MoU to help grow nation’s tech ecosystem

(From left) Yeoh, Mahadhir and Rubaneswaran showing the agreements they signed at the ceremony.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is set to strengthen the tech ecosystem with high-impact initiatives that will enable tech companies to become global champions.

MDEC chief executive officer Mahadhir Aziz said that through these programmes, the agency would provide robust end-to-end support to ensure that local tech companies succeed both domestically and internationally.

“For 25 years, MDEC has taken the lead in developing the digital economy,” said Mahadhir.

He was speaking at the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between MDEC and Digital Penang, MDEC and Beyond4, and Digital Penang and Beyond4 at the E&O Hotel in George Town.

“Further adoption in AI, IoT, blockchain, robotics and automation systems will provide new means for start-ups to develop business solutions for the market.”

On the MoU, Mahadhir said the goals of both Digital Penang and Beyond4 resonated with that of MDEC and it was excited to help curate quality programmes that would unlock new innovation opportunities.

Beyond4 chief executive officer S.T. Rubaneswaran said he had always supported accessibility of digital innovation by working to bring start-ups, Fortune 500 firms, primary education institutions, universities, municipal councils and federal governments into the accelerator ecosystem.

“The Beyond4 ecosystem, the first of its kind in South-East Asia, is made up of five digitally integrated multi-tier accelerators such as education, skills and upskilling, career and innovation which are designed to support start-ups, entrepreneurs and innovators.

“Our hubs are powerful tools for companies to spur the creation of new technologies and businesses.

“We provide support via financing opportunities, networking events and mentoring.”

Rubaneswaran said Beyond4 would be investing up to RM5mil in the next 36 months to groom 5,000 tech-specialised Malaysians operating 50 start-ups that would contribute to the digital economy.

Digital Penang chief executive officer Tony Yeoh said the state agency, which is just a year old, is moving with speed to make up for lost time and disruption from the pandemic.

“Digital Penang’s mission is very similar to MDEC’s mission, albeit on a smaller scale, hence this MoU is a strategic alignment.

“Through this alignment, we hope to scale up the various MDEC programmes to the state level.

“These programmes include GAIN (Global Acceleration and Innovation Network), digital investment, talent development and SME digitalisation.”

Yeoh said Penang had built a strong manufacturing ecosystem for over 50 years but he believed that hardware engineering strength must be complemented with digital and software systems.

“Our MoU with Beyond4 to develop the talents in AI will make our ecosystems more balanced and complete,” he added.

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