MTDC, IIB Ventures in MOU to accelerate growth of IR4.0 in Johor

  • Develop up to 200 technopreneurs, focusing on robotics & emerging technologies by 2026
  • Both parties to provide market access and commercialisation opportunities for industry

MTDC, IIB Ventures in MOU to accelerate growth of IR4.0 in Johor

IIB Ventures Sdn Bhd (IIB Ventures), a subsidiary of Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB), aspires, through its latest collaboration with Malaysian Technology Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (MTDC), to establish a Robotics Centre of Excellence (CoE) as part of efforts to accelerate the growth of IR4.0 in Johor.

The idea is to transform Medini Iskandar Malaysia, into a Digital Hub for Johor.

The parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), at a virtual ceremony yesterday, intended to develop technopreneurs and talents in robotics and emerging technologies.

MTDC's Chief Executive Officer, Norhalim Yunus and Zulfiqar Zainuddin, Director and Managing Director of IIB Ventures inked the deal. In attendance were Chairman of MTDC, Abd Rahman Mamat and IIB President/Chief Executive Officer, Ir. Khairil Anwar Ahmad.

The MoU outlines the collaborative initiatives including to facilitate and support activities in line with MTDC's Centre of 9 Pillars, aimed at creating a community-in-practice that would be able to offer local companies affordable and impactful Industry 4.0 solutions.

Khairil commented, "The signing of the MOU for the establishment of the Robotics CoE is an exciting development through which we aim to develop 200 technopreneurs in Iskandar Puteri in the next five years. This will be attained through programmes under Iskandar NEXT namely the Iskandar Innovation Hub and Drone and Robotics Zone (‘DRZ’) Iskandar, among others."

Khairil further added, as part of this collaboration IIB would also provide companies coming into the location, access to markets for commercialization opportunities, advisory services for funding, access to industry mentors, create visibility, awareness and provide relevant regulatory facilitation.

According to Norhalim, “The Robotics CoE will be the first of MTDC's Centre of 9 Pillars™ collaboration with IIBV in the Southern Region, to further strengthen efforts to provide a platform for local industry 4.0 solution providers to develop, grow and offer their services and innovative Industry 4.0 solutions to various industry sectors in Johor."

The sunny city of Iskandar will soon be host to drones as part of the Iskandar Innovation Hub and Drone and Robotics Zone.

MTDC has in its ecosystem, local companies that are already producing customised i4.0 solutions, including robotics, autonomous robots and drones that can be expanded into the Robotics CoE. This collaboration, Norhalim believes will also boost the potential to develop local talent to be i4.0 ready and assist to achieve the digital transformation agenda as part of the Iskandar’s main initiative.

The collaboration will also enable MTDC to introduce its talent development programs for SMEs, universities, entrepreneurs and innovators in the Southern region. Iskandar Investment Bhd will be the host platform that will facilitate advisory assistance in the Southern region.

The Robotics CoE will offer programs to further support IIB’s DRZ Iskandar initiatives to create a drone and robotics eco-system in Iskandar Puteri which could become a growth engine, technology leader and talent hub for Malaysia and APAC.

Pepper, the robotice emcee hosted the launch of Iskandar NEXT last year.

This collaboration also forms part of a series of initiatives by IIB which advocates the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) philosophy in its business activities. Khairil explained the importance of taking into account how the activities of a business would impact the world around it.

In the context of the Robotics CoE, helping to develop technopreneurs and Johor’s digital aspiration falls under the ‘Social’ obligation of ESG. In addition, Khairil also emphasised the importance of good ‘Governance’ in any such venture which included a company’s culture, structure, policies and procedures, all of which would be key indicators of sound business resilience and reputational risk.

This MOU is part of Iskandar NEXT – Innovation Hub to develop and implement IR4.0-based technology ecosystems in support of Johor Vision 2030 and the National MyDigital Blueprint. This was further evidenced by the setting up of Malaysia's first drone and robotics hub, the Drone and Robotics Zone (DRZ) Iskandar in December 2020 that is projected to bring in RM351mil of investments and generate 1,000 high-value jobs by 2025 in drones and robotics.

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