KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — In 2014, two reputable government organisations decided to break their organisational boundaries and affirmed to join hands in running a national programme to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country to create wealth through innovation.
This resulted in a successful marriage between Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) and SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp) that gave birth to PlaTCOM Ventures Sdn. Bhd. to implement the High Impact Programme 2 (HIP2) of the SME Masterplan 2012-2020.
This union and formation of PlaTCOM was witnessed and officiated by YAB Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on 23rd April 2014.
PlaTCOM started its operations in May 2014 and it has traversed a long way since. HIP2 was designed as a technology commercialisation platform (TCP) and PlaTCOM has been passionately committed to driving this national initiative through since day 1 and recently, PlaTCOM celebrated its first sparks of success on 20 July 2017.
HIP2 is an end-to-end innovation and commercialisation facilitation platform designed for Malaysian SMEs to help them seamlessly move their innovations along the complex stages of the commercialisation process.
This is achieved through the facilitation of IP protection, licensing support, business and market intelligence, funding and a variety of other services — all provided via a single platform.
Through PlaTCOM efforts, HIP2 is thriving. More than just doing its duties, PlaTCOM has become an integral part of the local innovation ecosystem and the SME community. A total of 21 SMEs within the programme were honoured by celebrating their successes via the HIP2 Success Showcase 2017 last week.
The 21 SMEs demonstrated a total of 30 innovative products that were developed as a result of direct funding and commercialisation facilitation provided via HIP2. The 30 products are currently sold in the market and revenue is being generated by the 21 companies. In addition, 5 new innovative products by 5 additional HIP2 companies were also launched at the success showcase event.
Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed officiated the showcase. Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and advisor to Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) also graced the occasion alongside Mustapa. In addition to the two Honourable Ministers, Datuk Dr Hafsah Hashim (CEO, SME Corp) and Datuk Mark Rozario (CEO, AIM) graced the event with their presence.
A total of 114 companies has been enrolled into the HIP2 programme since its launch in May 2014. “Out of the 114 companies admitted into the High Impact Programme 2, 21 companies form the first cohort of companies that have braved the arduous journey of developing their innovations all the way to the market,” said Mustapa.
In addition to helping local SMEs to bring their innovations to the market, PlaTCOM has also created valuable collaborations in the international arena for enhanced knowledge and technology transfer. Referring to PlaTCOM’s success, Mustapa mentioned that “An international effort successfully launched by PlaTCOM is the Urban Innovation Challenge, held in collaboration with the UK Innovation Agency, Innovate UK.
This challenge targets the sourcing of solutions that can solve Malaysia’s urban waste management, water and transport/mobility challenges. Up to 10 million Ringgit is pledged by PlaTCOM for winning Malaysian SMEs and up to 3 million British Pounds is pledged by Innovate UK for winning UK businesses.”
Praising PlaTCOM’s early success, Nancy said “Today, when we celebrate the 21 successful HIP2 companies, we are also affirming the country’s collective aspiration to empower innovation for organisations and society; creating real value in the long run by improving living standards through sustained innovative solutions in solving real world business and societal challenges.
These 21 companies bring intangible value in stimulating the minds of other market players in their respective sectors. This is achieved through new combinations and iterations of products and services with enhanced marketability and utility in a world that demands businesses to stay relevant by adapting and evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of their markets.”
Nancy also mentioned that “The combined impact of innovating companies in Malaysia will help create a better future for the country, as well as increase the wealth of our nation with new activities that stimulate the various sectors of our economy”.
The HIP2 Success Showcase 2017 proved to be a key event in demonstrating the achievement for each of the 21 companies that were honoured. The 21 companies received RM 6.7 million to fully develop their innovative products through the HIP2 programme and the companies have realised RM 21.4 million worth of sales and contract revenue to date, realising a collective return-on-investment of over 200per cent.
In addition to the successful implementation of the HIP2 programme, PlaTCOM has played a key role in the country in facilitating 172 intellectual property rights transactions through licensing — most of the licenses transacted were between Malaysian research organisations such as universities/public research institutes and Malaysian SMEs.
The success of the HIP2 Programme is a fine example of synergy created through the collaboration between AIM and SME Corp The Programme has received strong support from MITI led by Mustapa and strong backing from the Prime Minister’s Department with the support and advice from Nancy.
SME Corp has provided PlaTCOM with unwavering support, encouragement and guidance in designing and successfully implementing the programme.
Similarly, Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM), the parent agency of PlaTCOM, has played a vital role in ensuring the continued success of the initiative by providing PlaTCOM with good governance and excellent support as the lead agency for HIP2 implementation and execution.
PlaTCOM has reached the above milestones and has demonstrated that the technology commercialisation platform (HIP2) has become an integral part in accelerating Malaysian SME innovations to the market. Moving forward, PlaTCOM aspires to bring HIP2 to the next level of expansion to support more and more innovative Malaysian SMEs. And through this, its aim is to create value and achieve success through wealth creation for the nation.
* Viraj Perera is the CEO of PlaTCOM Ventures Sdn Bhd — the national technology commercialisation platform of Malaysia — a wholly owned subsidiary company of Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) formed in collaboration with SME Corp Malaysia.