KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has the right talents and enthusiasts to address crucial social and environmental issues in the state. They need to be discovered, nurtured and supported by stakeholders in the ecosystem.
Referring to the nationwide Social Impact Challenge Accelerator (SICA), Sabah Creative Economy and Innovation Centre (SCEIC) general manager Viviantie Sarjuni said the people of Sabah should take part in the initiative to bring changes.
Organised by Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), SICA is a problem-solving challenge that seeks commercially-driven solutions to four key challenges.
Those include Enhancing Ageing Services for Malaysians, Upcycling River Waste to Wealth, Educating the Future as well as Innovating for Children. This challenge also involves other partners like Khazanah Nasional, UNICEF, Selangor Maritime Gateway and Citrine Capital.
Selected impact-driven businesses will have the access to customised post accelerator support, mentoring, funding opportunities, network with industry experts as well as opportunity to explore government procurement via Program Perolehan Impak Sosial Kerajaan (PPISK)
Viviantie, who is also the founder of a community driven group Borneo Startups Community (BosCo), said these issues were crucial in Sabah as everywhere else in Malaysia.
She added the state has different demographic with bigger land and higher population making the challenges more prominent in Sabah and Borneo in general.
“The ageing population in Sabah (65 years old and above) increased by 2 per cent in 2020 and this also means there is a need to provide better quality of life and enable ‘Ageing in Place’.
“This refers to continuing to live in the community, with some level of independence, rather than in residential aged care.
“We also have about 50 rivers in Sabah and Sarawak, 100 in peninsula Malaysia and one of the most challenging issues faced is river pollution,” she said.
As for education and innovation, Viviantie said the solutions to give the right quality of both are essential in providing Sabah young generation with the right knowledge and skills to create a safe and healthy living environment for all children in Malaysia.
“In 2020, Sabah has the second highest population in Malaysia and is also the poorest.”
“The quality of education is definitely one of the solutions that can improve our current state and for years to come,” she said.
SCEIC, an initiative under the Ministry of Industrial Development, is collaborating with MaGIC as an outreach partner to promote the initiative to Sabahans together with the government sectors, corporate and non-government organisations in Sabah.
Acting MaGIC chief executive officer Amiruddin Abdul Shukor said the challenge is a platform that assembles high potential innovators to accelerate their impact model development for greater market roll out.
“We hope to connect new innovative solutions to our partners in addressing their problem statements and at the same time, increase market adoption of impact driven products and/or services. This is a win-win for all – people, planet and profit,” he added.
More information about the challenge can be obtained at http://www.mymagic.my/sica.