Getting Malaysians to Systematically Look Into the Future
Rushdi Abdul Rahim email address email@example.com
Nik Ahmad Faizul Abdul Mallek email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI)
National Technology Foresight
Management and planning of R&D in science and technology
Literature review, patent scanning, engagement of expert panels, series of workshop, scenario planning, Delphi
The study has captured 9+5 key technology areas which deserve the attention of the government, industry and academia in charting the country’s future development and growth through a consultative and quantitative process involving the major technology stakeholders of the country. The priority key technologies identified should form a constructive guide in the allocation of resources for R&D and other approaches to technology development in Malaysia.
The recommendations proposed are to support an effective implementation and management of the Science and Technology (S&T) agenda at the national level for the next ten years.
Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), Rushdi Abdul Rahim, email@example.com
Aug –Dec 2010
Date of Brief:
Malaysia, MIGHT, Technology, Foresight, National
Purpose Malaysia has decided to strengthen the country’s innovation capacity as the way forward in order to achieve the high income economy targets. Innovation however is easier planned than realized. Therefore, foresight exercise is critical in planning innovation investment. The National Technology Foresight 2010 project which was successfully completed in 6 months involved scanning global drivers and trends, evaluating local competencies benchmarked against some of the best in the world, engaging stakeholders in the country in scenario planning, vision building and prioritising the key technology sectors and areas.
Recognising the need to achieve the high income status by 2020, the Government of Malaysia has introduced key policy initiatives to facilitate growth rates averaging at least seven percent over the next ten years. The New Economic Model (NEM) has targeted doubling the country’s per capita income from about USD7500 now to around USD15000 by 2020. However, reaching the target should not be at the expense of the environment and social equitability. Innovation is a key ingredient of the NEM, where the emphasis will be on high technology manufacturing and design, rather than the current low value assembly which now pre-dominates the manufacturing sector. Another initiative, the Government’s Transformation Plan (GTP), involves improving the public delivery system and the Government’s mechanism for R&D and Human Capital development. The Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) strategizes to add value to 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) where the private sector will be the main driver. Under the ETP, several Entry Point Projects (ETPs) have been identified to catalyse growth.
It is clear we need to understand more about the future. Unless we read the future well, it is difficult to allocate the country’s sources to prepare for future opportunities. A major reason for the study is to help Malaysia identify technology priorities and chart strategic investment to excel in the innovation economy. It will provide clearer directions and guidance for R&D, human capital development and other technology investment.
In executing the National Technology Foresight 2010 (NTF2010) study for Malaysia, it is fundamental to have the understanding the global trend and future scenario, in determining the socio-economic needs of the nation. Through the Foresighting process, new sources of growth will be identified taking into consideration of the New Economic Model and other Strategic plans of the government.
Decisions about the methodological framework are affected by resources: the budget, the availability of expertise, political support, technological and physical infrastructure, and time. The Pre-Foresight phase does consume resources and also involves the use of certain methods and phases namely Recruitment, Generation, Action and Renewal.
Subsequently, the identification of new sources of growth through the foresight exercise will lead to more focused sectors for the future needs. One of the key areas that will be studied is the Renewable Energy. Strategic technology platforms are equally important to be identified as tool for downstream development of product and services which will lead to the identification of technologies to support various applications.
Methodology & Techniques
The main objectives of the study is to systematically identify Technology Areas for Malaysia in the next 10 years and to prioritized Key Science & Technologies that are crucial for the future of Malaysia.
One of the key factors to ensure an effective foresighting of the above is the reliability and comprehensiveness of the related data and information on trends, patents. To improve the effectiveness of the study, it is supported by a robust set of tools and methodologies.
