Enabling ventures to move

THE National Information Technology Council (NITC) is working with relevant agencies to formulate new measures in enabling information and communications technology (ICT) ventures move along theentire funding supply chain.

In addition to seed funding, the NITC believes that there must be opportunities in second and third round funding for these ventures, said Mimos Berhad’s vice president for strategic interventions Dr K.J. John.

“We need to be able to create enough seed funding to fund the right kind of projects,” he told Computimes.

“We also need to be able to provide assistance in getting second and third round funding, particularly for projects that are undertaken on a much smaller scale, those that involve the social community, electronic public services projects and those designed for the disadvantaged or at- risk communities.”

John said many seed funding options are available such as the Demonstrator Application Grant Scheme, venture capital and angel funding mechanisms.

He added that there is a lack of second and third round funding to ensure that Malaysia remains competitive and able to enjoy continuous high economic growth. According to him, the biggest challenge lies in moving projects from seed to early stage funding.

NITC has already gone through the first round of discussions with the Science, Technology and Environment Ministry to formalise a mechanism for second and third stage funding.

The council, John said, has proposed that the relevant Ministries fund projects under their jurisdiction, and the Country Level Innovation Process Technology Agenda, known as Cipta, be adopted at national level.

On another development, John said it is vital that Malaysia moves up the competitiveness ladder. Towards this end, innovations using ICT hold the key to close the gap in terms of overall competitiveness compared to countries like Singapore and South Korea, he added.

“Innovation plays a central role in the growth process. Without it, there can be no new value creation for sustainable growth with equity,” John said.

“Without technological progress, countries may achieve a higher standard of living, for example, through a higher rate of capital accumulation, but they will not be able to enjoy continuous high economic growth.”

Based on the technology index by the World Economic Forum, Malaysia has fallen four positions from being ranked number 22 in 2001 to 26 last year.

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