The Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysia Innovation Foundation (YIM), Puan Sharmila Mohamed Salleh, conveyed a message on YIM’s achievements throughout 2020 and YIM’s plans for 2021.
The Malaysia Innovation Foundation (YIM) is a grassroots innovation development agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) which acts as a platform to search, develop and match innovation development funds with a network of over 4,000 innovators nationwide. YIM aims to promote and cultivate grassroots innovations that have the potential to be commercialized as well as improve the well-being of society, especially the quality of life of the B40 group, children, youth, women, rural residents, people with disabilities (OKU) and non-governmental organisations.
In an effort to enhance the innovative thinking and entrepreneurship culture among the community, YIM provides innovation development grants to innovators in Malaysia. Among YIM’s innovation development grants initiatives in 2020 are the implementation of three programmes, namely the High Impact Programme 6 (HIP 6) – Inclusive Innovation, Grassroots Innovation Mainstream Programme (MaGRIs) and Malaysia Social Innovation Programme (MySI).
The High Impact Programme 6 (HIP 6) – Inclusive Innovation involves financing entrepreneurs and aims to nurture, identify, adopt, add value as well as develop inclusive innovation products that can benefit the local community, especially the low-income community. In total, 100 innovations were found, 25 innovations received development grants, 55 innovations were shortlisted, and 25 intellectual property innovations were filed.
Second, the Grassroots Innovation Mainstream Programme (MaGRIs) aims to enhance the development and commercialization efforts of grassroots innovations including the provision of capacity building opportunities to local grassroots innovators. The programme adds value to innovation products from prototype development to pre-commercialization. A total of 506 innovations were found, 5 innovations received development grants, 2 intellectual property innovations were filed, and 3 innovations were successfully commercialized.
Third, the Malaysia Social Innovation Programme (MySI) aims to improve the well-being of the community, especially the B40 group through the implementation of projects applied with innovative local R&D technology that have been developed and ready to be implemented sustainably. YIM has partnered with 2 project collaborators and 200 beneficiaries through 2 implemented projects.
In addition, YIM is implementing initiatives in line with government policies to ensure the country has a knowledgeable, diverse, creative and innovative human capital to meet the needs of the country by 2050 to achieve the Common Prosperity Vision, along with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) boom.
Among them is the Grassroots Enrichment Programme (GEP) which is implemented to strengthen and enhance entrepreneurial skills among YIM grassroots innovators. GEP focuses on product development and improvement, enhancing innovators capabilities, and sharing innovations with the community. Through this programme, 10 grassroots innovator entrepreneurs were developed as well as 30 training and assistance programmes were implemented involving 3000 innovators.
YIM also introduced the Projek Ruang Reka @ Komuniti which is a programme to cultivate science, technology, innovation and economy by developing prototype innovative products to pre-commercialization stage and replicating innovative projects to other communities. This programme is expected to improve the living standards and income of the local community through commercialisation activities. Three complete spaces to work on creative and innovative youth ideas have also been provided. The pilot project is located Taman Mawar Community Hall, Paroi, Negeri Sembilan; PPR Hiliran, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu and in Kuala Lumpur.
In 2020, YIM has developed a 5-year draft of the Social Innovation Direction. It is used as the main guideline for social innovation movers in Malaysia to drive economic, social and environmental development through the implementation of projects applied with innovative R&D technology that transforms the society. This initiative involves 3 internal experts, 3 external experts (NGOs, industry & academia), as well as 10 stakeholders as economic, environmental and social experts.
Furthermore, the STIE Outreach Programme (NGO) 2.0 aims to increase knowledge and improve skills in the field of STIE (Science, Technology, Innovation and Economy), especially those related to the IR 4.0 which involves automation technology, machine learning and big data, artificial intelligence (AI), robotic technology and the Internet of Things (IoT). A total of 8 NGOs were appointed as partners to implement the programme, while a total of 15,000 primary and secondary school students, youth, parents, B40 group, senior citizens, people with disabilities (OKU) and the public were involved.
YIM has also implemented the Terengganu Terengganu Tricycle Innovation Competition which aims to identify high-tech, user-friendly tricycle prototype innovations, characterized by the new norms and can be utilized by tricycle operators, especially young people. YIM received 10 group submissions that amounted to 56 participants. The top 3 groups were awarded the Innovation Development Grant under the High Impact Programme 6 (HIP 6) – Inclusive Innovation to develop their prototype.
YIM is involved in organising the National Science Week for implementation in the State of Perlis. The programmes organised in conjunction with the National Science Week aim to attract the youth, general public and students to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as well as increase public awareness of the importance of STI in daily life. Among the programmes organised by YIM in improving the results of STEM and STIE innovation products are the Perlis Institute of Education (PRINTIS) Innovation Competition 2020, Sintok International Games and Gamification (SIGG) 2020 Competition, i-Poster 2020 Internet of Things (IoT) Competition and Virtual Innovation Competition of the Expo of Innovation Product and System Design (VIDE) 2020.
Among the plans for the year 2021 implemented by YIM are the Design @ Community Space Project, the Grassroots Innovation Mainstream Programme (MaGRIs), as well as the Malaysian Social Innovation Initiative 2021.
For the Projek Ruang Reka @ Komuniti to be implemented in 2021 targeting a total of 30 PPR communities involved and receiving benefits; 30 NGOs involved, 30 complete spaces provided, 105,000 people participated in workshops and training; as well as 30 prototypes are to be developed through the Inno Makerthon @ Community Challenge.
Meanwhile, for the implementation of the MaGRIs Programme in 2021, it targets 200 identifiable grassroots innovations, 100 grassroots innovators receive business matching assistance, 10 innovation products receive potential development grants for marketing, 50 grassroots innovators receive capacity building, and 1 ambassador grassroots innovation was born.
Next, the implementation of the Malaysian Social Innovation Initiative 2021 aims to promote social innovation at various levels of society, identify potential social innovation agents and ambassadors, recognise social innovators through lifelong learning and provide exposure to social innovators globally. This initiative targets 1 social innovation policy developed through Social Innovation Policy Development 2021-2025, engage 10,000 communities through the Social Innovation Outreach, 1 database built through Social Innovation Knowledge Bank, replicate innovation projects through the Malaysia Social Innovation (MySI), 10 social innovation ambassadors hatched through the Malaysia Social Innovation Accelerator Programme (MySIAP), 10 innovators certified through Social Innovation Certification and 5 innovation ambassadors developed through Internationalising Social Innovation.
We hoped that the plans for 2021 will also strengthen the social innovation ecosystem, encourage innovators in the use of automation technology, support the development of innovation products in dealing with crises, strengthen innovation entrepreneurial skills and expand the scale of innovation in collaboration with government, agencies and private companies.
Also follow the interview with Dr. Shahidawati Syahwan, Muamalat Interactive Game (MIG) innovator, Puan Teng Yu Mein, Ezy Water Filter System innovator and Encik Ezuan Yaacob, MedKad innovator.