Methods chosen signify the needs to cater its adoption to Malaysia’s case studies. Therefore the selection and combination of methods are made to ensure the best outcome and participation of stakeholders in Malaysia. This includes but not limited to the following:-
• The need to educate potential stakeholders on the benefits and potential impact of foresight;
• To negate the relatively high level of cynicism of the stakeholders;
• To enable change of thinking and mind set, thinking of the futures rather than today;
• To inculcate and incorporate discipline and subjectivity. This includes receptiveness towards methods and systematic approaches of foresight;
• To ensure engagement of diverse and equal distribution of participants;
• The need to sustain continued interest in the foresight exercises by introducing creative and participatory approaches;
• Enabling use of multi tools environment (social networking sites; online forum etc.)
myForesightTM is a pioneering national level strategic engagement platform dedicated for foresighting and studies of future possibilities from the economic perspectives to other issues affecting the world and country. The main objective of myForesightTM is to provide a common platform to share experiences, insights and expertise on future studies locally and globally. Among the activities includes futures intelligence, research, competency and community.
Figure 1: Foresight tools and methodologies
Market Intelligence & Research provides viable, accurate and verified information through intelligence & information analysis on strategic market and technology positioning. The analysis takes into account both global and local scenario for businesses consumption or national policy inputs purposes. This allows MIGHT to offer consultancy and audit services.
MIGHT Strategic Consultation activities is undertaken through MIGHT Interest Consultative Groups (MICG) which is a consensus building platform established to prospect for business and investment opportunities involving the strategic harnessing of the technology. Among the key areas are aerospace & defense, automotive, green technology, marine, life sciences and alternative energy.
Engagement with global network of Foresight practitioners is fundamental to the understanding of the future scenario, various approaches/methodology to address it, data collection and co-ordination activities that are necessary for the study. MIGHT’s current linkage with key organizations related to Foresight around the globe is fully capitalized in order to accelerate the progress of the project.
Site visits and virtual engagement is initiated far quicker through this network. We also utilized myForesightTM which is a part of a global network; for announcement and promotion of activities.
It is important to take stock and scan the external environment. This takes the form of a STEEP analysis, i.e. an investigation of the Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, and Political influences on Malaysia. The analysis is very useful as it offers a wide ranging framework from which to build scenarios.
For the study, surveys & series of focus groups session were conducted to gauge how participants see big shifts coming in society, economics, politics, technology, etc. Assessment, description of each trend and how and why it will affect the nation as well as to what degree these trends will affect Malaysia’s situation will be made. Part of the analysis consist of recording the group thinking and generating quantities of ideas in this type of analysis exercise.
Patent analysis provides strategic intelligence on technologies, used to indicate “revealed competitive advantage” based on leadership in technological development. The assumption is that the increase of interest for new technologies will reflect in the growth of Research and Development activities and this, will lead to an increase of patent deposits. This is a short-term approach which uses patent databases to identify emerging technologies and their possible applications in other fields.
Using TRIZ methodology, it helps to map inventions in the past, present and future time frame, through citing and cited documents and patent documents. With this, it analysed the uptrend of the technology, the importance of its patenting, and its main application in the industry in order to try to anticipate the scientific and technological advances and participate in a way to influence in the guidance of technological trajectories.
Survey is one powerful tool for data inventory. The survey focused on factual information about opinions of the survey takers. It was administered in as a questionnaire, whereby the survey participants were required to fill out the survey on his or her own.
The surveys are generally standardized to ensure that they have reliability and validity. Standardization is also important so that the results can be generalized to the larger population.
For the study, the survey was on trends and drivers and sent out to about 8000 targeted respondents online. The survey was going on for two (2) weeks.
The results of the survey were then shared with participants of the focus groups and expert panels for further synthesizing and refining.
NTF2010 is Malaysia first attempt in foresight exercise. Thus, there are rooms for improvement through feedbacks and constructive comments from respondents. For example, during the survey exercise; ample respond time shall be allocated together with more organised set of questionnaire and identification of dedicated respondents.
The main task of the Panel is to synthesise a variety of inputs, ranging from survey results, research reports to the outputs of forecasting methods etc. Members of the expert panels are expected to provide a vision of future possibilities and needs for their topic areas, implicitly or explicitly.
As for the study, identification of the experts is the main activities of this phase. In order to identify key stakeholders/ experts; the interest and strengths of different stakeholders was taken into account. A systematic evaluation approach considering whether stakeholders or individuals are in favour of or against particular project purpose and objectives shall be presented in matrix form and analysed. The stakeholder profiles were stored in the database and maintained by the project coordinator.
