Centre aims to promote research and development

around US$150,000 (RM467,475) per unit currently over the past one year.

”To stay competitive, we have to produce higher value equipment with innovative features.

“Thus we design our test handlers to also perform tasks such as laser marking, packing, and vision inspection,” he said.

Seaw said to broaden the company’s revenue base, Innogrity planned to embark on original equipment manufacturing (OEM) business.

“We are now in talks with a Japanese customers to provide OEM services,” he said.

Due to the economic challenges of 2012, Innogrity expects to maintain the RM5.8mil after tax profit and RM29mil revenue it achieve in 2011, said Seaw.

“Moving into the Penang SME Centre would also help us to run the business more cost effectively, as the rental is subsidised by the state government.

“We need to pay rental of only RM1.80 per sq ft, which also includes maintenance and security charges.

“Presently we are paying a rental of RM2.30 per sq ft for a 9,500sq ft floor space.

“The RM2.30 per sq ft rental does not include maintenance and security charges,” he said.

Seaw set up Innogrity in 2006 in Batu Maung with three other directors. An initial investment of RM1mil was needed to get the business running.

“We were producing only four sets of equipment per month then. Today, we have a workforce of 53 engineers and technicians and our monthly output is 12 sets of equipment.

“Today, it will cost about RM1.5mil to start the semi-conductor equipment manufacturing business,” Seaw added.

Meanwhile, Penang SME Centre management council chairman Datuk Seri Kelvin Kiew said during times of economic crisis, the centre could help local small and medium enterprises to expand as the cost to rent was very low.

“The state would subsidise 80sen per sq ft monthly to ensure the rental was affordable for local SMEs,” said Kiew.

At the Penang SME Centre, the rental at the centre is very competitive at RM1.50 per sq ft for the second floor compared to RM2.50 per sq ft in the market for a similar level.

“The rental for the first floor at the centre is RM1.80 per sq ft,” said Kiew.

The key business areas that the centre aims to promote are research and development, manufacturing activities for the light-emitting diodes (LEDs), solar power manufacturing, industrial electronics, and the semiconductor industry.

“The tenants of Penang SME Centre will be able to tap into investPenang (an entity of the state government) and Penang Development Corporation’s industrial network to access venture capitalists, research and development centres, and potential markets.

“The tenants will be promoted to local multinational corporations with the aim of becoming preferred suppliers.

“The centre will also serve as a local supply chain showcase to foreign and local investors,” said Kiew.

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