YIM organises a wide range of activities in both Peninsular and East Malaysia all year round that provide avenues of awareness and ideas to develop grassroots innovations which are then used to improve the lives of communities at the bottom of the pyramid. These innovations should be designed to suit the local context of the targeted communities, and create value for them.
These focused activities or grassroots innovation movements bring together various stakeholders such as Government ministries, their relevant agencies, funders, universities, industry specialists and practitioners to meet with the inclusive audience of each event or activity to interact, connect and develop the innovations together. The feedback from the inclusive communities further provide base data to the Government for developing science, technology and innovation policies that relate back to the target audience. Collaboration between these stakeholders may also contribute to the sustainability of the solutions.
Over the years, YIM has organised various events for different inclusive communities. These include:
- The nationwide Innovation Walk (Jejak Inovasi)
- World Innovation Forum
- School Club Innovation Toolkit
- YIM Ideation programme.
The projects have attracted keen interest amongst students and innovation enthusiasts. Overall, the efforts have proven to be successful in enhancing appreciation and nurturing creative skills in science, technology and innovation subject matters at academia, industry and society levels.
For example, the YIM Innovation Walk helps to identify innovators from all strata of Malaysian society. Grassroots Innovation Workshops are organised to develop knowledge and skillsets necessary for continuous innovation growth and facilitate communication between potential funders and investors. They further help to promote awareness and pave the way forward for the market diffusion of grassroots innovations.
For the year 2017/2018, Asmawati Anifiah represents YIM as the Grassroots Innovation Ambassador where as the icon of grassroots innovation nationwide, she will share guide and mentor the audience in speaking engagements on how to develop a creative mindset and plan the innovation development roadmap.
She will also share her success story on developing the D’Banana Craft Toolkit which helps her local communities in Tamparuli and Ranau, Sabah in East Malaysia to create recycled artisan paper from discarded banana trunks. Other than being an eco-friendly initiative, the innovation further provides income generation opportunities for her community while ensuring that the local youth have an additional channel to seek employment.
She is one of the successful innovators under the pioneer Mainstreaming Grassroots Innovations project in 2016, receiving an initial RM30,000 grant for product development, followed by a RM100,000 commercialisation grant in 2017.