Sabah to use technology, innovation to solve problems



KOTA KINABALU (Nov 23): Sabah would like to see the usage of technology and innovation to solve problems in the state.

Permanent Secretary of the Sabah Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, Datuk Zainudin Aman, said the state is indeed facing different challenges as compared to other states.

“But, it is for that reason that we would like to see how the usage of technology and innovation approach could solve our problems in Sabah.

“It is not impossible but it can only be done with the cooperation of everyone,” he said in a press statement regarding the initiative by the government in organising the three-day Borneo Tech Summit which started on Tuesday.

Zainudin added that to close the technology gap in Sabah, human capital capacity development programs need to be done from time to time more organically and not “one-time off”.

Borneo Tech Summit is an additional program to previous programs that have been created for example Sandbox, Toon Boom Animation, STEM, Makerspace Day, and many more.

“We have also invited industry experts from Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and the neighbouring Philippines to share the latest on technology developments and how Sabah can best use the benefits of this partnership.

“KSTI hopes that our startups take the opportunity from the Borneo Tech Summit as much as possible to not only learn and gain new knowledge but to build collaboration networks with other startups.

“We hope that Sabah can produce as many startups as possible and in addition we will provide a program that can help their startup journey.”

Sabah Creative Economy and Innovation Centre (SCENIC) general manager Viviantie Sarjuni said the pandemic had taught a lesson that there is a need to diversify the economy, especially leveraging on technology to accelerate the economy of Sabah.

“What if using Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality technology to build a tourism based business model that is proof of a pandemic? Maybe that is too ambitious but we can always start with simple technology that not only accelerates the income of business owners but solves pressing issues in Sabah.

“All of these initiatives will then open job opportunities for the grassroots. I am so hopeful for this ecosystem to grow,” she said.

As another co-organiser for the summit, Sabah Net Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Chin Kah Yi said they wish to see all players in the ecosystem connect with one another and leverage on each other’s strength to grow the local digital economic capacity.

“With such an elevated environment, technology adoption and innovation creations shall be more transparent, inclusive and competitive.

“This, in turn, shortens the learning curve, and thus expedites the go-to-market plans of local startups.”

Earlier, the summit also saw the signing of three Memorandums of Understanding between KSTI and AirAsia Academy; KSTI and Mereka Innovative Education Sdn Bhd; as well as Farm Tokou and MSD Innovation.