Malaysian SMEs on the way forward

Malaysian SMEs on the Way forward
© offfstock - / Fraunhofer IAO


German-Malaysian cooperation bears first fruits and gives recommendations for action

Fraunhofer IAO and Malaysian research organization SIRIM have implemented a series of measures for increasing the innovative capabilities and productivity of Malaysian SMEs. On the long run, Fraunhofer Institute-style innovation centers will be built up in the Asian country.

In recent years, Malaysia has developed from a supplier of raw materials into an industrial nation that aspires to create an economy with high-average incomes. Now it is time for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular to make headway in the economic market.

SIRIM and Fraunhofer researchers in Stuttgart
© Fraunhofer IAO

German-Malaysian cooperation

Fraunhofer IAO and SIRIM are cooperating closely to support Malaysian SMEs as they do so. Last year, the partners carried out more than 150 technology audits and completed a survey on the status of innovation management in Malaysian SMEs. They also laid the groundwork for setting up “industrial centers of innovation” – competence centers focused on particular topics, in the style of the Fraunhofer Institutes,that are to be built up in Malaysia over the long term. Two virtual centers focusing on the research topics “bio natural gas” and “medical additive manufacturing” were launched in April, and more will follow in the course of the year.

Two publications summarize key project results

A report was prepared in a joint work session at Fraunhofer IAO that analyzed the more than 150 technology audits carried out last year. The aim of these audits is to provide SMEs with an overview of the status of technology management at their companies and to develop action plans for the future. To support the SMEs, SIRIM employees received auditor training last year, so that they could support the firms during the processes.

Furthermore, a publication will soon appear outlining the findings from the status review of innovation management at Malaysian SMEs. The study will provide insight on the results of a survey among entrepreneurs and real-life success stories. It will also contain recommendations for action to promote innovative SMEs. One important insight is that SMEs in Malaysia should improve their position in the value chain, for instance by developing more own products and services. Due to the limited size of the Malaysian market, the topic of exports is also extremely important. These companies can also better exploit their potential if they seek to make more use of opportunities to exchange ideas and experience with other SMEs and take up offers of support from scientific partners.