National Instruments, TPM and SME Corp. Malaysia Set-up Academy and Innovation Nucleus for Malaysian SMEs

National Instruments

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia, 13 September 2012 – National Instruments (NI) announced the establishment of the National Instruments Academy & Innovation Nucleus (NI-AIN), in collaboration with Technology Park Malaysia Corporation Sdn Bhd (TPM) and SME Corp. Malaysia The three parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) witnessed by YB Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili today in Putrajaya.

The NI-AIN innovation nucleus, which was conceived during the PEMANDU E&E 2.0 Lab in April this year, is one of the Entry Point Projects (EPP) under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) which is geared towards enabling and supporting the building of a “Test and Measurement Innovation Hub” in the industrial corridors of Malaysia. As a shared laboratory infrastructure powered by NI technology platforms and tools, NI-AIN aims to lower entry barriers and enable access to facilities for SMEs to nurture innovation, develop the talent pool, build capabilities and capacities and promote intellectual property creation amongst small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia. The shared laboratory will be hosted at Technology Park of Malaysia and is expected to be fully operational by Q1 2013.

NI-AIN will house eight unique technology laboratories that are fully equipped with the latest NI hardware and software in automated test, control and measurement. These labs will be used for training and certification, human capital development (HCD) in Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) and enabling local SMEs to innovate in vertical industry applications such as control & instrumentation, radio frequency & wireless applications, green technology, energy, transportation, oil & gas and agro-science.

“As we move towards our aspirations of a high income, innovation- led and knowledge-based economy, the setting-up of the NI-AIN is timely as we embrace and operationalize the various transformation programmes set out by the Government”, said YB Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili. He added, “To achieve these aspirations the role of technology and innovation in contributing to our national economic growth has become strategically critical and pertinent in this competitive and complex global environment.”

“National Instruments is honoured to be part of the ETP initiatives. We thank our partners, TPM and SME Corp. Malaysia for this opportunity and look forward to working closely with them as well as other Malaysian Government agencies in empowering SMEs to become innovators,” says Chandran Nair, Managing Director, National Instruments Southeast Asia.

As part of its expanding presence in Asia and to cater to a growing industrial customer base in Malaysia and Asia as a whole, NI is investing USD80 Million in a state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) and manufacturing facility in Penang and the first phase is due for completion & operation by 2013.

Commenting on the initiative, YBhg Dato’ Hj Mohd Azman Hj Shahidin, President & Chief Executive Officer of TPM was quoted as saying: “The NI-AIN facility which is designed to promote Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) amongst SMEs will drive growth – both at the company and national level. We are confident we will be able to witness ground-breaking ideas and innovations emerging from NI-AIN in the near future.”

“As the backbone of the Malaysian economy, SMEs comprise 99 % of all businesses in the country. The growth that Malaysia is experiencing today is undoubtedly due to the opportunities being created by these SMEs. We are envisioning that NI-AIN will become an SME incubator centre for high-value design and engineering services and in the long-run a full-fledged technology commercialisation hub,” says Dato’ Hafsah Hashim, CEO of SME Corp. Malaysia.

About National Instruments

Since 1976, National Instruments (www.ni.com) has equipped engineers and scientists with tools that accelerate productivity, innovation and discovery. NI’s graphical system design approach to engineering provides an integrated software and hardware platform that speeds the development of any system needing measurement and control. The company’s long-term vision and focus on improving society through its technology supports the success of its customers, employees, suppliers and shareholders.

About TPM Corporation

Technology Park Malaysia Corporation (www.tpm.com.my) is a Malaysian government-owned company under the purview of Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) to provide world class technology park that will drive the national innovation and knowledge-based agenda for wealth creation and societal well-being.

About SME Corp. Malaysia

SME Corp. Malaysia (www.smecorp.gov.my) was established under the Small and Medium Enterprises Corporation Malaysia Act 1995 [ACT 539] on 2 October 2009. It was formerly known as the Small and Medium Industries Development Corporation (SMIDEC). The role of the current Central Coordinating Agency, SME Corp. Malaysia will be elevated to a Central Agency as it has been mandated to drive SME Masterplan and undertake the coordination and evaluation of SME programmes involving some 15 Ministries and 60 agencies.