The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will continue to support the Government of Malaysia in accelerating technology adoption and innovation, as laid out in the country’s 12th Malaysia Plan, to achieve Malaysia’s agenda for more sustainable prosperity for all, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Kanni Wignaraja said.
Kanni, who is also UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, said as an upper middle-income country, Malaysia is teeming with talent and innovative solutions to overcome local and global challenges and such stories were mentioned in the inaugural Malaysia Innovates Report 2022 launched on Tuesday (Aug 2).
“Malaysia is now directing its innovation focus towards alternative energies and sustainability, artificial intelligence and digital technologies, biotechnology and human health, manufacturing and mobility,” she said in her speech at the Malaysia Innovates Conference 2022 here on Tuesday.
The conference, which was jointly organised by UNDP Malaysia and Economic Planning Unit under the Prime Minister’s Department, was officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Kanni said over the last two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has morphed from a health crisis to an economic and social crisis.
“Now, as the pandemic abates, countries are facing worsening economic fallout through inflation and a humanitarian crisis through food shortages and conflict.
“There is now a greater need to do more with the resources that we currently have, a need that can be met through innovation. This is an opportunity for governments and the international community to rethink the way we address poverty, inequality and environmental degradation,” she added.
Kanni said according to the Global Innovation Index (GII) published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Malaysia ranked 36th among the 132 economies featured in the GII 2021 and eighth among the 17 economies in South East Asia and Oceania.
“According to the 2019 National Survey of Research and Development in Malaysia, just over 9,000 patent applications were made in Malaysia between 2013 and 2022, a fraction of the 120,000 research publications Malaysia has produced in the same period, based on the WIPO data.
“In this regard, the 12th Malaysia Plan outlines bold measures to overcome this bottleneck and improve the domestic innovation ecosystem,” she added.
- The Edge Markets