The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is to strengthen institutional support for Research and Development (R&D) to increase output of its five key result areas (KRAs) identified said its Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili on Monday.

He said the ministry and its 28 agencies aim to appropriately fulfill the KRA and 15 Key Performance Index (KPI) identified during a two-day workshop over the weekend.

“We have so far 3,882 approved projects through our 16 various funds under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, amounting to RM2.5 billion, with 76 projects that have been successfully commercialised so far,” he said in a statement here.

Dr Maximus Ongkili, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation

Dr Maximus Ongkili, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation

He said the 76 projects included one under the Science Fund, 32 under the Commercialisation of R&D Fund, nine under the Technology Acquisition Fund, one under the e-Content Fund, 20 under the Multimedia Super Corridor Grant Scheme, 12 under the MSC Pre-Seed Fund and one under the Brain Gain programme.

“Over the years we have managed to progressively increase the number of commercialised technologies,” said Dr Ongkili, adding that he would like to see more projects funded under the Science Fund, which had approved 2,644 projects amounting to RM493.4 million.

“Much effort is needed to accelerate this, including having the necessary allocations. Our KRA and KPI will set the tone for our objectives,” he said.

He added that the ultimate aim was to encourage basic and applied R&D towards more successful commercialisation of Malaysian innovations to create wealth for the people and nation.

Towards this, he said, another KRA was to develop and enhance innovation and creativity as a culture among the people, in line with the government’s new innovation-driven economic model.

The workshop also discussed the proposal to set up multiple National Innovation Centres (NIC) at selected Higher Learning institutions – four in the peninsula and one each in Sabah and Sarawak.

The centres would co-ordinate R&D outputs, enhance commercialization and develop innovation and creativity among researchers and entrepreneurs.

The ministry will also conduct consultations and expert group meetings with the private sector and academic institutions before proposing the setting of NIC to the Cabinet, Dr Ongkili said. — BERNAMA