Ministry to allocate half of R&D funds to experimental research


KUALA LUMPUR: The Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry (Mestecc) will allocate at least 50 per cent of research and development funds to experimental research beginning next year.

“If Malaysia wants to be a leader in creating new technology that is needed by the society and is profitable, we have to work towards the direction where research and development is no longer limited to the academia. Instead, it will be done through collaboration with the industries,” said its minister, Yeo Bee Yin, after closing the two-day World Engineering, Science and Technology Congress (Estcon 2018) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here yesterday.

“As a government, we are not here to make money, but to create an ecosystem that encourages industries to thrive and allows talents to grow,” she said.

“Research and development in Malaysia focuses on academic research, but the outcome of the research is not utilised in related industries.

“This has deterred the development of advanced technologies and products.”

Last year, she said, 70.5 per cent of research and development expenditure was spent on applied research and only 8.6 per cent was allocated to experimental research.

“Viewed from another perspective, 78.1 per cent of our researchers work at institutions of higher learning, while only 12.3 per cent work in the private sector.

“As a comparison, 50.5 per cent of researchers in Singapore work with private companies. In South Korea, 79.7 per cent of researchers work in the private sector.

“It is not the technology that counts. It is the process and ecosystem that count.

“If we have an ecosystem that is supportive of new technologies, which allows industries to develop quickly in this fast-changing world, we will be able to overcome the challenges we may face in this disruptive and ever-changing world.”

More than 1,000 research and innovation experts from 40 countries participated in Estcon 2018.

The event was organised by Universiti Teknologi Petronas, with the support of Mestecc, the Education Ministry, Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Sirim Bhd and Yayasan Universiti Teknologi Petronas. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd