Recognising that an increased level of knowledge, creativity and innovation will drive the growth of the country into a high-income and developed nation, the Malaysian government has been big on innovation for the last few years – but what are the latest plans to spur on its progress, especially when financing (or lack thereof) still seems to be a major hurdle for many tech-focused companies?
The government recently unveiled allocations in Budget 2013 to foster innovation and elevate productivity, which are to be realised through 4 key initiatives, namely:
- The Securitization of IP Assets / Using IP as Collateral: Here, SMEs will be able to use their IP Rights as collateral to acquire financing. This will require the creation of a valuation model to enable an accurate assessment of IP Rights for market commercialization and for use as collateral to secure funding.
- RM200 million has been set aside to establish an Intellectual Property Financing Fund scheme, which will be managed by Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd (MDV) – 2% interest rate subsidy and 50% guarantee will be provided through Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Bhd.
- RM19 million has been allocated to create a market platform for IP Rights and to develop training programmes for local IP evaluators, to be conducted by MyIPO.
- Emphasis on R&D activities: RM600 million will be allocated to 5 research universities to conduct high-impact research in areas such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, automotive and aerospace. The government also proposed tax incentives for:
- Companies investing in subsidiary companies tasked to commercialize R&D findings to be given a deduction equivalent to the total investment made
- Subsidiary companies that commercialize R&D findings to be given income tax exemption of 100% on statutory income for 10 years
- Increasing Venture Capital Investments: As an effort to encourage alternative sources of financing, angel investors can look forward to a deduction equal to the amount of investment made to be set off against their total income.
- Encouraging Green Technology Development: Following the positive response to the Green Technology Financing Scheme (GTFS), established in line with Budget 2010, the funds for the GTFS will be increased by RM2 billion (on top of the estimated RM700 million remaining from the previous budget).
Read the full text of the Budget 2013 speech here.