Sunday, May 19, 2024

Dr Rezal Khairy – CEO, NanoMalaysia

Creating a NanoFuture By Design

Incorporated in 2011 as a company limited by guarantee under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), NanoMalaysia is tasked with commercialising nanotechnology in Malaysia. One of the fastest growing sectors in the world, the global market value of nanotechnology is expected to reach US$125 billion by 2024. As the organisation celebrates its 10th anniversary, CEO Dr Rezal Khairy Ahmad looks back at the challenges and achievements, and reveals his vision for NanoMalaysia for 2021 and beyond.

“Our early days were quite rough. This was mainly because we were incorporated right after the announcement of the 10th Malaysia Plan, which meant that we just missed the boat in being included as part of the national economic development agenda.

In order to brand and distinguish ourselves from other government agencies, we showcase ourselves as subject matter experts and a reference point for nanotechnology.

A Record of Achievements

At the same time, we also adopted the venture builder model where we build a team based on subject matter expertise. We become consultants, and even co-creators of new technologies by working with start-ups, SMEs and also large corporations. Through this collaborative model, we can participate in co-ideation, co-development, and eventually co-commercialisation.

We have a number of achievements that we are proud of. For instance, there is our wireless charger, which is probably one of the few in the world that is able to charge mobile devices without need of physical contact. And that puts Malaysia right in the map of being a high-tech nation.

We are also pleased that we have been able to play a part in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We have partners in our ecosystem who were able to provide anti-viral coating that can be applied to wearables, surfaces and textiles, which help reduce the risks of transmission. We also assisted the government in bringing innovators to come up with COVID-19 screening booths that provide greater protection to frontliners when they are screening patients.

The Way Forward

Moving forward, our goal is to become more entrepreneurial. There is a constant message across the organisation to be more commercially minded. We need to be more robust and independent, and to able to stand out and define clear business opportunities for the intellectual properties we have created over the past five years.

The world is undergoing this massive energy revolution, where we are transitioning from fossil fuels to clean fuels. That is why early on, we invested in hydrogen technology, which we anticipate will contribute around RM12 billion to the GDP.

What we aim to do is to recreate the economy through a new ecosystem value chain, which will create a lot of job opportunities. We have a game plan, a business plan to expand our investment strategy, and most importantly, we are moving towards the right direction. Because what we are aiming for is to create a future by design, not by chance.”

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