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Leaders in Innovation Accelerator Malaysia 2018 to produce Malaysia’s next Tech Unicorn

An announcement
made by Bernama
highlighted the Leaders in Innovation Accelerator (LIA) Malaysia 2018 programme
which empowers home-grown talents to secure investment and accelerate their
international business growth.

The Leaders in Innovation Accelerator (LIA)
Malaysia 2018 is an intensive 16-week programme of practical entrepreneurship
skills and expert business mentoring.

Applications are now open for the programme
which is directed at innovations developed in publicly-funded universities and
research institutes that combine socio-economic impact and international
growth-market potential.

The goal of the programme is to
empower home-grown talents to secure investment and accelerate international
business growth by matching Malaysian
researchers, academics, independent technology entrepreneurs and early-stage
technology start-ups with expert business mentors based in the UK.

The LIA Malaysia programme will be executed
in collaboration with the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High
(MIGHT). It is an exciting follow-up to the Leaders in
Innovation Fellowships (LIF) programme, which is a Royal Academy of Engineering
initiative supported by the UK Government’s Newton Fund.

LIA Malaysia is the first in-country
Accelerator programme to result from the highly successful LIF Programme, which
is an intensive residential programme of expert coaching and entrepreneurship
training for innovation fellows from the 14 Newton Fund partner countries.

Oxentia Development
Director Dr Tim Hart said, “It is a testament to both the huge potential of
Malaysian entrepreneurs and the excellent working relationships with MIGHT that
Malaysia will be home to the first LIF programme spin-out accelerator.”

He added, “This is a pioneering programme.
We know first-hand from the success of the LIF programme that the Malaysian
research base has huge untapped innovation potential. LIA Malaysia will bring
together the best and brightest Malaysian innovators and empower them to expand
their product reach to a global market.”

Head of International Activities at the
Royal Academy of Engineering Shane McHugh explained, “In our work in Malaysia
under the Newton Ungku-Omar Fund LIF programme, we have helped some fantastic
research entrepreneurs take the first steps in commercialising their great
ideas for solving local challenges.”

He added, “We are delighted that under the
Newton Ungku-Omar Fund, Oxentia and MIGHT will collaborate to take some of the
most exciting innovations we have come across, and turn them into sustainable
businesses which can create jobs and boost economic growth and social

MIGHT President and CEO Datuk Dr Mohd
Yusoff Sulaiman said, “MIGHT looks forward to working with our partners the
Royal Academy of Engineering, Oxentia and the Newton -Ungku Omar Fund to
further strengthen collaboration between the UK and Malaysia in the areas of
science, technology and innovation.”

He added, “The Malaysian LIA clearly
demonstrates the commitment from both countries to support sustainable
development by up-skilling our technology and innovation research base.”

Newton Fund Strategic Manager, in Malaysia,
Izza Ismail is enthusiastic about the programme’s potential to create
real-world research impact.

She said, “Build, explore, learn, create,
influence. The Newton-Ungku Omar Fund fully embraces the LIA Malaysia virtues
within our programmes to help develop and support research and innovation
collaborations between the UK and Malaysia.”

She added, “We have been funding quality
research projects since 2015 and have grown to realise the importance of
research translation and commercialisation. This is one of our key programmes
and we look forward to helping empower Malaysian entrepreneurs bring their
brilliant ideas to fruition”.

Applications close on 16 July 2018. Thirty
of the most promising teams will initially be shortlisted to join a three-day
boot-camp in Kuala Lumpur. Fifteen teams will then be selected for the
one-on-one 16-week mentored acceleration programme.

At the end of the programme participants will
pitch to international investors and potentially secure funding for what could
be South East Asia’s next Tech Unicorn.

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