PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) has launched the Malaysia Grand Challenge (MGC), which is supported by five research and development (R&D) funding schemes amounting to RM220 million under the Pemacu Strategic Technology Fund (PEMACU).
The schemes are namely the Strategic Research Fund (SRF), Technology Development Fund 1 (TeD1), Technology Development Fund 2 (Ted2), Bridging Fund (BGF), and the Applied Innovation Fund (AIF), for which 114 products are expected to be commercialised this year.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the MGC was aimed at spurring the country’s research, development, commercialisation and innovation (R&D&C&I) activities in the quest to prioritise science, technology and innovation to turn Malaysia a high-tech country.
“The MGC will benefit in the development of innovation, creativity and the rate of commercialisation of local products through the use of sustainable technology, thereby reducing the country’s dependence on foreign technologies and innovations,“ he told reporters after launching the MGC here today.
Khairy said the R&D financing fund would strengthen the domestic R&D&C&I ecosystem to achieve the target of 3.5 per cent gross domestic expenditure for research and development (GERD) to gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 from 1.08 per cent now.
The fund also supports the efforts of the High-Tech Nation Council in formulating the current and future direction of the country’s development, covering issues such as health, environment, food, access to technology, and security, he added.
Meanwhile, Khairy said Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd (MDV) has provided the Technology Start-ups Funding Relief Facility (TSFRF) financing programme to technology-related start-up companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As of Dec 30, 2020, financing amounting to RM54.77 million have been approved for 46 companies under the programme.
Starting this year, he said MDV would be introducing the MDV Technology Venture Financing Microfund Guarantee Scheme (MDV-TechVFMG) programne, which is a MOSTI initiative in creating a Microfund fund or joint financing involving private funds for start-up companies.
Through the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), Khairy said MOSTI is providing Social Impact Match Grants to social enterprises and organisations (SE).
“This grant is timely because SE, which uses a lot of resources from marginalised communities or B40, has been severely affected by the pandemic,“ he said. -Bernama