THE year 2020 was filled with challenges. Governments, businesses and communities endeavoured to overcome the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, it also saw extraordinary acceleration in the adoption of technology.
In the wake of the pandemic, it became increasingly clear that digital transformations across all sectors were urgently required to meet the changes in consumer behaviours, as well as companies’ operations.
As the world adapted to new ways of living and working, the tech hub developer of Cyberjaya, Cyberview Sdn Bhd, continued to drive the smart city’s tech ecosystem forward.
It was indeed a strong start for Cyberview as last year it launched the Cashless Ecosystem for Cyberjaya, a collaboration between Minister of Finance Inc’s Cyberview and Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) affiliate, Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet).
DuitNow QR, Malaysia’s national QR code standard, facilitates this initiative. Cyberjaya was the first city in Malaysia to adopt a national QR code under BNM’s Interoperable Credit Transfer Framework.
Cyberview spearheaded this with PayNet, encouraging more businesses to adopt cashless solutions and easing payment transactions for Cyberjaya’s community.
Since then, Cyberview went on to work towards multiple accomplishments throughout the year, and each one of them contributed towards enhancing the ecosystem to benefit the many tech players that call Cyberjaya home.
Unveiling Cyberjaya’s New Masterplan
The key highlight of 2020 was the unveiling of Cyberjaya’s new masterplan that set the smart city’s narrative for the year.
To further catalyse tech-based economic growth, the city has been geographically divided into four zones under the new masterplan. Each zone has its own unique characteristics:
• West Cyberjaya — “Nurturing Talent for Tech Hub”
The centre which encourages industry-academia collaboration to produce skilled talent.
• North Cyberjaya — “Global Business District”
The centre for the manifestation of smart city solutions.
• SouthCyberjaya — “InnovationDistrict”
The centre for innovation, especially on Smart Mobility, Smart Healthcare and Digital Creative.
• Downtown Cyberjaya — “Thriving Commerce District”
The centre that promotes the adoption of technology for commercial activities and integration into community lifestyle.
Ultimately, all four districts come together with the singular aim of driving the development of Cyberjaya to be a global tech hub.
In particular, South Cyberjaya is earmarked as a fundamental piece to the new masterplan as it anchors the development of three tech clusters which have been identified as the future pillars of growth for Cyberjaya — Smart Mobility, Smart Healthcare and Digital Creative.
Cyberview held a series of webinars throughout the year to bring together key industry players to encourage constructive discussions and potential collaborations.
These webinars served to highlight the three key tech clusters under the new masterplan, featuring prominent spokespersons like WAU Animation founder Usamah Zaid Yasin; Grab Malaysia’s Public Affairs & Policy director Ebi Azly Abdullah; Aerodyne Group’s Partnership and Ecosystem Development VP Richard Ker; WOBB founder and CEO Derek Toh; and CryoCord Group MD James Then.
Attendees include potential investors and businesses, current ecosystem players and communities within Cyberjaya.
Cyberview’s City & Communications Division head of business Roni Shah Mustapha said to navigate today’s new norm, it is imperative that Cyberjaya is enhanced and revitalised as part of its continuous efforts to grow technology-based industries.
“An implementation plan formulated by our consultant Roland Berger has enabled us to strategise how the masterplan will grow Cyberjaya further as a smart city.
“We are confident that the mobility, healthcare and digital creative clusters identified will drive development in emerging technology solutions and South Cyberjaya will become the innovation hub for an entire value chain across these three clusters.”
Roland Berger co-managing partner SouthEast Asia John Low said the masterplan involves a very comprehensive and holistic ecosystem development plan that was formulated based on five key elements — facilities, community, activities, experience and incentives.
“We have conducted a number of benchmarks across different hubs globally to develop this plan and from our findings, we sought to create significant differentiations for Cyberjaya.
“More importantly, we wanted to ensure that the plan is suitable in the Malaysian context and its industries.
“It is planned for the future and designed to create new synergies between companies from various industries and the entire value chain,” he said.
The new masterplan is also under the purview of the Cyberjaya Implementation Council (CIC), chaired by chief secretary to the government and Cyberview chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali.
The CIC takes on advisory and facilitating roles across matters that involve decision-making for Cyberjaya’s development and strengthening strategic collaborations with relevant government organisations and agencies.
Cyberjaya: A Thriving Living Lab
Over the years, Cyberjaya has earned a reputation as a Living Lab, offering innovators and creators a holistic tech ecosystem to pilot and validate their solutions. To strengthen the development of technology innovation in the city, there are four-pronged programmes of Cyberview Living Lab: Talent, Accelerator, Pilot and Enterprise.
