MITI launches Smart Automation Grant, enables future-proofing of local businesses

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Kuala Lumpur, 3 December 2020 – The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) today launched the Smart Automation Grant (SAG), aimed at encouraging the adoption of automation for industry players, particularly local manufacturers and service providers.

Senior Minister and MITI Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the government, through the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), is committed to driving Malaysia’s industry and businesses towards automation and digitalisation. 

“It goes beyond having the right solution providers and talents in place; it is also about ensuring that the need for accessible financial aid is met.

“The Smart Automation Grant is timely to boost strategic domestic investments that will assist and incentivise the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and mid-tier companies (MTCs) to future-proof their operations, production and trade channels,” he said in a statement today.

The SAG initiative is part of the RM100 million allocation within the National Economic Recovery Plan or PENJANA, which was announced in June 2020.

This grant will be awarded on a matching basis or 50 per cent of total eligible expenditures, up to a maximum grant cap of RM1 million per company.

SMEs and MTCs that have been undertaking manufacturing or services activities in the past 12 months are eligible to be considered for SAG. 

To qualify for the incentive, the automation machine, equipment or software purchased must be used directly in the company’s value chain to improve their productivity and efficiency. 

Improvements will be assessed on a range of criteria such as reduction of unskilled workers, man-hours, defect rate, as well as the increase in production volume. 

Interested stakeholders are able to submit their application for SAG to MIDA from Nov 1, 2020 to Dec 31, 2021.

The government is optimistic that this grant will see a more robust uptake of automation and digitalisation efforts in the country to meet the technologically evolving global supply chain today, said Mohamed Azmin.

“The grant will not only improve Malaysia’s industrial competitiveness and capabilities but also reduce our reliance on low-skilled foreign workers while creating new job opportunities in high value-added sectors,” he added.

Furthermore, MIDA, in collaboration with selected panel banks, will be organising an Acceleration Programme for Smart Automation Grant to create awareness and provide financial guidance to companies on automation and digitalisation through a series of simulation training and evaluation sessions.

-BERNAMA