THE Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (Mosti) and its agencies have approved RM52.78 million to date to fund 70 companies for innovation purposes under its National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) initiative.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (picture) said the funds were channelled via the Malaysian Technology Development Corp while another 69 companies also received technical support or were referred to funding organisations with strategic cooperation with NTIS.

“NTIS is one of the key instruments identified by Mosti to realise the goal of ‘Accelerating Technology Adoption and Innovation’ outlined in the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“Six targets have been set including the commercialisation of 500 products and solutions via NTIS and Malaysia Commercialisation Year by 2025,” he said in his speech during the launch of NTIS’ one year report last Friday.

NTIS is an initiative under Mosti parked under the Penjana assistance which is aimed at developing tech start-ups via product development and innovative solutions, commercialisation support and seeding funds as preparation to penetrate a larger and competitive market.

Dr Adham said NTIS was launched at the right time to support all stakeholders as it accelerates the development of innovative solutions and commercialisation via funding which will expedite economic recovery post-pandemic.

“Since its launch on Sept 30, 2020, it has received a total of 518 applications from various companies nationwide.

“Through 13 cohorts, 139 companies have been approved under the initiative to be assisted in the commercialisation process with various forms of support whether in text site preparation (sandbox), regulatory facilities or funding,” said Dr Adham.

About 50% of the NTIS projects that received approval cover a multitude of sectors including smart engineering and manufacturing while the remaining 50% relates to smart systems.

NTIS also received support from 26 ministries, two government agencies and 28 innovation acceleration network partners.

There are currently four NTIS innovation sandbox in the country namely farming sandbox in Felda Mempaga, Pahang; robotics and automation sandbox in Iskandar Puteri’s Robotics and Drone Zone, Johor; logistics sandbox in Cyberjaya and Area 57 which is for Unmanned Aircraft Systems innovation at Malaysia Technology Park, Bukit Jalil.

He said more national sandboxes will be launched including medical tourism, education and farming technology.

“Through NTIS, start-ups and technology companies can access funding and regulatory support to develop early-stage solutions and subsequently enter the market, in addition to solving the problems encountered by the ministry,” he added.

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