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Malaysia Working to be Global Drone Hub

Drone Research and Development in Malaysia

Malaysia is accelerating its strategy to become a centre for drone research and development.

The CEO of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) stated that the Prime Minister’s government has pitched the idea to corporations from the U.S. and Europe.

The MDEC, a government agency charged with promoting innovation and the digital economy, recently hosted a meeting with local businesses to discuss the basic foundation of building a UAS traffic management (UTM) platform for the Malaysian drone ecosystem.

This ecosystem will be designed to align with the Government’s aspiration to establish a global testbed for AI, data analytics and augmented reality and to tap into the dronetech sector which is estimated to generate a value of USD127 Billion by 2025.

The local scene for drone-related industries has seen an extensive growth throughout the years, hence MDEC and its industrial partners want to encourage industry players to participate in research and development activities by building Malaysia’s first Deregulated Drone Testing Zone in Cyberjaya.

According to another article, Malaysia is looking to accelerate its journey towards becoming a digital economy, with several initiatives being announced including making the country a global testbed for emerging technologies and innovation.

These initiatives will continue to build on the national aim and vision of shared prosperity, utilising digital technologies for the social and economic uplifting of Malaysians.

MDEC will accelerate development in the fintech, blockchain, and drone sectors by attracting global digital talents and interest from investors. For example, MDEC also said that a pilot dronetech testbed initiative would be implemented to leverage on rapidly increasing adoption rates around the globe.

The dronetech sector is estimated to generate a value of RM532.7 billion by 2025. Currently, several Malaysian companies are already global leaders within the international dronetech market.

Equally critical in boosting the digital economy is the development of Malaysian tech talent. To address the growing demand for a digital-savvy workforce, MDEC has proposed a new digital talent development strategy framework.

It is designed to mobilise and coordinate the end-to-end nurturing of Malaysia’s tech talent both locally and on the international stage.

This framework will coincide with the creation of the Cross-Ministerial Cabinet Committee. The ICM was chaired again by the PM. Discussions included the progress of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) initiatives, most of which have delivered significant growth and achieved milestones in technological innovation and foreign investment.

The government has proposed to set up the National Digital Inclusion Council to focus on creating digital economy income opportunities for the people. The council will be headed by the PM and will consist of representatives from more than 11 ministries.

An exciting development will be the new drones. Much that was said about driverless vehicles can be applied to automated drones. In Malaysia, automated drones may be used in postal and courier services within the next five years, following in the footsteps of countries like Switzerland who have been using them since 2017.

Overseas, automated drones have already been tested in a multitude of routine or dangerous tasks such as:

  • Security
  • Power Plant Maintenance
  • Warehouse management, and
  • Firefighting

However, it may be Malaysia’s local agriculture industry that will see the earliest use of these flying robots, as companies push to provide autonomous drone support, starting with oil palm plantations.


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