All four programmes saw significant developments and achievements throughout the year, especially in harnessing innovation and digitalisation for a Covid-19 era.
• Living Lab Talent
In a post-pandemic world, futureproofing the nation’s workforce and upskilling talent are important. Towards this end, Cyberjaya remains firmly committed to nurturing high-value and knowledge-based workers, which is also in line with the government’s aspiration to drive Industry 4.0.
In 2020, Cyberview continued to strengthen ties with academic institutions and enhance its Living Lab initiatives to nurture the growth of local talent within Cyberjaya.
Among the initiatives launched to cultivate talent and prepare them for a digital workforce include:
>> Cyberview-Multimedia University collaboration to spur and retain technologyled talent in Cyberjaya, as well as to match talents/graduates with career opportunities in Cyberjaya.
>> Cyberview-JobStreet.com collaboration to help provide a platform for companies in Cyberjaya to highlight career opportunities that are available in Cyberjaya.
>> Setup of a Cyberjaya Career Development Network platform with Cyberjaya career centre heads (including those within a 50km radius of Cyberjaya), with the intention of sharing best practices to strengthen and enhance graduate readiness and career employability. The network will also help funnel students from institutes of higher learning based on supply and demand requests from various companies and industries based in Cyberjaya.
>> Cyberjaya Student Ambassador Programme to train students to be Cyberjaya’s spokespersons and share information on Cyberview and Cyberjaya initiatives, as well as to upskill them in line with industry demands. The goal is to attract and retain highly skilled talents within the city’s ecosystem.
>> Entrepreneur Training Programme @ RekaScape to nurture high-value and knowledge-based workers through upskilling/training programmes.
>> Digital Maker Hub to help nurture and transform Malaysian youths to become digital innovators.
• Living Lab Accelerator
The global start-up economy is worth nearly US$3 trillion (RM12.38 trillion). Today, start-ups continue to play a pivotal role in driving economic growth and creating jobs, more so as demand for innovative tech solutions increases at an exponential rate.
To capture its high potential and the growing demand, the Cyberview Living Lab Accelerator programme nurtured two cohorts in 2020, empowering these start-ups to provide innovative and highly relevant digital solutions for today’s new world.
The programme provides participants with access to human capital, funding and mentorship, a co-working space and a platform to experiment, pilot and launch their solutions. Participants of this programme were provided close guidance on ways to pivot and adapt to today’s new world.
In 2020, 10 start-ups successfully graduated from the programme, from various thriving tech segments including artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, robotics, fintech and edutech.
Since the programme’s inception, Cyberview has nurtured 80 start-ups to advance and realise their innovations. To date, the start-ups have cumulatively raised over RM87 million in total investments and generated over RM218 million in total revenue, as well as created over 550 jobs with its partners and programme managers.
• Living Lab Pilot
As the Capital of Creation, Cyberjaya offers real-life settings for proof-of-concept testing throughout the city. A significant portion of Cyberjaya’s total population is among early tech adopters.
Together with Cyberview’s ecosystem partners, the city provides a piloting platform for companies of various maturity levels to test as well as to validate proof of concepts and prototypes that are commercial-ready. For instance, Malaysia’s first and only shared e-scooter service provider, Tryke, is currently piloting in Cyberjaya.
Another significant milestone last year was achieved through Cyberview’s subsidiary Futurise, following the approval of the Cyberjaya Malaysia Autonomous Vehicle (MyAV) Testing Route under the National
Regulatory Sandbox (NRS). The NRS is an initiative which aims to expedite progressive and anticipatory regulatory intervention to enable commercialisation of innovation and technology solutions while shaping Malaysia’s future.
MyAV is the country’s first public road testbed for autonomous vehicles and was achieved as the result of a close collaboration with the Transport Ministry and the support of relevant agencies such as the Sepang Municipal Council.
The development of MyAV is expected to expand coverage to a few key locations like Putrajaya, aiming at providing wider accessibility to transportation, creating job opportunities and attracting more high-tech mobility firms to invest in the smart city and develop advanced technology.
• Living Lab Enterprise
Cyberview continued to strengthen the Living Lab Enterprise programme by forging strategic collaborations with the right partners.
This initiative aims to nurture and boost businesses not only for the benefit of the Cyberjaya community, but also for the development of new companies that can pilot their ideas within the city before deploying them to other parts of Malaysia.
