by | Muhammad Hasif Hasan
“The government of Malaysia has created a ministry – The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) – to formulate long-term plans and ensure their implementations to facilitate the growth of green technology.”
Malaysia took a bold step by pledging a 40% carbon emission reduction by 2020 compared to the emissions of 2005. The pledge did not only create a challenge, but an opportunity to develop a fully sustainable future for Malaysia by engaging both the public and private sectors in enculturating green practices and making them a societal norm.
“In 2016, the government will focus on SME as the principal target for 3.7% productivity increase. This is possible through acceleration of innovation and entrepreneurship. The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) will be a part of this initiative to expand local SME Cleantech Industry in scaling the regional and eventually the global markets.”
Y.B. Dato’ Mah Siew Keong
The effect of climate change and environmental degradation is a global concern. The effort to mitigate them is led by the United States of America and China who have agreed to set a target for carbon reduction. Various laws and regulations are being enacted, and initiatives are being created to achieve this target. Through public and private sector collaborations, new business standards and models has been implemented. The productive utilization of renewables and alternative energy sources are amongst the potentials being explored.
To encourage private participation, a programme – the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) – was developed. It is a global programme introduced under the auspices of the United Nations, specifically under the The Global Environmental Facilities (GEF), together with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Malaysia is fully committed to fostering a sustainable green future. Apart from adopting GCIP as an initiative to promote, commercialise and scale-up clean technological solutions to mitigate climate change and environment degradation through an industry-driven approach, the government has created a ministry – The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) – to formulate long-term plans and ensure their implementations to facilitate the growth of green technology.
CGIP is the largest accelerator programme for cleantech technoprenuers in transforming start-ups towards Global Market Scale-Ups. The programme is currently being implemented in eight countries.
GCIP’s mission is to bridge research and development (R&D) and commercialization efforts by becoming an adoptive innovation to the industry and society. In scaling up the capabilities and commercial value of the participating start-ups, the tech-based accelerator programme combines technical and commercial virtues to deliver a competitive and compelling product to the market.
The programme aims to develop a platform to identify the most promising entrepreneurs across a country, whilst local acceleration programme supports, promotes and “de-risks” participating companies and connects them to potential investors, customers and partners. The GCIP brings together stakeholders to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with solutions to address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges.
GCIP IN MALAYSIA
Malaysia is the first Southeast Asian Country to roll out the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) for SME Development, which is a part of the ongoing global movement to assist developing countries and emerging economies to adopt clean technology applications.
In Malaysia, GCIP is supported by Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) which signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with US-based Cleantech Open to jointly develop and deploy green innovations platform by having a programme that combines the accelerator programme with a competition. The approach will make use of the Cleantech Open platform, together with UNIDO’s strong presence around the world, to link Malaysian SME’s beyond the Malaysia market.
To achieve this objective, three main platforms have been identified:
- Systemised Technopreneurship program involving Mentoring, Biz Clinics, Webinars, Investor linkage, Pitching, Showcases & Scale-up Pathway;
- Bridging Technology to Market and Funding, involving corporate partners and enabling programs;
- Interaction with best global mentors and industry experts from Silicon Valley and other countries, involving them in Inter-Country Peer-Reviews
The ultimate objective of GCIP is to produce Malaysian companies that could be global players in the cleantech market. As in the GCIP 2014 competition, 25 companies are selected as semi-finalists for the GCIP 2015. They would undergo mentoring, training, given access to investors, and an opportunity to showcase their activities as part of the GCIP Accelerator Programme offering. The National Winners would represent Malaysia in the Cleantech Open Global Forum, held in Silicon Valley, where they would compete against teams from South Africa, India, Pakistan, Turkey and Armenia. Through this platform, they would be able to access global market funders that support the forum.
In 2014, a start-up company, Free the Seed, that manufactures paddy waste into biodegradable packaging, represented Malaysia. The exposure has created a positive impact for the company. For 2015, five top winners will represent Malaysia at the forum to be held in November.
THE KEY STAKEHOLDERS
GCIP is driven by Cleantech Open USA and supported by Global Environment Facility (GEF) with implementation through UNIDO. For Malaysia, MIGHT is the implementation agency to create investable Malaysian Cleantech companies.
The Malaysian programme was officially launched in 2013 during the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES2013) in Kuala Lumpur by the Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili, the Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA).
GCIP in Malaysia receives funding from the GEF and supported by several Malaysian entities working together to build the Cleantech Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in the country. MIGHT is playing the leading role as GCIP Secretariat, spearheading the innovation in four technology categories: Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Waste to Wealth and Water Efficiency.
REGIONAL CHAMPIONS IN THE MAKING
2015 marks the establishment of an integrated Asean Economic Community, and GCIP will be expending its role to helping develop an integrated and vibrant Cleantech Industry in the region. The target of AEC is to transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, as well as a freer flow of capital. This would benefit the participating cleantech industries in terms of economies of scale, markets and pool of skilled labour. The GCIP Regional Cleantech Innovation Initiative will scale up the use of technology, market and funding linkages to nurture and transform regional Cleantech Technopreneurs into competitive global technology companies.