Through this efforts, getting the right mix of the stakeholders/ experts participation, namely academicians, industrial and policy makers; have aided us to have balance and unbiased input for analysis.
Series of meetings, discussions, and conferences were organised in order to streamlining stakeholders/ experts insights. The events were recorded and the inputs were logged in the forms of reports for further references.
A combination of methods employed to select and motivate the panel, assigning tasks during workshop sessions, and to activate them in the development and sharing of knowledge.
Brainstorming, STEEP as well as scenario planning are among process using focus group methods.
There are four stages in using the scenario planning tools.
Impact Uncertainty Analysis
Cross Impact Analysis
Identify Uncertainty Axis
Scenario Writing and Development
Each stage typically has a number of requirements that have to be satisfied in order to get the best results for the next stage. During the exercise, participants were divided into smaller groups. The purpose is to capture as much ideas through brainstorming and discussions.
As the result of the exercise, four (4) plausible scenarios were highlighted emphasizing the possible position for Malaysia in the next 10 years.
Delphi involves a survey of expert opinion with structured group interaction process that is directed in "rounds" of opinion collection and feedback. Opinion collection is achieved by conducting a series of surveys using questionnaires.
For this particular programme; as in the previous rounds of survey, the Delphi was conducted online through Internet-based method that was developed by MIGHT.
The result of each round then presented to the group and the questionnaire used in the next round is built upon the result of the previous round.
Technology Prioritisation Exercise
The main objective of this exercise is to reduce the initial list of technologies considered to a list of critical technologies that are the most relevant against the set of applied criteria.
Numbers of technology candidates, together with the range of emphasis were plotted. As depicted in the below diagram, points in the upper right-hand corner are strong candidates for “critical technologies”, the points in the lower left-hand corner correspond to less attractive technologies with low feasibility in considered environment.
A special attention deserves the point in the upper left-hand corner – a technology of very high attractiveness but very low feasibility.
However, the results of voting were not accepted automatically as the final outcome of prioritization. The expert panel deployed to thoroughly discuss and confirm the results of Delphi survey and to identify possible pitfalls. It may happen that the group of experts suggests to change the standing of some technologies moving them to a better (or a worse) position in the graph. However, in such a case the project team should require a detailed justification; otherwise the prioritization would lose its credibility.
Output & Impacts
The study has captured a number of key technology areas which deserve the attention of the government, industry and academia in charting the country’s future development and growth. In view of the fact that all the identified technologies were discovered through a consultative and quantitative process involving the major technology stakeholders of the country, there is already automatic ownership by the stakeholders. The priority key technologies identified should form a constructive guide in the allocation of resources for R&D and other approaches to technology development in Malaysia for the next ten years.
After series of intensive conference, workshops and focus group sessions, the team enlisted 163 technologies which then enhanced to prioritized list. The list will be used as indicators to determine the key technology areas.
The study has identified 9+5 technology areas which Malaysia should invest in to drive future growth. Each sector would require the support of strategic technologies. Using the criteria of attractiveness and feasibility, the technology fields for each sector are prioritized. The 9 technology areas identified are:
Domestic Security and National Safety
Medical & Healthcare
Five (5) areas were identified as emerging, cross-cutting and converging namely, Biotechnology, Electronics, ICT, Materials Science and Nanotechnology.
Using the NTF 2010 as guidelines, more focused study is recommended to be conducted in sectoral level for more comprehensive findings and further deliberations.
Further to NTF 2010, MIGHT have successfully completed the Renewable Energy (RE) Technology Roadmap Study for MOSTI. The roadmap covers five (5) different sectors; biomass, solar, hydro, wind, and ocean. This roadmap will guide the direction on R&D in RE industry locally which will highly benefit the industries, government, and academia.
Malaysia involvement in Foresight is still at infant stage. Therefore, as an effort to continuously improving the foresight methodology, a manual was drafted and supported with the Standard Operation Procedures (SOP). The manual explaining general info about the organisation, definition, methodology and processes applied in foresight activities. The SOPs includes procedure namely for scenario planning, vision building and technology prioritization. Responses and comments received from our stakeholders throughout the programme very much aiding to improvise the manual.
