THE Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) has announced the 2021 edition of its #SMART Automation Grant (SAG) and is calling for new applicants.
SAG is a matching grant to help services companies automate their business processes and move towards digitalisation, an important process that is increasingly necessary in the wake of Covid-19 challenges and a digitally disruptive world.
The grant will help kickstart the development and implementation of projects that adopt technology to automate business operations. Each successful application will receive up to 50% of the total project cost, subject to a ceiling limit of RM200,000 (or whichever is lower).
The SAG functions as an outcome-based grant, whereby projects must achieve specific digitalisation benefits, such as increased revenue, savings in business costs or reduction in process lifecycle and man-hours.
The grant is targeted at services-based SMEs looking to embark on their digital journey or are planning to enhance and improve their business via digital tools. It covers the general and professional service sectors, including retail, wholesale, food and beverages, tourism, logistics, transportation, education, healthcare, real estate and professional and financial services.
Introduced in June 2020, the SAG was part of the government’s initiative to expand support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to make the digital leap and increase their digital capabilities.
“We introduced the #SMART Automation Grant to help SMEs in the services sector thrive and survive in this disrupted business environment. Businesses today fully understand that they need to embrace digitalisation tools and solutions to remain relevant – the grant gives them the support they need to positively impact their operations and income generation.
“With this, we are pleased to announce that we are opening new applications for SAG to provide support for more SMEs in the services sector. With SAG, we hope to empower more SMEs to embrace digitalisation in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital) to facilitate wider digital adoption,” said Aiza Azreen, chief digital business officer of MDEC.
MDEC said the grant has seen several successful implementations. For instance, insurance agency Untung Sewajar Sdn Bhd utilised the grant to assist its development of the Multi-Tasking Insurance Online System to help insurance agents manage customer information, marketing activities and customer service online.
Another company, Bunga Raya Travel Sdn Bhd, also used the grant to develop an e-commerce website with online solutions for search engine optimisation and social media optimisation techniques.
The new SAG applications will be open for four weeks. Applicants will be able to check their eligibility criteria and register their interest on MDEC’s website.
The agency also encouraged SMEs in the services space to participate in its capability building programmes such as 100 Go Digital Coaching and the SME Digital Accelerator Programme. This will ensure that SMEs will be better equipped to develop a structured approach for their operations as well as identify possible pain points and opportunities in the digital space. For more information, visit mdec.my/sag.