R&D Commercialization Challenges for Developing Countries: The Case of Malaysia
The exploration of science and technology (S&T) is imperative for the growth of the firms as well as the nation. emerging markets in Asia, republic of Korea, Taiwan province of China, China, and India, are striving to bring new products and services to the market using more innovative approaches. Samsung and Hyundai of republic of Korea, Haier and Lenovo of China, Asus and Acer of Taiwan province of China, as well as Tata Nano of India are emerging as new rivals in the dominant world of the Japanese and the American electronics and automotive industry. For these firms, sustaining competitiveness means significant investment in research and development (R&D) and the ability to bring R&D outcomes to marketplace. Indeed, policy-makers in these countries place innovation, technology development and commercialization agendas as their strategy focus to enhance economic performance.
Malaysia and other developing countries tend to follow the same strategic path especially in using innovation as their next source of growth performance. Even though Malaysian economy has successfully evolved and progressed, the current competitive advantages based on low cost labor, resource availability, and capital incentives can no longer be the key drivers. Malaysia is emphasizing its efforts in moving towards knowledge and innovation-based economy. Nevertheless, a shift towards information, knowledge, creativity and innovation alone is not enough. As such, focus on the operations and task of bringing research results to the market and to the hands of the users is important. The burden of bringing the idea to the market now lies on the shoulder of the government, universities, research institutes and the industries, but mainly on the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). However, the business of commercialization is not straightforward nor is it easy. even in the case of developed countries; especially in Europe, success is still limited.
While Malaysia exhibits few success cases, however, as a whole its intellectual property creation and commercialization efforts are fairly low. This paper explores the current state of the policies, institutions and the Malaysian government’s efforts in commercialization. The paper, subsequently, explores the question of why commercialization is still limited by identifying the major barriers faced by the universities, research institutions and firms in commercializing research outcomes. This will provide valuable insights on the issues of commercialization that developing countries face, which is very different from the case of commercialization experiences of the developed nations.
Source: Tech Monitor, Nov-Dec 2010