KUALA LUMPUR, 15 June 2021 – PETRONAS is inviting Malaysian startups to participate in the second edition of its technology accelerator programme, PETRONAS FutureTech 2.0, that aims to encourage local innovations and scale up home-grown technology startups to be at par with international standards.
For this year’s programme, PETRONAS continues its partnership with global venture capital firm 500 Startups. FutureTech 2.0 is expected to bring in greater prospects for participating startups as PETRONAS, through its corporate venture capital arm, PETRONAS Ventures, has teamed up with Government-linked companies (GLCs) – Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) and Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP).
The collaboration, the first of its kind in Malaysia, aims to unlock synergies from cross-industries expertise and maximise the value impact of the programme to local startups. The strategic partnership will allow the GLCs to uncover potentially game-changing technologies, accelerate new ideas that can help transform local industries while at the same time, enable the participating teams to have greater market access for growth.
The focus themes for FutureTech 2.0 are Industry 4.0, Specialty Chemicals and Advance Materials, Future of Energy, Digital Transformation and Retail Innovation.
Head of PETRONAS Ventures Arni Laily Anwarrudin said, “Following the success of the first FutureTech programme in 2019, we foresee bigger prospects towards nation-building, and collaborating with major corporations is the right way to further nurture the ecosystem for Malaysian startups. It also creates a positive socio-economic impact to the community through education and skill investment as well as foster tech-driven innovations that support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.”
She added that FutureTech 2.0 supports the country’s aspiration to spur startups and venture capital ecosystem builders in Malaysia by working closely with the National Technology Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) program – an initiative by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). NTIS aims to accelerate the creation and acceptance of local innovations through a structured framework within a controlled environment and towards commercialisation.
Commenting on the collaboration, Tengku Muneer Tengku Muzani, Chief Strategy Officer of TM said, “We are excited and thrilled to join hands with PETRONAS and Sime Darby Plantation to help nurture the startup ecosystem in Malaysia. In line with our drive towards a Digital Malaysia, we hope to explore common ground with the FutureTech 2.0 corporate partners and startups in accelerating digital innovation by leveraging on each other’s strengths.”
In expressing similar sentiments over the Company’s involvement in the programme, SDP’s Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Dr. Shariman Alwani said that SDP is looking forward to identifying innovative startups with the technology capabilities and game-changing solutions to help the Company overcome its various challenges and pain points.
“When it comes to innovating, the sky is the limit and there is always more than can be achieved. We may have the wealth of experience and the fundamental knowledge in the palm oil industry, but new innovative ideas can come from anyone. That is why Sime Darby Plantation is excited to be a part of FutureTech 2.0. To be able to give a voice to our local innovative startups and help unlock their potential in collaboration with like-minded partners such as PETRONAS and TM, is truly a valuable opportunity,” he added.
FutureTech 2.0 seeks to build on the success of its inaugural batch two years ago, the first accelerator of its kind in Malaysia. PETRONAS Ventures funded two startups from the first cohort – robotics and automation for agriculture technology startup Braintree Technologies Sdn. Bhd and sustainable energy startup SOLS Energy Sdn. Bhd.
Shortlisted startups in FutureTech 2.0 will undergo an intensive 12-week virtual programme from September, which includes masterclasses, workshops and coaching from 500 Startups’ mentors as well as C-suite and experts from PETRONAS, TM and SDP. These startups will have the opportunity to accelerate their business solutions via a proof of concept (POC) and get access to insights and resources from the GLCs.
Applications for FutureTech 2.0 are now open until 27 July 2021. Interested startups can get more details on the programme and apply via https://ecosystems.500.co/petronas-future-tech.