The Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (Mestecc) will begin allocating at least 50 per cent of research and development funds to experimental research next year. Photo by Mohd Yusni Ariffin

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

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

“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 our country currently focuses mainly on academic research, but the outcome of the research is not utilised in related industries.

“As such, 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 full-time 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, Education Ministry, Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Sirim Bhd and Yayasan Universiti Teknologi Petronas.