Outcome & Evaluation
Throughout the programme, various methodologies tailored and combined in collecting, gathering and inventorying information which suit Malaysia atmosphere. To propose relevant recommendations, plausible scenarios and drivers impacting the country are identified.
Based on the scenarios developed, a common theme was derived. The common theme identified provides a foundation for identifying the technology areas to be considered. In selecting the technology areas which will benefit Malaysia in the future, the stakeholders unanimously agreed on the following:-
Figure 3: Common Themes
Based on the findings, three (3) recommendations are proposed.
To adopt the five (5) areas identified as National S&T Technologies and its Technologies Areas;
• Key Industrial Technologies are intended to strengthen and provide high value added technologies to manufacturing sectors in Malaysia. Its supporting technology areas are Advanced Manufacturing and Plantation Crops;
• Emerging and Converging Technologies are cross cut and supports other sectors, as well as enhance and create new areas for businesses. The technology areas are Biotechnology, Electronics, ICT, Material Science and Nanotechnology.
• National Issues Related Technologies focus on providing the general societal health and well-being for sustainability primarily involves the functional needs of a society through focused technology areas namely Food, Medical and Health, and Water;
• Global Issues Related Technologies enables Malaysia to cope and manage global issues related to climate change, energy resources and environment with the support of strategic technology areas such as Future Energy and Environmental Management.
• Government Led Technologies involves technologies requiring high capital investment but of national importance to provide security in terms of domestic safety and sustaining energy sources. The technology areas are national security and domestic safety, nuclear, satellite and public transportation.
To focus and prioritize the available resources to the nine (9) + five (5) selected areas identified:
Advanced Manufacturing: The manufacturing industry has been identified as the largest contributor to the National GDP, registering about 30% of the overall GDP for Malaysia. The industry is now undergoing significant changes and challenges, in tandem with changes globally. Therefore, there is a need for Malaysia to move towards higher value-added sectors, producing more advanced products & services. Based on the investment approved in 2010, the industry has increased potential employment at 33.89% in comparison to 2009. Despite the positive growth, certain manufacturing sector did employs huge number of foreign workers (35%, in 2006). In recent years, mid- and long-term planning was established to support local manufacturers and boost the industry competitiveness. It is essential to rebalance the economy and industry requirement on skilled workforce. Current state shows many young graduates with potential skills industry needs are going elsewhere. In order to be sustainable, the Malaysian local manufacturing industries and SMIs should enhance their technological capabilities to ensure production costs can be reduced, increase in productivity, and subsequently becomes competitive in the global market.
Domestic Safety and National Security: Malaysia’s Domestic Security and National Safety capabilities are fairly underdeveloped. The prevalent line of thinking focuses on military hardware and security gadgets to meet internal and territorial security needs. Current revolutions in military affairs worldwide indicate that the future lies in asymmetric forms of defense and security. Selected, cutting-edge technologies could be incorporated into the local context in a cost-effective manner without compromising the effectiveness of domestic and national security needs. However it is widely believed that Malaysia do not have the necessary mass to develop full scale defense technology, therefore focus should be made on autonomous systems as well as technology to ensure national sovereignty and less reliance on external organizations/countries.
Various national agencies require such procurements: the Fisheries Department, Customs and Excise, Marine Police, Maritime Enforcement Agency and the Navy. A long coastline in both East and Peninsular Malaysia, and disputed island territory, add to these routine needs. Malaysia’s defense budgets have been cut in recent years, as expressed partly in a 30% demobilisation, but actual expenditure has repeatedly exceeded budget allocations. The 2011 defense budget is a modest RM9.1bil, down by some 20% from last year.
Autonomous and integrated system, Information integrity & security, Defence Technology.
