The arrival of Industry 4.0 has brought about many rapid technological advancements and new possibilities. On Malaysian shores, the phenomenon is expected to catalyse the growth of the manufacturing sector in particular through the 11 key technology pillars that were identified in the country’s Industry4WRD: National Policy on Industry 4.0. Malaysia is said to already have one of the most advanced technology-based industries in the region. Nevertheless, there is a significant gap between the bigger and smaller players. This is where SIRIM comes in. In promoting innovation through research and development via its Industrial Research division, SIRIM is well-equipped to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) progress.
SIRIM is able to capitalise on its unique triple helix partnership with the government, academia and industry to ensure that the solutions it offers are of the best quality. SIRIM’s main objectives in this respect are to increase productivity, reduce dependency on foreign solutions and ensure the continuous growth of Malaysia’s industries. The SIRIM-Fraunhofer programme is one of the initiatives being conducted to facilitate this. The gap between industry players is largely because of innovation disparities that occur as a result of differing funding capabilities. The technology audits and readiness assessments conducted under SIRIM Fraunhofer are among the tools used for our on-going benchmarking efforts, which will then be followed by a transformation strategy.
Among others, SIRIM’s offerings include six ICIs and three Technology Centres (TCs), which support the country’s industrial innovation ecosystem through research and development and new technology innovations that develop and sustain businesses and industries. The ICIs are a dynamic research setup with aggressive engagement along the horizontal value chain, focusing more on applied technology to be adopted by industries along the value chain. TCs, on the other hand, concentrate on the verticals – the advancement of technology within a particular discipline.
The projected leap in technology for the manufacturing sector is envisioned to pave the way for the introduction of mass customisation, whereby industry players will be able to respond much faster to individual demands and provide bespoke solutions. Through its Centre of Excellence for Smart Manufacturing, SIRIM is leading the way in transforming industries and laying the foundation of regulatory frameworks for Industry 4.0 initiatives in the country, with various offerings that include training services, readiness assessments, strategic technology planning, as well as private and public contract research.
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