MESTECC minister Yeo Bee Yin visits MIMOS

  • Queries about low uptake of locally developed technology
  • Incentive needed for local companies that utilise homegrown technologies

Yeo Bee Yin listening attentively to a MIMOS researcher.

ENERGY, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) Minister Yeo Bee Yin made her maiden visit, on 25 Sept, to national applied research and development (R&D) centre, MIMOS.

She was briefed by the agency’s senior management team led by chief executive officer Ahmad Rizan Ibrahim. Yeo was accompanied by the Ministry’s secretary-general Mohd Azhar Yahaya and key officials.

The briefing session included updates on the agency’s functions, capabilities, challenges and opportunities as well as on other organisational issues. Yeo was also briefed on MIMOS’ current and future technology undertakings.

Among other issues, the minister queried on the low uptake of locally developed technology by Malaysian companies. One solution impressed upon her was for the need to have an initiative to incentivise local industries that utilise homegrown technologies which are equally competent and cheaper than the foreign ones.

Aiming to walk the talk, Yeo hinted on the possibility of deploying MIMOS technology, such as those for public safety, in Putrajaya.

Yeo also toured MIMOS’ five national-level technology facilities that support the national Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) agenda. The facilities include Big Data Analytics – Digital Government; Big Data – IoT Technology Accelerator; Nano Fabrication and Smart Manufacturing; Industrial Design and User Experience; and Hardware Prototyping and Testing Services. These five areas are in line with the 12 R&D programmes under the 11th Malaysia Plan.

MIMOS in their technology presentation explained that the agency’s focus was on applied R&D in frontier technologies; citing public safety, traffic management, agriculture and national healthcare as some of the benefiting sectors.

It said that MIMOS technology applications could also be used for environmental monitoring.

“Through MIMOS’ Big Data Analytics, insights could be derived from data, including crowd-sourced data (e.g. data from social media and popular apps such as Waze) which in turn would be used in building technology solutions, like one that manages public grievances on environmental issues such as open burning,” said MIMOS chief technology officer Thillai Raj Ramanathan.

MIMOS also stressed that data analytics was not the only method that could be used for environmental monitoring.  The agency has been working on other technologies for the environment such as using off-grid communication, and smart sensors, like those currently used to monitor Tasik Chini.

Ahmad Rizan said: “As the key driver of technologies in the 4IR, MIMOS is committed to support emerging technologies such as 3D-Design and Augmented Reality for Smart Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Big Data Analytics, apart from running programmes in talent and skills development”.

Ahmad Rizan also welcomed the calls to intensify R&D for commercialisation and to heighten productivity through science and technology.

Ahmad Rizan explained that MIMOS is committed to support the national agenda and to be a strategic government centre of excellence and advisory agency for 4IR towards moving Malaysia from a nation of technology consumers to technology producers.

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