Private firms can apply for government R&D grants

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 28 Sep 2005

THE private sector will be given access to the Government's research and development (R&D) fund in a move to boost the commercial value of R&D results. 

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Jamaludin Jarjis said the ministry had taken the initiative to ensure that a bigger allocation be made for R&D and that government grants for R&D purposes be made available to companies.  

He said in the 8th Malaysian Plan, the Government had allocated RM1.6bil for R&D, which was mainly channelled to fund R&D activities by local universities and colleges. However, over the five-year period, only 5% of the results were commercialised, meaning that 95% of the output developed were not marketable. 

“Five per cent is not a good rate as it is even lower than the achievement in countries that are not knowledge-driven. We want to see the researchers winning the commercial trophies – to be able to manufacture and sell products and create job opportunities,” he said after opening Scomi Bhd's RM6mil Global Research and Technology Centre (GRTC) in Shah Alam yesterday. 

Jamaludin said he expected the participation of the private sector to help improve the success rate, facilitate the production of high-end products and subsequently the creation of more job opportunities. 

He said his ministry was also studying the successful R&D experiences of other countries like Canada, Britain and the United States and hoped to find a model suitable to be adopted in the local industry.  

Scomi's GRTC is the first of its kind training centre set up in Asia Pacific, which has R&D, technical services and training for drilling fluids and drilling waste management under one roof. 

The centre is undertaken by KMC Oiltools Overseas (M) Ltd, a subsidiary of KMC Oiltools Bermuda Ltd, that is 92.5% owned by Scomi.  

GRTC's main focus will be to support drilling fluids and drilling waste management product lines, although the centre will accommodate the group's production enhancement chemical division in the future. 

The centre, which is equipped with laboratories, equipment and dedicated training facilities, requires up to RM3mil annually for operating costs. 

It will open its door to the pioneer batch of 15 drilling fluid engineers from various KMC Oiltools offices worldwide, including China, Sudan, Pakistan, Thailand, Congo, Algeria, Bolivia and Indonesia, within a year. 

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