovation clusters which are recognised around the world typically leverage on the concentration effect of talent and market demand towards creating new products and services that translate ideas into commercial successes that are able to capture value.”