PETALING JAYA: Businesses may have more reasons to embrace the Industry 4.0 age as the government has set aside over RM5bil to help them do so.
In tabling the 2019 National Budget, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the government aimed to support measures to accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0 as outlined in the Industry 4.0 Blueprint or Industry4WRD, which aims to make Malaysia the prime destination for high-tech industries.
Industry 4.0 is the term used to describe the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.
Among the measures include the Malaysian Productivity Corporation conducting a readiness assessment programme to help about 500 small and medium-sized enterprises to make the change.
The government also plans to develop the Knowledge Research for Science and Technology Excellence (KRSTE.my) to boost the sharing of research and development resources between the private sector and academia.
“By 2019, the government aims to open up access to 250 facilities and 1,200 scientific and research data to the private sector,” he said.
Additionally, he said the government would also bear the cost of placing 100 researchers into the private sector under a researchers placement programme.
The government will also set up the RM3bil Industry Digitalisation Transformation Fund to encourage industries to utilise artificial intelligence.
To further sweeten the deal and speed up adoption, companies making an effort to embrace Industry 4.0 could also enjoy double tax deduction.
This is applicable if they offer scholarships to students studying engineering and technology whether at the technical and vocational, diploma or degree levels, participate in the Dual-National Training Scheme for Industry 4.0 recognised by the Human Resources Ministry or Mida (Malaysian Investment Development Authority), or conduct relevant training programmes approved by the Human Resources Ministry.
Gartner Research vice-president TJ Singh said such incentives would contribute to a wider adoption of technologies such as the Internet of Things, digital and automation services and accelerate Malaysia’s growth into a digital nation.
He said the readiness assessment programme reinforced the government’s commitment to upskilling the workforce and driving Malaysia’s digital journey.
“Chief Information Officers list the lack of talent and skill shortage as one of the main barriers to digital transformation.
“We believe this initiative is a step in the right direction towards overcoming that barrier,” he said.