Innovation: What are the Challenges and Opportunities in Malaysia


Malaysia has a greater success story in comparison to some of its neighboring countries as it has four decades of growth. Due to its competitive workforce, modern infrastructure and social development, it attracts foreign investment into the country.


It also recognizes that innovation and research & development (R&D) are important for its growth as researchers and the number of publications have increased, but the quality and the usefulness of these publications are of concern.


This was one of the findings shared by Mr. Phillip Larrue, Science Technology & Innovation Directorate of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), during his session with AMCHAM members on 14 November 2016.


He went on to mention that the proportion of firms in Malaysia that are involved in R&D is low, and very few of these companies themselves carry out activities relevant to investment, production or technology. Most patents are by universities.  However, allocation for R&D in universities has also been reduced, as they appear to be innovative rather than being innovative.


Resource is another reason Malaysia lacks in innovation and R&D.  It does not have the resources with the right skills and thus is dependent on foreign technology, till to-date. Though there are linkages between the MNCs and the local companies, researches are performed within the MNCs.


Amongst the recommendations suggested to boost the innovation and R&D sector were

1) better execution of the Government’s innovation policies;

2) councils/bodies set-up for this purpose play their role in supporting all firms who are in the research industry;

3) education/training has to be provided to fill the huge resource gap.


AMCHAM would like to thank Mr. Philip Larrue.




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