Kuala Lumpur, 15 September 2022 - As a means to strengthen the country's socio-economic growth, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) today launched the MRANTI Impact Challenge Accelerator (MICA) – a 12-month programme to accelerate the development of innovative solutions to address some of Malaysia's major social and environmental issues.
MICA is a collaboration between the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI), UNICEF and Proficeo representing a public-private partnership. The program provides funds, support and services amounting to RM1.2 million for technology start-ups and innovators who develop solutions focused on three themes - namely in the areas of climate change, disaster mapping and management, and malnutrition - which are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"When we foster a culture of innovation among local talent to address local issues, the results are promising, potentially doubling return on value," said YB Dato' Sri Dr Adham bin Baba, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.
The Minister explained that awareness and action to address issues of climate change and malnutrition should be managed strategically and effectively. It should be fostered at all layers of society, and from as young as possible.
"The MICA programme is in line with the country's vision to develop Malaysia as a high-tech nation. Additionally, it supports the government's commitment towards sustainable growth, in line with the aspirations of Keluarga Malaysia," said YB Minister.
The impact of this programme will benefit the next generation, especially children under the age of 18 who make up 28 percent of the population in Malaysia. They deserve to be protected because they will inherit the country's legacy and shape our future.
“Children and young people, who contribute the least to climate change, will bear the brunt of its effect. We echo the urgent call to incubate, accelerate, and pilot novel and daring ideas to confront the challenges we face. As Malaysia continues its pace of economic recovery, we must not leave the children behind,” says Christopher Davids, deputy representative at UNICEF Malaysia.
In tackling climate change, MICA is looking for solutions that can equip children and youth with the proper knowledge or skills to address the risks of climate change.
In terms of disaster management, the program encourages technology-based solutions that can anticipate risks and serve as a disaster early warning mechanism for natural or manmade disasters.
To address the growing number of malnutrition cases, MICA welcomes solutions that will include aspects of education, communication as well as access to healthy nutrition resources for the target group of mothers and babies.
The aim is to foster the development of relevant, practical and effective innovative solutions to address the socio-economic and environmental challenges through a structured process which involves guidance, incubation, financing and more, in collaboration with various parties.
MOSTI recently outlined the National Technology Roadmap 2021 - 2030 which aims to develop ecosystems, innovations and commercialization capabilities of local technology products, thus reducing reliance on external technology and foreign labour.
As such, MICA will strengthen the capacity and competitiveness of local companies producing high-impact innovative solutions that can penetrate the market – not only in Malaysia, but also at the ASEAN and global levels.
MICA welcomes solutions which are not necessarily digital in nature, as long as the tools and mediums used are innovative and attractive to the target segment.
The programme will be implemented in three (3) phases, starting September 2022 for a period of 12 months where participants will have access to business training, impact solutions and value-added services. Support will also be provided in the form of capacity building, market access and networking opportunities.
The MICA programme is a collaboration between Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI), UNICEF and Proficeo, representing a public-private partnership.
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