Future Energy: Energy issues are highlighted in most of the foresight studies benchmarked and figures prominently in the discussion of workshop and focus groups held. These issues include efficient energy conversion and use, clean technologies for energy production; renewable energy such as biomass, solar; hydro; hydrogen, fuel cells; nuclear power; process integration, decentralized energy systems; energy optimization; construction materials and flexible energy systems. The Government was taking initiatives to secure future energy supply, such as diversifying sources of fossil fuel supply by seeking a more balanced generation fuel mix. Electricity demand was expected to grow by an average 3.4% from 2011 to 2020. With growing energy demand and declining fossil fuel reserves, the country is looking to enhance and encourage the usage of renewable energy. Malaysia aimed to achieve the target of 6% of the electricity generated from renewable energy in 2015 from less than 1% now. The prognosis up to 2020 indicates growing energy consumption in the developing nation especially China, India and Brazil. Oil production is decreasing trend however coal usage is increasing. And this will give a significant impact on the CO2 emission contributes to climate change. There are therefore major challenges involved in creating and developing the energy technologies and systems of the future, which will have to provide sufficient, stable and intelligent energy services at a competitive price and with a minimal impact on the climate and surrounding environment in general.
Energy sources and production as to provide alternative to the existing fuel and increasing energy efficiency while reducing consumption of fossil fuels, reduction of CO2 emission and other airborne and water pollutants; Energy storage & distribution: solutions for distribution and storage; and Consumption: energy saving technologies, optimal utilisation of accessible energy.
Medical & Healthcare: Health-care technologies have contributed to the extension of human life and to the reduction of pain, disease risk, and disability. Malaysia as a developing nation has undergone a period of rapid expansion of its health services to ensure adequate coverage and accessibility to the general population. From observation, Molecular Farming and Herbal Biotech were given strong emphasis in the feasibility and attractiveness exercise. With rapid economic development, new challenges have now emerged in these two areas. These include the increasing rate of technological change, variations in the use of healthcare technology, rising incidence of chronic diseases, and increasing demands from physicians and the public. There is a widespread variation in the uptake and diffusion of health-care technology which indicates that there are opportunities for more effective integration of technologies into the health system. Based on the estimation made by the Association of Malaysian Medical Industries, the medical devices market in the country grew to RM2.7 billion in 2010. It is expected to hit RM2.9 billion in 2011 and RM5 billion in 2012. Advances in technology, domestic investments growth and businesses joint-ventures is believe to offer more medical products and services with superior quality into the market at affordable price.
Advanced detection & diagnostic; Advanced prevention; and Treatment.
Plantation Crops: The plantation agricultural sector is poised to become one of the engines of growth for the country's economy, besides manufacturing and services. Backed by the related national policy such as NAP3 and other public-private initiatives, this sector will feature more prominently as an indispensable fulcrum of the economy that will be knowledge-based and technology-driven, shifting from a labour-based industry. Malaysia raked in RM113.3 billion from plantation commodity exports in 2011, the best ever performance as global demand surpassed supply. Palm oil had made up earning of RM62.85 billion. To a certain extent, the higher demand was also fuelled by the weakening of the US dollar against the ringgit from RM3.45 to RM3.06. This would lead to the high demand for plantation workers as Malaysia still faces an acute shortage of them. Sarawak Oil Palm Plantation Owners’ Association stated that the oil palm industry was short of between 20% and 30% of its total labour requirement and that the labour woes were expected to worsen as more land is opened up for cultivation. The effective development of the nation’s plantation agricultural sector has resulted structural transformation of our economy. The capabilities must be continuously developed to generate greater yields and innovative products from both upstream and downstream activities. The future challenge would be creating industry’s technical competencies; from production to processing, product development, distribution and marketing. In order to obtain growth, the industry should be geared by the new specialisation, expertise and technological advancement along the value chain.
Farming technology; and Yield processing.
