Mosti launches one year report on NTIS impact
By Digital News Asia October 23, 2021
- 139 tech companies accelerated, 70 receive US$12.7mil
- Has support of 26 ministries, 26 innovation acceleration partners
The National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) is an initiative of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) under the National Economic Regeneration Plan (PENJANA). In conjunction with its one year anniversary, Minister of Mosti, Adham Baba has launched the One Year Report 2020-2021, available on the NTIS website.
NTIS’ main objective is to catalyse the development of tech startups through the development of innovative products and solutions, high technology adoption, commercialisation support and seeding fund assistance in preparation for entering a larger and more competitive market.
NTIS has received more than 500 complete applications from various Malaysian companies, seeking financing, technical support and commercialisation. Of that number, a total of 139 companies were successfully absorbed into the NTIS program between August 2020 and July 2021.
To date, a total of US$12.7 million (RM52.78 million) has been approved by NTIS to fund 70 companies to develop innovation through the main funding partner, the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC). Meanwhile, 69 other companies have received technical, regulatory facilitation and test site support or are funneled to other suitable grant organizations that have strategic partnerships with NTIS.
According to Adham, “NTIS would be a key instrument to realise the goals set out in the 12th Malaysia Plan’s policy enabler on ‘Accelerating Technology Adoption and Innovation’. Here, six targets have been set - including the commercialisation of 500 products and solutions through the NTIS and Malaysia Commercial Year (MCY) by 2025.”
Adham added, “The innovations and solutions we create must deliver impact. In doing so, we want to bring more solutions out of the labs into real life - and accelerate their commercialisation process in this regard. Malaysian companies accepted into the NTIS will be assisted to progress their innovation from prototype and testing to the deployment and commercialisation stages - from one technology readiness level (TRL) to the next.”
From a sectoral application standpoint, 50% of the approved NTIS projects are designed for Medical and Healthcare, Agriculture & Forestry and Smart Engineering & Manufacturing sectors. In terms of technology development, about 50% of the solutions under the NTIS are currently related to Advanced Intelligence Systems. The NTIS currently has the support of 26 ministries and two government agencies and corralled 26 Innovation Acceleration Network (IAN) partners.
Among the Malaysian technology companies that have received international recognition is Aerodyne Group, which leads drone services and data management in the field of DT3 (Drone Technology, Data Technology and Digital Transformation). In addition, Biogenes Technologies, which is one of the first startup companies in the world to successfully produce the Covid-19 digital rapid test tool using aptamer technology.
In the past year, NTIS also helped to bridge regulatory gaps for new technology companies. For instance, NTIS facilitated discussions between drone operators and the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) to release the Civil Aviation Directive 6011 part (II) Agriculture. In doing so, the NTIS assisted in assessing, vetting the product’s technical and commercial viability and clearing the way for products to be tested in new environments by setting up discussions with relevant regulators, government agencies and technical companies.
There are four NTIS Innovation Sandboxes, namely the Agriculture Sandbox in FELDA Mempaga, Pahang; the Robotics and Automation Sandbox in Iskandar Drone and Robotics Zone; the Sandbox Logistics for urban delivery drones in Cyberjaya and Area 57, the first one-stop centre for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV and UAS) innovation at Technology Park Malaysia, Bukit Jalil.
Mosti is optimistic that with the development of various high-impact solutions and efforts to increase the scale of commercial value, income-generating opportunities through the creation of high-skilled and high-income employment opportunities can improve the living standards of Malaysian families.