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Five initiatives identified under National Technology and Innovation Sandbox

09/06/2020 09:47 PM

PUTRAJAYA , June 9 -- Five initiatives have been identified under the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) for a start, said the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).

With the establishment of NTIS, several regulations for pilot testing new technologies, such as online sales delivery via drones and self-driving vehicles, have been relaxed in line with the National Economic Recovery Plan announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin last week.

In a statement today, MOSTI said the five initiatives included the use of autonomous robots for health services -- for delivery as well as disinfection to curb the spread of COVID-19 -- in government hospitals and university teaching hospitals, as well as for the agriculture sector by optimising usage of fertilisers and spraying of pesticides.

Another initiative is artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of things (IoT) through technologies developed by MIMOS Bhd for video analytics.

On the third initiative, MOSTI said linear pick-and-place robots with competency and high accuracy would be used to reduce the dependence on foreign labour and to undertake dangerous jobs in the manufacturing sector with the pilot projects to be implemented in the Muar Furniture Park and Rawang Integrated Industry Park.

The final two initiatives are advanced manufacturing such as 3D printing to produce affordable Malaysian ventilators in view of the shortage of the equipment, and mutation breeding application by MOSTI agency Nuklear Malaysia, which has successfully created new paddy varieties NMR151 and NMR152 with high value-add that will contribute to food security, such as high yield value, resistance to fungi infection as well as ability to grow in salt water and minimal water.

MOSTI said the sandbox method would lower entry barriers for products, services, innovation as well as new discoveries into the market with the easing of conditions in the testing process and implementation in a safe and controlled environment.

“With this, the process of pilot testing new technologies such as drone delivery drones and self-driving vehicles can be conducted more efficiently and faster,” it said.

Meanwhile, MOSTI pointed out that four financing schemes were proposed encompassing the scope of Industry 4.0 as well as automation and robotics.

These include a maximum grant of RM250,000 for funding the Single Site Sandbox and a partial (70 per cent) grant of up to RM500,000 for the Multiple Site Sandbox.

For the commercialisation process, it proposed a maximum financing of RM4 million in the forms of hybrid fund, grant and convertible promissory notes.

Finally, there are matching grants with investors and corporations with a maximum allocation of RM15 million. The financial instruments are subject to the agreements between the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) and the companies involved.

MOSTI, through Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), Technology Park Malaysia (TPM) and MTDC, along with Futurise Sdn Bhd (which is under the Finance Ministry), will cooperate with regulatory bodies and other private sectors to coordinate the implementation of NTIS.


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