Innovation nation: What exactly works?

There are some roadblocks that need to be overcome to create a successful Malaysia.

MALAYSIA is now confronted with many challenges which can derail its development aspirations as articulated in the New Economic Model.

There are risks and there are opportunities. We need to mitigate the risks and capture the opportunities. Climate change, for example, can be a threat but the concern over climate change also offers opportunities in the green business.

However, we need the right strategies. Innovation is the potent instrument that the country needs. How does the country embrace and make innovation work?

Innovation is about generating new ideas which deliver values. These can be economic, societal or environmental. Contrary to popular belief, innovation is not just about science and technology (S&T). Innovation transcends all aspects of life but many agree S&T is a key tool of innovation.

Countries which invest heavily in S&T have achieved the most successes in innovation. This explains why the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (Mosti) has always been committed to championing the innovation agenda.

Since its early days, Mosti has introduced many initiatives to drive innovation. Many funding mechanisms have been created.

Many institutions under Mosti including the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation, Tech­no­logy Park Malaysia, Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Sirim and MDEC have made an indelible mark on the country’s innovation agenda.

However, implementing the initiatives continues to be challenging. There are still major roadblocks that need to be overcome.

Removing such obstacles has become the strategic focus for Mosti. This urgency is felt even more with recent initiatives such as the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) involving 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs).

by Datuk Madinah Mohammad.

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