Technology Park Malaysia comes of age

KUALA LUMPUR: Technology Park Malaysia (TPM) Corp Sdn Bhd, which started its incubative programme in 1996 with just space leasing for engineering based companies in the Bukit Jalil technology park, has evolved over the years to nurture and aid the growth of companies from the ideation stage up to commercialisation.

TPM, a company owned by Minister of Finance Incorporated and under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, entered its 4th Generation Incubation Model in 2008 and has evolved from engineering to ICT, Bio Nexus and Green Tech over the years.

As at 2016, the number of incubatees stood at 861 of which 233 are graduate incubatees.

Some 241 products have been launched and 22 Intellectual Property’s registered, which according to TPM’s statistics, have raked in some RM604.2 million in domestic revenue and RM8.1 million in export revenue.

Under the 4th Generation, TPM offers handholding programmes such as technical and business advisory, provision of facilities for production and labs, amenities, collaborative arrangements with institutes of higher learning and research institutes, connecting with industry players and providing funding arrangements through their own schemes, or by matching companies to relevant government grants and alternative fundings.

Also with its virtual incubation programme launched in 2014, companies can also seek virtual business services, while companies that choose to station in the park can physically incubate.

Besides that TPM has added new initiatives into its existing incubation programme.

The new initiatives launched on March 16 comprises a mentoring scheme known as the Star Gazer, a new fund known as the technopreneur facilitation fund with a quantum of up to RM50,000 and a business planning tool known as the strategic playbook.

To internationalise the incubation programme TPM had signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Chiao Tung University of Taiwan for a co-incubation programme to enable local and Taiwanese incubatees to cross explore both markets while riding on expertise from both countries.

With that and in view of the trying current economic times, senior vice-president of the park’s management and services Shahazman Abu Samah, said TPM is putting in place some initiatives to “reduce some risks by 20-30%” that start-up’s and small and medium enterprises (SME) in the science, technology and innovation sectors might face, echoing the risk for this sector is much higher in terms of machinery investments, developing labs and infrastructure as well as securing fundings goes.

“We would like to bring in more start-up’s and SME’s into TPM because we know that economically we are facing a little bit of a challenge. We do have space for them as well as the land for them to come and set up, he said adding that TPM will be able to offer such rates due to the model it operates on. According to Shahazman, there is still a shortage of local talents, hence it is vital to create more successful homegrown companies in order for talents to flourish.

“We want to create more successes amongst companies. When they are successful, they will be employers. That is the game we are playing. Contributions to the economy will come as more and more companies in TPM are successful,” he said.

Some of the companies which have benefited from the programme are upstream oil and gas products designer MIT Technologies Sdn Bhd; energy efficient LED bulb solution provider Callotec Sdn Bhd and GeneNews Diagnostics, a creater of Colonsentry, a colon cancer detector.

So far there are 108 incubation centres in the country which are still active out of the initial 132. Eight are dormant and the remaining closed.