Adham baba

Five National Technology Direction Plans launched by MOSTI

In early August, the minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Adham bin Baba officially launched national-level roadmaps for each blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Applied Materials, Electrics and Electronics, and Robotics.

This could be seen as an effort to streamline the development and local applications of these technologies, as well as to reduce dependence upon foreign technologies, and foreign skills and expertise.

Each roadmap spans a period of at least five years to ten years and outlines how national initiatives for each technology area could achieve overarching goals like creating value-adding E&E products, establishing Malaysia’s presence and standing in the development and local application of blockchain, or uplifting the AI innovation ecosystem so as to build ethically driven man-made intelligence.

The national advanced material roadmap even highlighted how there are 4 material types that Malaysia has a competitive advantage.

Equally fascinating is the potential of fabless wafers; there will not be any need to etch out printed circuit boards (PCB) so that only the copper trace is left. This method is time-consuming and very wasteful.  

The robotics roadmap on the other hand had identified a strategy to develop Malaysia as a hub for robotics technology with a special focus on high-impact sectors like healthcare.

Besides the launch ceremony and forum, there was also an exhibition that showcased the five technologies in question.

Behind the curtains: blockchain-based vaccine management,  fabless wafers, and long-range IoT

Of note, however, is how blockchain technology is used to manage vaccines that come into the country, distribute to the various vaccination centres and individuals who sign up via MySejahtera, and then automatically record completed vaccinations as digital vaccination certificates that are recognised by the countries in the European Union.

Equally fascinating is the potential of fabless wafers; there will not be any need to etch out printed circuit boards (PCB) so that only the copper trace is left. This method is time-consuming and very wasteful.  

Instead, two special conductive inks have been developed to be printed onto suitable flexible surfaces.  This silver-based ink, and graphene-based ink can be used to print only what is required – very fine conductive lines on plastic-based materials like kapton for use in many electronic products.

One example of a product from this technology is Touch n’ Go’s RFID which can be attached to any surface on a vehicle.  Of course, Tn’G’s RFID is a different plastic-based material, and word has it that Tn’G is looking to produce a future version that is wholly local (developed and sourced locally ink and materials), and with a different kind of design.  

Of note, however, is how blockchain technology is used to manage vaccines that come into the country, distribute to the various vaccination centres and individuals who sign up via MySejahtera, and then automatically record completed vaccinations as digital vaccination certificates that are recognised by the countries in the European Union.

The ink, the plastic material, and the technology method (aka printer) that will bring this all together to produce finished products are being trialled in MIMOS which is located in MRANTI Park.

A third notable invention called the Wireless Industrial Sensor Platform (WISP) was created for the manufacturing and agriculture industries. If you need to monitor industrial processes like temperature, humidity, vibration, and so on, sensors can be connected to the WISP which will transmit the information to a server, over the Internet.

Just one WISP device is able to create a mesh network to connect to multiple devices and manage every one of them via a software dashboard.

The WISP also enables remote control of connected devices (for example pipe valves) over the Internet.  It uses a sub-gigahertz frequency to be able to connect and remote control from a range of  5 kilometres.

Just one WISP device is able to create a mesh network to connect to multiple devices and manage every one of them via a software dashboard.