THE Government will create incentives and opportunities for Malaysian companies to invest in innovation, through the public procurement process and the design of regulations.
An improved public procurement process is a key opportunity to increase the level of innovation in Malaysian companies.
Regulatory change is a key driver of innovation as firms compete to develop new products that are more efficient, greener and safer. Other advanced economies have created leading global companies through regulatory reforms that have forced innovative solutions.
Several regulatory changes are expected to drive innovation.
The innovation institutional structure and intellectual property (IP) regime will be strengthened as they are critical innovation enablers.
A review of the institutional structure supporting innovation and research and development (R&D) is imperative to improve innovation outcomes.
The IP regime, including the expertise and institutional capacity of IP examiners and agents, will be upgraded to improve the investment climate and investor confidence and provide a dynamic environment for the creation of new and innovative products and services.
To further improve the protection regime and shorten the application and approval process for trademarks (from 15 months to 12 months) and patents (from 39 months to 32 months), Web-based facilities will be provided including a voluntary registration system for copyright protection and a patent search database.
To incentivise the filing and maintenance of IP, the Government will make available grants and preferential rate loans.
The Government will support R&D and commercialisation across the value chain under a number of initiatives. It will strengthen the risk capital industry to increase access to funding for innovative start-ups.
New funding modes for public venture companies will be introduced to better match investment risk profiles and promote greater private sector participated and risk-taking. Government funding to public venture companies, Malaysian Technology Development Corp (MTDC) and Malaysian Venture Capital Management Bhd will shift from the current leading model to an equity structure.
A Mudharabah Innovation Fund (MIF) with an allocation of RM500mil, will also be introduced to provide risk capital to government-backed venture companies.
The MIF will offer enhanced risk return profile to investors and attract more private risk capital to co-invest, and gradually reduce dependence on public funds. To bridge the gap between invention and commercialisation of high-technology products, the Government will establish a Business Growth Fund with an allocation of RM150mil.
The fund will focus on supporting companies commercialising public sector research results and will provide hybrid grant-equity funding.
Existing public venture-capital initiatives will be rationalised. MTDC, will be restructured to focus on nurturing technology transfer and commercialise, while a new technology investment company will be set up to manage funds and investments transferred from MTDC and Khazanah Nasional Bhd.
The Government will continue to fund innovation by allowing tax deductions for R&D and providing matching grants to promote private sector funding of R&D and commercialisation.
A dedicated programme known as 1-InnoCERT, which assesses the innovation level of enterprises, will further stimulate R&D activities through funding incentives such as access to preferential rate loans, credit guarantees and grants. - The Star
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