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Consultative Workshop on Open Innovation Platform

13-14 November 2013
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Co-organized and Supported by
Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI),
Government of Malaysia and
MIMOS Berhad, Government of Malaysia

Brief Report
Co-organizers
Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Government of Malaysia; and
MIMOS Berhad (national R&D centre in ICT), MOSTI, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Background
The fast-paced global technological developments and innovations have resulted in the convergence of technologies and technology-intensive products entering the market. These products require sophisticated technologies to produce, distribute and service them. “Open Innovation” is an emerging concept that can help Asia Pacific countries to keep pace with these developments. However, it has been practiced until now mostly by multinational companies, which have been successfully harnessing and mainstreaming technology innovations from across the globe into their products or services to sustain and enhance their technology competitiveness in the global market. The knowledge and experience of investing in R&D and commercializing innovations have enabled them to develop their own open innovation mechanisms and practices.

In the above context, the Technical Committee of APCTT-ESCAP in its 8th Session recommended the Centre to promote the twin concept of “Open Innovation Platform (OIP)” and “South-South Cooperation” in science, technology and innovation (STI) capacity development. In line with this recommendation, APCTT-ESCAP organized this consultative workshop in cooperation and support from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Government of Malaysia.

Objectives

  • To delineate and discuss the concept of “Open Innovation” and development of a platform/mechanism from the perspective of developing countries, especially in the context of South-South cooperation;
  • Review the current practices/ideas of “Open Innovation Platform” in the Asia-Pacific countries and elsewhere;
  • Deliberate on OIP in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector and evolve a potential framework and a working mechanism for it under the leadership of and support from member countries; and
  • Identify the need and relevance of OIP in other sectors and participating countries.

Major Outputs
The first Myanmar Business and Development Week was aimed to strengthen the capacity of Myanmar’s The workshop was organized back-to-back with the APCTT-ESCAP Technical Committee meeting and in conjunction with the World Innovation Forum – Kuala Lumpur, which was organized by MOSTI, Malaysia.

The consultative workshop started with an introduction to the overarching concept of open innovation and its relevance in the current global settings by Mr. Michael Williamson, Head of APCTT-ESCAP. He also introduced the objectives and outputs of the workshop and called for member countries to incorporate the concept in their national innovation systems to enhance competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In his opening address, Dato' Rosli bin Mohamed, the Secretary General of MOSTI, Government of Malaysia, highlighted that his country has been an active member of APCTT-ESCAP since its inception in 1977 and recognized it as a relevant international platform in the area of technology transfer. He stated that with limited financial resources available in a country to harness science and technology for its socio-economic needs, the varying degrees of technological capacity and capability in the countries of the region provide an opportunity to optimize the outcome of limited resources. Malaysia would participate in this endeavour by developing a strategy to use the open innovation concept. Malaysia has identified digital economy as a way forward, and its R&D focuses on the critical areas such as food, health, bio-diversity, energy and others. The Secretary General announced the commitment of his country to APCTT-ESCAP in the area of technology transfer and cooperation to promote and strengthen open innovation platform.

The first technical session focused on the STI strategy development in the open innovation policy framework followed by presentations by member countries. The President and CEO of MIMOS Berhad underscored the need to invest in R&D to infuse novelty and inventiveness in technology and the need to develop strategic technology platforms that could be adopted by researchers and individuals focusing on solutions for market verticals. He also narrated the experience of the company in developing the national ICT framework and national solutions in health, education and other sectors at the request of various ministries of the Government of Malaysia. These technology platforms could be used to enhance local integration and development of local applications through open innovation, resulting in considerable cost reduction in ICT projects and thus being beneficial to local industries. Experts from the Science, Technology and Policy Institute (STEPI) of Republic of Korea presented the synthesized understanding of the technology innovation system of Lao People’s Democratic Republic and deliberated on the potential solutions and the technology strategies, including scale-up in open innovation policy platform.

During the country presentations, it emerged that the concept of open innovation is unknown to most of the countries, while in a few countries like India and Malaysia, it is being practiced by government R&D institutions in drug development, ICT and advanced biotechnology areas.

In the second session, senior officials of MIMOS Berhad presented various technology platforms such as enterprise applications in agriculture, education, healthcare and public safety as well as other commercial applications. The company acts as a bridge between university and industry in developing technologies for mutual benefit by adopting open standards. The technology platforms could be used by collaborators to customize solutions by working with universities and industries.

Three business models of the open innovation platform were presented at the third session by MIMOS Berhad – ‘Business to Business’ as joint venture, ‘Government to Government’ by memorandum of understanding and ‘R&D Collaboration’ with foreign institutions. Various aspects of intellectual property rights (IPR) ownership, access to source code and sharing of resources related to the proposed business models were deliberated by the participants.

During the panel discussions the following aspects emerged:

  • The royalty amount to MIMOS IPR is negotiable on case-to-case basis;
  • OIP helps in bridging the technology gap;
  • Long-term objective of OIP is the creation of sustainable wealth;
  • MOSTI would pursue the path of OIP in strengthening its national innovation system (NIS);
  • It is a challenge to realign national R&D with the fast-changing, technology-driven market, making it imperative for member countries to focus on cutting edge technologies that make a difference to their socio-economic development; and
  • APCTT-ESCAP would integrate OIP into its NIS programme of work and identify other technologies/industry sectors.

See Annex I for the programme and presentations.

Participants
Sixteen experts from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Korea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam, and more than 35 participants from Malaysian R&D institutions and universities participated in this workshop.

See Annex II for the list of participants.