Transportation: Globally, the transportation sector has been under extreme pressure since global financial crisis in 2007. At first, it was hit by rising fuel costs. Then, the global recession slashed traffic of all types, including airline passengers and ship cargo. The decline in business was felt by all types of firms within this sector. The by-products of transport – including air and noise pollution, greenhouse gases and encroachment on natural land – affect human health as well as the environment continues to be main concern in this sector. One of the biggest challenges facing the global transportation sector over the mid- to long-term period is to focus on lowering carbon emissions and enhancing energy efficiency. According to a report on energy use in the transportation sector in Malaysia, there are no radical changes of fuel use for transportation sector in Malaysia. The data showed that fuel use are 53% petrol, 34% diesel, 13% ATF, 0.06% Natural Gas, and 0.03% electricity in year 2000. It was projected to be 46% petrol, 42% diesel, 12% ATF, 0.29% Natural Gas and only 0.07% electricity in the year 2020. This has been reflected in the technology prioritization exercise as use of alternative energy, innovative instrument for improving transport design and engineering, as well as application of Intelligent Transport Systems were given strong emphasis in the exercise. Since land transport is one of the major energy consumers in the transportation sector in Malaysia, implementing suitable energy efficiency policy and application of appropriate technology for this sector may contribute a significant impact on energy consumption in the transportation sectors and offer great benefits for the consumers, government as well as to the environment.
Energy consumption and environmental conservation; Innovative instruments for improving transport design and engineering; and Advancement of Intelligent Transport Systems.
Food Security: The challenges facing agriculture today are immense. International nominal prices of all major food commodities reached their highest levels in nearly 50 years while prices in real terms were the highest in nearly 30 years (FAO, 2008). Challenges of climate change are increasingly urgent. The warming of the climate system is 'unequivocal', Agriculture have to cope with increased climate variability and more extreme weather events. The rise in use of chemical inputs has also had adverse environmental and health impacts on farm workers and consumers. A substantial portion of pesticide residues ends up in the environment, causing pollution and biodiversity decline. The extensive use of pesticides has also resulted in pesticide resistance in pests and adverse effects on beneficial natural predators and parasites. For the past 10 years, Malaysia reliance on food exports has increased exponentially where statistic released has indicate that we produce less than 40% of our consumption. With the growing population, this trend will likely continue. Therefore the idea is to identify technology that will contribute towards the future food security of Malaysia. It was targeted to create 50,000 ha of paddy estates and the yield to reach eight tonnes per hectare by 2020. It will also offer paddy farmers to enjoy between 30% and 60% boost in income.
Non-production/Breeding; Production; and Processing/Preservation.
Water Security: Malaysia is facing a growing population. The population of Peninsular Malaysia will be more than double its size from 18.1 million in 2000 to 38 million in 2050 alone to support the argument. The present total treatment plant capacity in the country is 16,283 million litres per day (MLD) which is able to meet the current demand of 13,506 MLD and expected to be at 31,628 MLD by 2050. Water availability index was found to be decreasing, 68% in 1992 and 26% in 2002 (WWFMalaysia). Water sustainability index also mark a decline from 64% in 1992 to 33% in 2002. Long term projections of water demand are necessary in order to quantify requirements to ensure continuous supply of water as water is consumed by the domestic, industrial, commercial and institutional sectors. Long term sustainability of Malaysian water resources development is key to be a fully industrialised nation. Hence, water security is considers as priority area towards the nation commitment towards sustainable development. The average percentage of Non Revenue Water (NRW) in Malaysia is very high at 40.6% in 2002. The main causes of water losses are leakages (16-30%), meter under registration (3-7%) and pilferages (1-8%). Sabah indicates the highest(NRW) contribution at 73.9% in 2002 but reduced to 56% by 2005.The use of membrane technology would reduce the processes involved in treating water, thus increase efficiency in operations. With progress made in membrane technologies, it is heartening to learn that the energy consumption is one fifth and the cost is less than one tenth compared with the 70s. It is also believed that desalination of seawater would be the nation’s hope in exploring water resources.
Source diversification of water source; Conservation & sustainability; Water treatment; Distribution & collection; Technology to efficiently utilize water; and Integrated water control and management system.
Waste Management: In waste management the focus was on waste management due to the fact water and energy; the other main factor in waste management has already been attended to in other areas. Issues related to waste management are high on the agenda in nearly all the foresight studies benchmarked and also feature prominently in the discussion of workshop and focus groups held. The prognosis up to 2020 indicates growing pile of waste generated from various sources that includes industries and household that contributes to the climate change. There are therefore major challenges involved in creating and developing the sustainable waste management systems of the future, which will have to provide sufficient, stable, safe and intelligent waste management at a competitive price and with a minimal impact on the climate and surrounding environment in general. The move to get Malaysians to separate their household waste has been postponed from April 1to 2013. This due to the low awareness among the public on the need to separate their household waste. At present, less than 10% of the country’s household practice waste separation.
