Cyberview unveils a new masterplan to stake Cyberjaya’s claim as Southeast Asia’s and Malaysia’s premier tech hub
By Karamjit Singh & Tan Jee Yee August 7, 2020
- Focus on three new tech clusters; Smart Mobility, Smart Healthcare, Digital Creative
- Cyberjaya will be divided into four distinct zones to form a holistic tech ecosystem
Technology is about unending, undeterred evolution. It makes sense that technology hubs are constantly evolving, too.
Cyberjaya, Malaysia’s own global tech hub, is set on its next stage of advancement. In conjunction with the city’s 23rd anniversary, Cyberview unveils Cyberjaya’s new masterplan. This time, the plan revolves around three new technology clusters – Smart Mobility, Smart Healthcare, and Digital Creative.
As part of the new masterplan, Cyberjaya will be divided into four zones – North Cyberjaya, West Cyberjaya, South Cyberjaya and Downtown Cyberjaya. “Ultimately, Cyberview aims to form a holistic technology ecosystem comprising commercial, residential and digital activities,” explains Cyberview Sdn Bhd’s managing director Najib Ibrahim (pic, left).
“All these elements together will create the most conducive environment for tech companies of any size to thrive, making Cyberjaya the preferred tech business and investment location in Malaysia.”
The four districts and three focuses
What can we expect from the new masterplan? According to Najib, each of Cyberjaya’s four zones have different focus areas.
West Cyberjaya will be focused on “nurturing talent for Tech Hub”, making it the centre for encouraging industry-academia collaboration to produce skilled talent. North Cyberjaya, on the other hand, will be the “Global Business District” – the centre for “manifestation of smart city solutions.”
On the opposite end, South Cyberjaya will be the “Innovation District”, especially on the innovation on Smart Mobility, Smart Healthcare and Digital Creative. Lastly, Downtown Cyberjaya will be the “Thriving Commercial District”, where it is set to be the centre of technology adoption for commercial activities and integration into community lifestyle.
“If you take a holistic view of our four zones, you will see they ultimately come together with the singular aim of driving the development of Cyberjaya to be a vibrant Global Tech Hub,” says Najib. For instance, West Cyberjaya’s integration of education and tech community provides talent for South Cyberjaya, which requires high-value and skilled human resource for R&D and successful innovation efforts.
“Innovative solutions which are developed at our three tech focus areas in South Cyberjaya are then commercialised and deployed to North and Downtown Cyberjaya,” Najib adds.
“All four districts contribute towards establishing Cyberjaya as the centre for Malaysia’s tech innovation by providing a platform for creators and innovators to launch their businesses, while fostering an ecosystem that encourages synergy between companies from different industries and of various sizes.”
This bodes well for their three tech focus areas mentioned earlier. Under Smart Mobility, with the aim of offering Malaysians high-speed connected transportation that are advanced, intelligent, and sustainable for better productivity, Cyberview intends to focus on Mobility as a Service (MaaS).
This offers users flexible, efficient and integrated modes of transportation – something Najib notes will grow in importance as demand for urban mobility solutions increase and people continue to look for reliable, safe and clean methods of travel.
“Other smart mobility innovations we are looking at include Autonomous & Electric Vehicle (AV & EV), Intelligent Transport System (ITS) and drones,” he says.
“To drive the development of Smart Mobility forward, we work closely with agencies such as Malaysia Automotive, Robotics & IoT Institute (MARii) which aims to strengthen Malaysia’s automotive industry and connected mobility services.”
Smart Healthcare, which is all about infusion of tech that will enhance the experience of pre-, during and post-treatment, is seeing growing importance following the Covid-19 pandemic. “For instance, the use of telemedicine saw a strong surge across the world during COVID-19, and this area is expected to continue experiencing a strong growth post-pandemic due to the convenience and efficiency it offers,” says Najib.
Offering a glimpse of the near future, Najib says that through the incorporation of AI, robotics, IoT and big data, Smart Healthcare can support areas such as assistive diagnosis, healthcare tracking, and using medical robots to reduce risk of cross infection.
Digital Creative being a focus is not at all surprising. The creative industry in Malaysia is seeing significant growth, especially in the areas of animation and video games. Animation studios such as Animonsta Studios Sdn Bhd, Wau Animation Sdn Bhd and DD Animation Studio Sdn Bhd (Digital Durian) have thrived in Cyberjaya’s innovative ecosystem, developing popular animation brands such as Boboiboy, Ejen Ali and Didi & Friends.
“At Cyberview, our strong ties with academic institutions as well as our Living Lab Initiatives enable us to support and nurture the growth of local talent,” says Najib.
“As we know, it takes time to mould talent. Hence, over the past 20 years, we have endeavoured to provide a conducive and innovative environment in order to develop our talent pool. By allowing new technologies to be developed, tested, and piloted in Cyberjaya, we are encouraging a healthy experimentation of smart city solutions among talent.”
