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      28 November 2019  

SEDIA Open Day introduces public to IR4.0-based application development, and business development initiatives


Kimanis, Papar (Thursday) - The Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) saw strong response to their robotics workshop as well as HotDesk programme held during its three-day Open Day event at the Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct (SAIP). The robotics workshop encouraged youth to learn about applying Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to fourth industrial revolution (IR 4.0) applications, while HotDesk assisted aspiring entrepreneurs in developing their business ideas. Participation in the HotDesk business development programme had also been overwhelming, registering as many as 555 participants.

  SEDIA Vice President Mary Sintoh (fifth from left) presenting a certificate to the winning team for the robotics workshop from SMK Bongawan

The robotics workshop was conducted in collaboration with STEMSEL Foundation Inc from South Australia, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to teaching the next generation about the building blocks of the modern economy (i.e. microchip applications and programming), with strong emphasis on Social Enterprise Learning. STEMSEL (Science Technology Engineering Maths Social Enterprise Learning) uses disruptive cyber technology called runlinc that enables AI and IoT apps to be developed in as little as 15 minutes, to create Social, Economic and Cyber values. Through the workshop, the aim is to inspire the youth participants to create their own IoT and AI inventions, in line with the Malaysian IR 4.0 Transformation Agenda.

Participation came from several schools as well as tertiary education institutions, with teams representing SMK Bongawan, SMK Membakut, SMK Pengalat, SMK St. Michael, SMK Takis, the Sabah Animation and Creative Content Centre (SAC3), Politeknik Kota Kinabalu, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Kolej Teknikal Yayasan Sabah (KTYS), and University College Sabah Foundation (UCSF). The workshop concluded on Thursday with each team competing by creating their own projects utilising runlinc, with SMK Bongawan taking first place with their automated flood detection and warning system. Other applications of runlinc developed by the teams include smart farming automation, automated greenhouse, smart quail farming system, smart air purification for planting, and smart room environment control, with the team from SMK St. Michael also integrating an email notification system into their planter rack project.

Several student participants expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to undergo training that introduced them to IoT and AI, as many did not have previous exposure to any form of software application development. The workshop opened to the students a new team experience focused on design thinking, results-based problem-solving, and internet-derived solutions.

The HotDesk programme was also a crucial part of the SEDIA Open Day, and serves as a preliminary engagement stage with potential entrepreneurs that provides business development training. At this stage, budding entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to discover, test and validate their ideas using systematic tools such as Business Model Canvas (BMC), with guidance from trained SEDIA officers. They are also exposed to the business preparation process including business plans and business pitching, which are crucial for them to familiarise themselves with the actual business ecosystem and setup. This programme is also applicable and of benefit to existing ventures to expand or realign their businesses.

SEDIA has been conducting these activities and assisted numerous entrepreneurs and start-ups to acquire basic knowledge and entrepreneurial skills, establishing business networking as well as discovering new business ventures and opportunities. The HotDesk programme allows SEDIA to identify business ideas and related activities that are in line with SDC scope and objectives, and will allow participants to qualify for the SDC SME Incubation programme.

SEDIA celebrated its ten-year anniversary with an Open Day event on November 26-28, 2019, commemorating its efforts spanning over the past decade towards achieving the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) vision and mission. As SEDIA was established in 2009 as the One-Stop Authority to plan, coordinate, promote and accelerate the development of SDC, it is timely to further develop its direction as well as the SDC Blueprint v2.0, in line with the vision and agenda of the State and Federal Governments towards achieving Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.

The 185-acre SAIP in Kimanis served as the venue for the SEDIA Open Day, and is envisaged as a centre of excellence in agro-biotechnology that optimises the state's biodiversity and abundant natural resources to produce higher value-added food and specialty products based on botanicals, aquatic plants and animals. Visitors during the event will also have opportunities to visit SAIP facilities and attend demonstrations of available services.

- Media SEDIA

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