19/08/2020 04:59 PM

CYBERJAYA, Aug 19  - The National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) has received 693 applications from various sectors to participate in the initiative from July 15 until yesterday, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.

He said a pre-screening process had been conducted on 97 applications, comprising the medical, agriculture, smart engineering, education, renewable energy, smart city, transportation, environment sectors, among others.

“The government will ensure that the projects or technologies produced under NTIS can be commercialised and gain a foothold in the market to create innovative solutions for the country's economic sectors," he said at the launch of the NTIS by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin here, today.

The NTIS, an initiative under the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA), involves an allocation of RM100 million to accelerate the creation and acceptance of local innovations up to the commercialisation stage through simple policies and regulations.

The NTIS Secretariat, which is housed at the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), serves as an idea gathering centre, while MIMOS Bhd and Technology Park Malaysia conduct technology audits or testing and simplify the product certification process.

The Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) is disbursing loans to eligible participants, with Futurise Sdn Bhd acting as the sandbox component regulator.

From the applications received at the initial stage, Khairy said six pilot projects had been identified for the NTIS, including lightweight mobile robots for the agricultural sector to increase work efficiency and reduce the number of workers.

He said there were also projects in the medical sector, namely semi-ventilators to help patients with breathing difficulties and robots to help the recovery process of stroke patients or other medical conditions with limited or impaired limb function.

Drones were also designed for process of automatic pesticide spraying, which is of high precision, as well as saving time and cost for the agriculture sector, he said.

For or a start, Khairy said the NTIS would be implemented through four financing schemes offered under MTDC, namely Single Site Sandbox, Multiple Sites Sandbox, Commercialisation Sandbox, and Corporate Sandbox.

For the Single Site Sandbox category, financing is 100 per cent of eligible costs, while for the Multiple Sites, Commercialisation and Corporate Sandbox category, financing is 70 per cent of eligible costs with the maximum quantum set.

"The quantum of financing is between RM250,000 and RM4 million, depending on the fund category," he said.

Khairy said the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) welcomes the participation of private companies, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) registered in Malaysia, local public and private universities, local research institutes, and government agencies for the NTIS.


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