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MDEC Launches 2021 #SMART Automation Grant

Matching grant helps services companies automate their business processes and move towards digitalisation. Successful applications to receive up to 50 per cent of the total project cost, subject to a ceiling limit of RM200,000.

CYBERJAYA – Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia’s lead agency in digital transformation, has announced the 2021 edition of its #SMART Automation Grant (SAG) and is calling for new applicants. SAG is a matching grant to help services companies automate their business processes and move towards digitalisation, an important process that is increasingly necessary in face of COVID-19 challenges and a digitally disruptive world.

The grant works to help kickstart the development and implementation of projects that adopt technology to automate business operations. Each successful application technology to automate business operations. Each successful application will receive up to 50 percent of the total project cost, subject to a ceiling limit of RM200,000 (or whichever lower).

As this is a matching grant, successful applicants will need to invest the 50 per cent balance. SAG function as an outcome-based grant, whereby projects must achieve specific digitalisation benefits, such as increased revenue, savings in business costs, reduction in process lifecycle and man-hours.

SAG is targeted to services SMEs looking to embark on their digital journey or are planning to enhance and improve their business via digital tools. It covers the general and professional service sectors, including retail, wholesale, food and beverage, tourism, logistic, transportation, education, healthcare, real estate and professional and financial services. Introduced in June 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, SAG was part of the Malaysian government’s initiative to expand support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to make the digital leap and increase their digital capabilities.

“We introduced the #SMART Automation Grant to help SMEs in the services sector thrive and survive in this disrupted business environment. Businesses today fully understand that they need to embrace digitalisation tools and solutions to remain relevant- the grant gives them the support they need to positively impact their operations and income generation.

“With this, we are pleased to announce that we are opening new applications for SAG to provide support for more SMEs in the services sector. With SAG, we hope to empower more SMEs to embrace digitalisation in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL) to facilitate wider digital adoption,” said Aiza Azreen, Chief Digital Business Officer, MDEC. The grant has since seen several successful implementations. Insurance agency Untung Sewajar Sdn Bhd, for instance, needed assistance in the development of the Multi-Tasking Insurance Online System (MIOS) to help insurance agents manage customer information, marketing activities and customer service online.

Bunga Raya Travel Sdn Bhd, on the other hand, underwent a project to develop an eCommerce website with online solutions for SEO (search engine optimisation) and SMO (social media optimisation) techniques.

The new SAG applications is now open with a four week call for submissions. Applicants will be able to check their eligibility criteria and register their interest here. SMEs in the services space are encouraged to participate in capability building programmes run by MDEC that drive digitally powered businesses, such as 100 Go Digital Coaching and the SME Digital Accelerator Programme. This will ensure that SMEs will be better equipped to develop a structured approach for their operations as well as identify possible pain points and opportunities in the digital space. For more information, visit mdec.my/sag.