Cyberview actively collaborates with other agencies globally to encourage market exchange and access. This was clearly demonstrated last year when Cyberview’s Living Lab Enterprise programme achieved several milestones, especially in pursuing strong collaborative initiatives to raise awareness on market exchange and access.
Notable partnerships during the year include Cyberview’s appointment as a member of the Malaysia Smart City Alliance in collaboration with Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology, Cyberview’s participation in the Smart City Authority Roundtable on Malaysia International Centre for Sustainable Cities, as well as co-organising the Smart City RAP Virtual Conference with PLANMalaysia (Federal Department of Town and Country Planning Peninsular Malaysia).
To drive the conversation on global cities and innovation hubs, Cyberview also participated in the Vietnam Smart City Summit 2020 and Global Digital Internet Alliance Virtual Conference 2020.
In light of the pandemic, Cyberview facilitated a relief incentives programme to provide university students with the opportunity to complement their formal education with career-related experiences.
The participating companies and students benefitted from this programme as qualified small and medium enterprise tenants were provided with financial support, while developing and equipping the students with industry-relevant skills.
This year, Cyberview’s Living Lab programmes will be enhanced through strengthening existing programmes and establishing new ones with various stakeholders and industry players, especially in the focus areas of Smart Mobility, Smart Healthcare and Digital Creative.
Cyberview will continue to support businesses based in Cyberjaya by offering essential business and digital training, industry updates, technical upskilling, funding access facilitations, as well as market access to companies. True to its reputation as a Living Lab and to further improve the city’s innovative ecosystem, Cyberview will also continue to welcome start-ups and other companies to set up in Cyberjaya.
Cyberjaya, an Investor-friendly City
Cyberview’s ongoing efforts to strengthen Cyberjaya’s innovative ecosystem and commitment to become a vibrant global tech hub reaped results as the city attracted various businesses and start-ups throughout 2020.
As testament to this, ENGIE Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the French leader in integrated and sustainable energy company, expanded their operations and opened their new office at Persiaran APEC.
Significantly, MyTelehaus Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian data centre provider serving local and overseas customers, purchased plots in Cyberjaya to build a hyper-scale data centre up to 20MW and a data centre with upgradeable, lower density requirements.
To date, there are over 30 data centres in Malaysia. Cyberjaya has the highest concentration of data centres in the country with over 90% of existing co-location data centres.
This is due to Cyberjaya’s complete infrastructure and dark fibre provision. Investors and data centre operators are also attracted to locations with excellent accessibility to other transportation hubs like airports and train lines. Cyberjaya is also in proximity to Putrajaya Sentral and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Cyberview MD Najib Ibrahim said as a global tech hub, Cyberjaya is the ideal city for organisations to expand, grow and succeed, as it offers a thriving collaborative ecosystem with access to infrastructure, incentives, human capital and regulatory support.
“Our goal is to create not only a unique identity for the smart city, but a conducive environment for businesses, making Cyberjaya a preferred tech investment location,” he added.
Last year also saw the launch of Cyberjaya Investment & Services Centre in Rekascape, a one-stop centre which provides end-to-end assistance and facilitation to help investors and businesses set up in Cyberjaya.
This initiative amplifies Cyberjaya’s attraction as an investor-friendly location as services offered include facilitation of market and ecosystem-related matters, talent sourcing, expatriate processes involved and facilitation on land and buildings available in Cyberjaya.
Well-positioned for 2021 and Beyond
The numerous milestones achieved throughout the year places Cyberjaya in a strong position to enhance innovation and accelerate technological growth within the city.
To further strengthen its prospects, Cyberview recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) to leverage each other’s capabilities and strength in capitalising domestic direct investment and foreign direct investment opportunities in Malaysia.
Cyberview also signed an MoU with Talent Corp Malaysia Bhd to initiate efforts in building and enhancing local talent, apart from streamlining facilitation processes for expatriates to come work in Malaysia.
This collaboration will also be instrumental in channelling and attracting a strong talent base to be part of the Cyberjaya ecosystem.
The implementation of the masterplan in the coming years is expected to spur growth opportunities for tech companies to venture into research, development and commercialisation, attracting local and global companies to participate in the city’s ecosystem and develop high-value innovations, before they are deployed in other parts of the country and regionally.
The new Cyberjaya development plan, including the three tech clusters as catalytic components, is expected to contribute more than RM250 billion in GDP and create 87,000 new jobs in the Malaysian economy by 2045.
Population increase is targeted to reach 350,000 by 2039 from the current population of over 140,000.
Cyberjaya is well-positioned to attract quality investment in the years to come, especially as the market strives to overcome the challenges of Covid-19 and move forward in a changing world.