IOI Corporation Berhad (IOI), a leading global integrated and sustainable palm oil company, is providing opportunities for start-ups to offer technology solutions in addressing the current challenges in agriculture and palm oil sector, as well as to develop new innovative palm-based products.
By collaborating with Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) through the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS), IOI will be providing a platform for ideation and interactions with various actors in the innovation eco-system, helping start-ups and young founders fundraise and scale.
IOI expects innovations powered by Industry 4.0 will drive the industry’s transformation in boosting sustainable production, making rapid progress in circularity and transitioning to net-zero emissions.
IOI Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Dato Lee Yeow Chor said: “The initiative is in line with our commitment to innovation in enhancing our productivity, promote circularity as well as to increase our resilience and competitiveness for the future. It is also aimed to engage and inspire our youth and start-ups in entrepreneurship, help them take actionable steps to achieve their aspirations, and contribute to economic growth and job creation”.
Innovation and technology will be instrumental for IOI to achieve its five-year strategic plan that was initiated in March 2020. Dato’ Lee added: “Our five strategic priorities are underpinned by technologies, from digital tools to bioscience technology. Digitalisation and automation enable us to execute our strategies more effectively and efficiently so we can remain competitive and propel the organisation to the digital core era.”
Amiruddin Abdul Shukor, Acting Chief Executive Officer of MaGIC, said: “The agriculture sector, despite being one of the world’s oldest industries, has remained as the least digitised industry in the world. And like other industries that were hit due to the pandemic, this sector has faced challenges that forces it to innovate and digitalise in order to remain competitive. NTIS provides the opportunity for new local innovations that can modernise Malaysia’s agriculture sector, where local innovators will be able to test and validate their solutions with both public and private companies that they partner with”.
Currently, almost 20% of NTIS applicants are offering solutions for the agriculture & forestry sector.
“We matchmake solutions offered by our applicants to real industry problems faced by our stakeholders as our core initiative. We hope that this collaboration with IOI Corporation will help to address the current challenges in the palm oil sector through the adoption of technology while providing the access to our local innovators for testing and R&D that can unlock commercialisation of innovative solutions.” said Amiruddin.
NTIS was launched in August 2020 and is spearheaded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), with the support from MaGIC, Technology Park Malaysia (TPM) and MIMOS Bhd as the secretariat to enable and coordinate NTIS’ rollout. NTIS’ aims to reduce dependency on foreign labour, increase employment opportunities for Malaysians, increase Gross Domestic Product/Gross National Income, enhance the participation, investment and collaboration in research by the private sector as well as improve the country’s commercialisation rate.
The initiative is a timely platform to empower youth and start-ups, as well as to foster a vibrant ecosystem for innovations and sustainable growth.