Hatching viable businesses

Abang Johari has allocated RM30mil for construction of an incubator centre here.

KUCHING: The state government is set to build a high-tech incubator centre to boost technology-oriented businesses in the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the facility, to be built in Sama Jaya here, should provide space to accommodate at least 50 entrepreneurs and start-ups hoping to make the next big step into the world of innovation and high-tech.

He added that the technology hub would also be equipped with Internet services with speed from 150Mbps to 300Mbps, as well as various office facilities including conference and meeting rooms.

The chief minister has also allocated RM30mil to begin construction of the facility.

Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (Tegas), a non-profit organisation initiated by the state government to promote technical human capital development, would undertake the project.

“We have youths who are creative and innovative but they don’t have the means to rent an office space. This incubator centre is something akin to facilities in Silicon Valley (California) and I want to start such a trend here.

“This project is part of our initiative to transform the state’s economy towards advanced technology and digital economy.

“We want to provide an ecosystem to help talented and skilled individuals express their ideas and innovation,” Abang Johari told reporters after opening the 2017 Sarawak Career and Training Fair at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching on Saturday.

He also pushed for the design of the facility to be simple to minimise cost.

On another note, the state government is looking to embark on a digital highway project to provide efficient ICT connectivity across Sarawak.

Abang Johari targeted for the ICT network to provide over 300Mbps Internet speed.

He said the state would source about RM1bil for the project, while hoping that the Federal Government could match the fund with another RM1bil.

“Planning for the digital highway project would commence after the International ICT, Infrastructure and Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS 2017) next month. We would use the conference to seek input to formulate the best model.

“The government is keen to start the project immediately but have to seek advice from experts on how to build the infrastructure,” he added.

Abang Johari said the state was considering building the network connectivity using fibre optic and satellite facilities using the cloud system framework.

“Now we have to see how we are going to build the trunk infrastructure to determine the speed that we can offer.

“The state is interested in a system that is faster than the existing broadband services,” he continued.

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