KOTA KINABALU, 10 JULY 2020: Though just started operating for 4 months, Sabah Creative
Economy and Innovation Centre proves to be on the right track towards building not only
creative and innovative but resilient community.
Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the centre remains on the go and demonstrates high
commitment to assist local innovators and industries while encouraging them to innovate.
Among the achievements accomplished during the pandemic were introducing Augmented
Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR) Tourism idea, pushing for innovation among locals, and establishing partnership with Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC).
The centre’s General Manager Viviantie Sarjuni said three Sabahan social innovators were recently selected to participate in the MaGIC Online Social Innovation Bootcamp.
They are Mt Kinabalu Arabica Coffee, Bam and Boo Enterprise, and NearMe. Mt Kinabalu Arabica Coffee had received RM30,000 grant from Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia Mainstreaming Grassroots Innovations (MaGRis).
Two others are currently awaiting result from BAIKS Programme by the Department of Industrial Development and Research (DIDR).
BAIKS is small and medium enterprise (SME) Aid initiated by the state government through DIDR to stimulate the growth of SME entrepreneurs in Sabah.
“The AR/VR Tourism idea was selected as top 10 in the Startup Weekend online organised by Techstar – an American seed accelerator founded in 2006 in Boulder, Colorado. The idea came from one of the participants Zikri Zainudin, who is a Sabahan.
“The idea is to make changes to a person’s perception of their physical surroundings, when viewed through a particular device. This way we can sell that travelling experience to tourists without having to travel to particular places. It is very relevant especially during pandemic.
“We also produced more than 20 webinars to date covering tech, innovation, and creative topics. Despite pandemic we persevered, ” said Viviantie.
Such achievements were in line with the centre’s objectives to produce globally competent talents by bringing people, idea, and resources together to encourage entrepreneurs to build successful, innovative and sustainable business across all industries.
The state’s only innovation centre sits on a 6,343 square feet land area at Ready Built Factory Phase 5 within the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP). The centre is an initiative under the Sabah Trade and Industry Ministry, in collaboration with KKIP.
Its establishment plan was first announced in April 2017 by state Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, who was inspired by the idea during his visit to South Korea. He was then the federal Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.
Viviantie noted that the centre aims to work with grassroots communities, start-ups, venture firms, universities and research institutes, providing them with assistance from legal aspect as well as finding investors to market their products across the globe.
“The centre intents to push for the use of digital tools such as AR/VR, Robotics, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, animation, and filming to support innovation as well as creating
more job opportunities.
“It also aims to be a data-driven organisation by collecting, learning, analyzing data consistently, and be able to make better decisions for industries as well as entrepreneurs for more effective programmes in future. We are in the midst of building a data management system and it will be launched very soon,” she said.
Sabah Creative Economy and Innovation Centre will also be launching the first mentoring platform in the state called Co-ETIC Mentorship Programme.
Co-ETIC stands for Collaborative – Entrepreneurship, Technology, Innovation and Creative, which connects subject matter experts in various industries with innovators, makers, creative talents and start-ups in Sabah.
Other recent fruitful programmes done by the centre were organising Lockdown Pitching Competition through strategic partnership with the state Youth and Sports Ministry and Ooze; and Kaamatan Short Video Competition via collaboration with United People Kinabalu Organisation and Atukoi FM.