Capacity Building Workshop on the legal framework, regulatory issues, and implications on technology transfer in Malaysia

The programme is funded by the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and delivered by the British Council and MIGHT. The Innovation and Technology Managers Association Malaysia (ITMA) assisted in providing local context for this project and ALP Synergy delivered the project on behalf of the British Council.

The programme is a series of workshops which aims:

  1.  To create a conducive and supportive knowledge exchange and technology transfer governance, legal and regulatory framework in Malaysia.
  2. To bring together all key technology transfer stakeholders and create a cohesive knowledge exchange and technology transfer landscape in Malaysia.
  3. To develop a better understanding between legal advisors and technology transfer professionals, exchange experience and ways of working, build connections and dialogues to address some legal challenges for technology transfer in Malaysia

Three workshops were held on the following dates: 21 to 23 October 2020, 23 to 25 November 2020, and 19 to 20 January 2021. All the workshops were delivered virtually due to the ongoing pandemic situation in Malaysia and were facilitated by the UK and US consultants remotely. The workshops involved presentations from Malaysian, US and UK experts, keynote lectures, group work, discussions, and training sessions. The workshops were attended by 80 participants from various background and positions – i.e., government representatives, legal practitioners, technology transfer professionals and management representatives from universities, research institutions and industries.

The first workshop focused on general legal and regulatory framework issues in technology transfer, and the second on legal and regulatory issues specifically affecting technology transfer in the life and biomedical sciences and engineering spheres. The third workshop brought together all gaps and other issues highlighted by the experts and participants in the first two workshops, for discussion with university management, Malaysian Ministry and other policy maker stakeholders. The highlight of this programme was the Stakeholder Forum and Roundtable Discussion on 21 January 2021 where the forum was officiated by YB Tuan Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). The Minister highlighted the ambition for Malaysia to be a high tech, high income nation and noted that strong foundations had been established for this. All aspects of nation building were reassessed, for example the need to make Malaysia more resilient in the face of crises such as the pandemic where Malaysia started investing in local vaccine production, a process which is very dependent on technology transfer.

The output of the final workshop was recommendations for action to support universities, industry and their frontline practitioners in addressing the technology transfer legal obstacles highlighted by participants. As a follow-up, mentoring sessions were provided to selected stakeholders and participants who would support and facilitate the uptake of the recommendations by respective organisations and parties.