KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — The government needs to give focus, among others, on entrepreneurs from the bottom 40 per cent (B40) and middle 40 per cent (M40) income groups who conduct innovation and digital economy-based activities in order to increase their quality of life amid the Covid-19 pandemic challenges.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the Covid-19 pandemic not only changed Malaysians’ daily lives but was forcing all quarters, especially entrepreneurs, to shift towards Industry 4.0 (i40) technologies.

“Amid the challenging pandemic situation, there must be an emphasis on i40 technologies for local high-tech and low-touch economy developments,” he said at the virtual launch of the MTDC Industry 4.0 TechWeek 2021 today.

He said i4.0 technologies could assist in improving process efficiency, productivity and quality; reducing the need for face-to-face interactions and dependance on unskilled labour; minimising touch; and shortening processes.

“Mechanisation, robotic systems, data science, digitalisation, artificial intelligence (AI) and various branches of technology have become vital necessities; and if these are not fulfilled quickly, we will be left behind,” he added.

Dr Adham said the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI) was committed to continue to spearhead various i4.0 technology areas such as blockchain, cloud storage, drones, Internet of things, robotics, AI and human-centric innovation.

The MTDC Industry 4.0 TechWeek programme today marks the finale to the Road2Growth series that began in March 2021.

With the theme “Accelerating SMEs for the i40 Runway”, MTDC Industry 4.0 TechWeek 2021 brings together the key stakeholders for the i4.0 technologies initiative  —  small and medium-sized industries, large companies, university researchers, technology developers, policymakers and investors  —  to discuss the readinesss of industries and entrepreneurs as well as technologies.

According to Dr Adham, this programme supports MOSTI’s efforts towards boosting the digital infrastructure and disruptive technologies, and it represents the main pulse to ensure continuity in the start-up ecosystem, financing and talent development.

“The system will subsequently catalyse the national socioeconomic development in line with the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) chief executive officer Datuk Norhalim Yunus said the knowledge sharing and discussion via the programme could add a new dimension in increasing the participants’ understanding on i4.0 challenges and opportunities.

“MTDC and companies under our ecosystem will remain committed to support the current i40 development whereby we are offering training in entrepreneurship and technopreneur development in the field of i40,” he said.

Entrepreneurs who have been selected will be coached, trained and provided with technical assistance through MTDC’s Technopreneur Training Academy (TENTRA). — Bernama