Cyberjaya does have a reputation to uphold and improve upon. According to Najib, the city currently has a high concentration of tech-based companies that range from aspiring startups to reputable multinational corporations.
This is owed to the infrastructure that Cyberview has developed over the years, on top of a strong talent pool and comprehensive support to attract technology players into the area. There are seven academic institutions in the city, nurturing graduates with the right skillsets and knowledge to meet industry demands.
Cyberjaya is equipped with high-speed internet that comes with globally-competitive telecommunications tariffs, but that’s not all. Investors and businesses here have opportunity to be ahead of the curve through their 5G OpenLab, located at RekaScape, where creators and innovators can develop and test their solutions using the 5G network.
The lab has tested 21 use cases since its inception, with about 20 companies in the Smart Mobility, Smart Healthcare, Digital Creative and Smart Cities areas. The OpenLab is used by tech industry players, universities and companies to test their products using 5G technology. This includes Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), which utilised the lab to test use cases relating to smart education, virtual reality (VR) learning space, and augmented reality (AR) avatar for smart cities.
Support also extends beyond talent and infrastructure. The Cyberjaya Investment & Services Centre (CISC), for instance, is a one-stop centre that provides end-to-end assistance and facilitation for investors and businesses not only before setting up their operations here, but during and after. CISC offers services such as business setup facilitation, employment visa, and talent facilitation.
“Our aim for Cyberjaya is to become the centre for Malaysia’s tech innovation, providing a solid platform for creators and innovators to launch their businesses,” says Najib. “However, we always keep in mind the importance of attracting the right type of players to further enhance and excite Cyberjaya’s unique USPs (unique service propositions).”
But attracting big MNCs to set up base is only one step. “We also want to enhance our innovation ecosystem by attracting both local and international companies, including startups, to create a vibrant ecosystem,” Najib adds.
He iterates that Cyberjaya is a Living Lab – a smart city for creators to pilot and validate solutions. “Our Living Lab Initiatives sets us apart from other tech hubs as our city offers a holistic ecosystem for startups, not just a platform for tech companies to gather.”
They also have the Cyberview Living Lab Accelerator (CLLA) programme where startups are given access to human capital, access to funding and mentorship, co-working space and ultimately a platform to launch their solutions.
Najib says that Cyberjaya is open to companies that are already in Asia as well as companies looking to expand to Asia for the first time, with hopes to eventually attract these companies to set up base right here in Cyberjaya and prosper the region.
“However, with the current Covid-19 situation, we are first looking to establish online collaborations with these companies,” he quips.
Cyberjaya’s strength isn’t just in its infrastructure and support. According to Najib, Malaysia’s robust, diversified economy and strategic location in the heart of Southeast Asia has proven to be very attractive to foreign investors, businesses, and multinational companies.
These values are exhibited by Cyberjaya, which is itself strategically located adjacent to Putrajaya and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), while being relatively close to Kuala Lumpur.
“Startups can enjoy seamless connectivity and accessibility to surrounding ASEAN markets through Malaysia’s world-class infrastructure and facilities, including transportation, power, telecommunications, and office spaces all in Cyberjaya,” Najib notes.
Bringing up the Cyberview Living Lab Enterprise programme, Najib says that the city actively collaborates with other agencies globally to provide landing zones for companies. At the same time, the Cyberview Living Lab Pilot lets Cyberview facilitate relationships with various partners to enhance the township by providing opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs to move up the value chain, where new ideas and innovations can be tested, and validated for possible commercialisation.
On top of that, Cyberview, via its partners and collaborations in private and public initiatives and entities such as Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and its agencies like Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Malaysia Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and MARii , are helping companies in accessing both international and domestic markets through providing opportunities for enterprises to participate in specialised marketing missions.
“With our world-class facilities and strategic location in the heart of Southeast Asia, we believe that global tech companies wishing to strengthen their foothold in Asia will find that being in Cyberjaya makes good business sense,” Najib says.
Najib is quick to iterate that there are other immense opportunities beyond their three main focus areas. This is especially prudent in a Covid-19 reality, both during and after the pandemic.
The development of smart storage at Cyberjaya is one example. “With e-commerce experiencing an unprecedented boom, smart storage is no doubt a very promising area,” he notes.
“It will integrate physical operations with digital processes, subsequently enhancing efficiency, speed, and flexibility of fulfillment processes.”
Another trend Cyberview foresees is a growth of data centres in Malaysia, what with increased demand for such infrastructure. “Cyberjaya is prepared to meet this need as we have the right infrastructure in place. In fact, about 60% of data centres in Malaysia are currently based in Cyberjaya,” Najib points out.
One other area is cybersecurity, an aspect Najib says is becoming more important in the wake of Covid-19 and growing dependence on technology for remote work. “Towards this end, we believe that Cyberview is on the right track in providing a technology ecosystem that is conducive for companies in these focus areas.,” he says.
At 23 years, Cyberjaya has come a long way into becoming a true tech hub for the nation and the region. The road ahead remains just as bright, so long it continues looking towards innovation and evolution.
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