Connected Cities Mission: Day One

As part of the Connected Cities Mission organised by Innovate UK and UKTI I’ve flown out to Malaysia to meet the UK and Malaysian businesses that are looking to expand their businesses.

The mission takes us to Cyberjaya and the Multimedia Super Corridor, Johor and Singapore. Along the way we’ll be visiting new developments and the departments that can help the UK businesses get into Malaysia. With meetings arranged for the businesses taking part in the mission it’s going to be a busy week.

So why Malaysia?

Historically Malaysia has been associated with manufacturing and agriculture, however, in 1997 the then Prime Minister decided that the country needed to shift towards the technology industry. The result a plan to build a tech area, Cyberjaya.

Twenty years later amid the dense rainforest and palm oil plantations you will find Cyberjaya (translated it means Cyber Success). The township is home to big names such as HP and Dell, but Cyberview want to attract startups to the area.

The mission

The UK businesses come from a range of industries from tech to social enterprise and security. We heard from the various government bodies on why startups and SMEs should be heading over to South East Asia. We heard from Dr. Viraj Perera on the role of innovation and commercialization in the development of smart cities and work PlatCOM Ventures are doing to fund innovative ideas. To date PlatCOM have exceeded all targets and within two years have already taken seven projects to market.

We also heard from Dr. John Rogers, Executive Director of BuildingSMART Malaysia. Discussing the role of Building Information Modeling or BIM he noted that Malaysia is the first emerging nation that is incorporating BIM standards at a global level.

After an afternoon of closed pitching session between the UK and Malaysian companies the day was bought to a close by Paul Rennie OBE, Acting High Commissioner at the British High Commission of Malaysia. In his closing remarks Rennie said: I’m delighted that we have so many British companies taking part in the mission. Malaysia are building more than most in the area which creates great opportunities for UK and Malaysian companies with the skills that are already here and great opportunities for partnership.”