Dr Adham: Focus must be given on B40, M40 entrepreneurs involved in digital economy

Dr Adham: Focus must be given on B40, M40 entrepreneurs involved in digital economy
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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 14): The government needs to give focus, among others, on entrepreneurs from the bottom 40% (B40) and middle 40% (M40) income groups who conduct innovation and digital economy-based activities in order to increase their quality of life amid the Covid-19 pandemic challenges.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the Covid-19 pandemic not only changed Malaysians’ daily lives but was forcing all quarters, especially entrepreneurs, to shift towards Industry 4.0 (IR 4.0) technologies.

“Amid the challenging pandemic situation, there must be emphasis on IR 4.0 technologies for local high-tech and low-touch economy developments,” he said at the virtual launch of the MTDC Industry 4.0 TechWeek 2021 today.

He said IR 4.0 technologies could assist in improving process efficiency, productivity and quality; reducing the need for face-to-face interactions and dependance on unskilled labour; minimising touch; and shortening processes.

“Mechanisation, robotic systems, data science, digitalisation, artificial intelligence (AI) and various branches of technology have become vital necessities, and if these are not fulfilled quickly, we will be left behind,” he added.

Dr Adham said the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) is committed to continuing to spearhead various IR 4.0 technology areas, such as the blockchain, cloud storage, drones, Internet of things, robotics, AI and human-centric innovation.

The MTDC Industry 4.0 TechWeek programme today marks the finale of the Road2Growth series that began in March 2021.

With the theme “Accelerating SMEs for the i40 Runway”, the MTDC Industry 4.0 TechWeek 2021 brings together key stakeholders for the IR 4.0 technologies initiative — small and medium-sized industries, large companies, university researchers, technology developers, policymakers and investors — to discuss the readinesss of industries and entrepreneurs as well as technologies.

According to Dr Adham, this programme supports MOSTI’s efforts towards boosting the digital infrastructure and disruptive technologies, and it represents the main pulse to ensure continuity of the start-up ecosystem, financing and talent development.

“The system will subsequently catalyse the national socio-economic development in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Norhalim Yunus said knowledge sharing and discussion via the programme could add a new dimension in increasing participants’ understanding of IR 4.0 challenges and opportunities.

“MTDC and companies under our ecosystem will remain committed to supporting the current IR 4.0 development whereby we are offering training in entrepreneurship and technopreneur development in the field of IR 4.0,” he said.

Entrepreneurs who have been selected will be coached, trained and provided with technical assistance through MTDC’s Technopreneur Training Academy (TENTRA).