Biotechnology: The prognosis up to 2020 indicates growing demand for biotechnology advancement in various sectors such as agriculture, food, medical and healthcare, and industry. Malaysia’s biotechnology industry is expected to contribute 2.5% of the national gross domestic product (GDP) by 2010, 4% by 2015 and 5% by 2020. Biotechnology is widely applied and therefore categorized as an enabler. There are therefore major challenges involved in creating and developing the biotechnology of the future, which will have to provide sufficient, stable and intelligent enhancement towards the sector it contributes to at a competitive price and with a minimal impact on the environment, health, ecosystems, and issues pertaining to religious and community perception environment in general.
Electronics: The global demand for consumer electronics continues to expand as new emerging economies increase their buying power. Malaysia has done well in the early years as one of the leading global centre for low value manufacturing and assembly of electric and electronic products. Many companies then were attracted to Malaysia’s competitive labour and land cost. That competitiveness is no longer there as new lower cost countries emerge as investment destinations. Unfortunately, Malaysia did not build sufficient capacity in product and process design. Recent years have witnessed the exodus of many electronic companies away from Malaysia to other lower cost countries. If Malaysia is to continue to tap on the growing global business in consumer electronics, the country will have to rethink its strategies in technology development and branding. Companies will have to invest more in the high end technologies including optical signals processing, sensors and communication devices.
Power Management Devices; Communication Devices; Sensors; Intelligent System; Display Technology; Semiconductor; and Cross Cutting.
Information and Communications Technologies: Malaysia, like all other countries has introduced a number of direct and indirect ICT policies and strategic action plans in stages to spur the ICT development. Its initiatives include MSC Malaysia flagship applications, MyICMS-886, TIGeR (Technology, Industry and Government for the e- Economic Revolution), One Home One PC, Gerakan Desa Wawasan and so on. These projects successfully raised the level of ICT use among Malaysians. The level of diffusion on three types of ICTs – personal computers, mobile phones and internet varies. Among three ICT items probed, mobile phones were the most popular. New cost-effective technology such as WiFi, found in urban hotspot zones should be considered as a means of providing WiFi-enabled mobile-phone services to local communities especially in rural areas. Networks will have to be even more intelligent and all devices will need to be extremely intelligent in order to deliver the customised services and products that consumers will demand. Celcom Axiata Bhd will invest RM1 billion in capital expenditure to upgrade its network; and long-term evolution (LTE) ready. 60% of the budget will be used to enhance its data network while 40% is used to maintain its current network.
Intelligent devices; Security; Infrastructure; Communication; and ICT Interface.
Material Sciences: Increased in market globalization and environmental concerns urged us to improve the existing materials performance and the processes used to manufacture materials. In some of the strategic industry, it is highly essential. It is known that a lot of technology and fundamental understanding of material science remains undeveloped thus leaving significant opportunities for long range concerted research. Continued development of new materials is important not only to improve materials characteristics but also to optimize / enhance the existing ones. The significant markets for polymers in emerging electronic / optoelectronic market are already wellknown. Same goes to composite materials for aerospace applications which today is widely used and recognized.
Processing; Materials; and Performance Improvement.
Nanotechnology: The global nanotechnology market is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 18% during 2010-2013 will worth US$ 1.6 Trillion. Nanotechnology is expected to be incorporated in various manufactured goods. Globally, the investment will largely be driven by massive investment in nanotechnology R&D by both governments and corporates. As in Malaysia, the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), which was launched in 2006 plays an important role in shaping the nanotechnology environment locally. The local landscape for nanotechnology development is given according to various sectors and the targeted product applications are nanobiochip, nanodrug delivery system and biosensors.
Nanomaterials; Nanodevices; Nanobio; and Nanoprocesses
Strengthening the areas of cross cutting and converging technologies to support the identified technology focus areas. The cross cutting and converging technologies that will be the enabler and support are;
Information & Communication Technology;
National Technology Foresight 2010, MIGHT, Malaysia