[EXPERT REACTION] The Future of Industry 4.0 in Malaysia


This article is sponsored by MTDC

From drones to robotics to biopharmacy, local technology solutions providers such as Biogenes, Poladrone, Techcare Innovation, Ethovent, Medika Natura and Bioapps Sdn Bhd are playing a crucial role in accelerating Industry 4.0 in Malaysia. Supported by the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) as part of its ecosystem and through its various programmes, these startups are charting the future of innovation.   

In this special edition of Expert Reaction, we speak to these companies to shed some light on aspirations and challenges faced, together with some tips to help other startups in accelerating their process towards Industry 4.0. 

1. How does your company utilize local technology and expertise in preparation for the challenges that come with the advent of Industry 4.0? 


Biogenes was founded using local technology that was developed from Malaysian universities, Biogenes to date has licensed two technologies from two Malaysian universities and will be acquiring a patent from a Malaysian Research Institute. 

Biogenes believes in the work that is being done in Malaysian Universities and Research Institutions. To date, Biogenes has 9 ongoing collaborations with other universities and research institutions. Biogenes is developing products and solutions in ‘Digital Biotechnology’. 

This phrase “Digital Biotechnology’ denotes the application of IR4.0 technologies within the field of Biotechnology. Biogenes has successfully added IoT components and is utilizing digital biotechnology to design and develop its products and solutions.   

Founders of Biogenes in their lab (from left to right) – Adrian Joseph, Tang Kok Mun and Cheng. To date Biogenes has 9 ongoing collaborations with other universities and research institutions (Photo: Biogenes)



Malaysia has many talents that can push forward the boom of Industry 4.0 and we utilize their expertise by providing a platform for them to grow their skills in a rather new tech industry – the drone-tech industry. 

By developing our own Software and A.I for drone-based solutions, paired with initiatives by the government, we are able to craft advanced automated business solutions for our clients that save them time and money.

Techcare Innovation:

Digital technology and robotic technology solutions are becoming critical to continue to provide access to quality care safely during the pandemic. Research shows robotic training solutions are able to provide intensive dosage of rehabilitation training for faster recovery and have been recommended by American Stroke Association, as the new alternative for stroke rehabilitation training. 

During the pandemic, Techcare combines the use of digital and portable robotic technology as a new way for continuous intensive stroke rehabilitation at home after patient discharge from the hospitals. Techcare provides robotic devices for patients to train thousands of hand repetitions at home daily. At the same time, patients will get personalized training guidance remotely by trained senior therapists to ensure the continuous training for the best recovery of the patient together with the support from the caregiver. 

With tele-rehab technology, patients are able to receive personalized intensive training and access to quality professional advice easily at the comfort of their home without travelling and time constraints. Techcare will continue to increase robotic training with the combination of analytic techniques to provide efficient and faster recovery of the different parts of the body for more patients.

During the pandemic, Techcare combined the use of digital and portable robotic technology as a new way for continuous intensive stroke rehabilitation at home (Photo: Techcare)


2.    As industry players how would you employ the available graduates and nurture their skills for Industry 4.0?

Medika Natura:

As a Clinical Stage Biopharmaceutical company, Medika Natura has established strong linkages with Public Universities and Research Institutions in Malaysia, the networks will be our main base for the recruitment of graduates in the related field of studies. We will work together with our University partner to conduct a thorough interview screening process. 

During the interview phase, we will be looking at several skills that are unique to our industry requirements. As we are progressing to Industry 4.0, most experts have listed that some of the soft skills required are analytical and critical thinking, familiarization and have a good knowledge on the upcoming technologies in the field, have good problem-solving skills, good team player and leader and also creative and have a novel innovation in mind. 

By having the right candidate, this will smooth the skilling process to prepare the future employee for Industry 4.0.

Medika Natura is Malaysia’s first natural product to be accepted as New Dietary Ingredient by US FDA (Photo: Medika Natura)



As per our motivation to always inspire and nurture Malaysian talent for this continuously striving industry, Ethovent Sdn Bhd has also been actively partnering with public universities such as University Malaya, University Malaysia Sabah and others to train young graduates in the development and manufacturing of Ethovent. As we know skillset for industry 4.0 has to cut across soft and hard skills, we aspire to provide such training and development for our team members. This continuous skillset development will always keep our team members ahead of the game and ensure high-quality products and services can be delivered to our clients.

Bioapps Sdn Bhd:

The changing settings of Higher Education and the prospects of future national and global development goals have seen the pressing need for a forward-looking and future-driven human capital development model that emphasises on holistic growth and empowerment, pillared on skill and knowledge cultivation of the future. 

The reclassification of economic settings instigated by IR 4.0 has created a new dawn of specialised skill and knowledge capacity in meeting the changing scope of the market and industrial demands. Apart from the conventional parameters of evaluation for graduates’ employability, the new indicators will include practical and impact-driven symmetries of knowledge and executional capacities and capabilities. Archaic models of graduates’ strength and values are fast made obsolete with the rapid pace of economic and market decentralisation and technology-led mechanisation. 

A structured and phased talent empowerment, as well as skill cultivation in enhancing industrial and market productivity and in galvanising merit-based cross-sector partnerships in talent nurturing, will create a synergised pooling of expertise for an all-of-government and whole-of-society approach in advancing resilience and empowering public-private partnership for national growth 

Bioapps’ RoMicP™ is Malaysia’s first robotic prosthetic foot created and designed locally (Photo: Bioapps Sdn Bhd)


3. From your success journey, what advice would you give to start-up companies to accelerate their process towards Industry 4.0?


We would advise startup companies to incorporate digitalization into their business model from day one. I think that many companies are digitizing their business, for example taking all their business processes online; but not digitizing their business sufficiently enough. Therefore, their market outreach is limited physically to local customers. 

To be fair, this pathway to business model digitalization does not appear from nowhere, it requires the founders to keep observing, thinking with open minds and experimenting until they get their model right for full-scale deployment. But this is what startups are all about anyway – challenging and changing the status quo of doing business in conventional ways.


The adoption of automation in business processes is crucial when making a transition into Industry 4.0. Whether it is process automation, data analytics or any other “Smart Investment”, a company should dedicate some resources into setting up automation.

(Poladrone is revolutionising the agriculture industry with drones, one flight at a time. Photo: Poladrone)


Techcare Innovation:

Most startups’ main objective is to solve a problem, the faster we can solve a problem the greater the value we can provide to our customers. It is crucial to have the actual experience to solve the customer’s problem before we can effectively implement the technology to further solve the problem in an efficient way. With IR 4.0, we can boost productivity growth with the use of meaningful data and smart technology. 

To accelerate IR 4.0 implementation, it is important to start collecting the data of the current performance of the processes. Next, analyse the current situation and identify the limitations that reduce the efficiency of the processes. Then, identify potential ways to reduce waste and increase efficiency. After that, start to implement the technology on a small scale. It is recommended to start at a smaller scale in its simplest form. 

This can help to reduce the complexity of the project and increase the speed of the execution. Lastly, it is important to test and validate the developed solution with the end-user to ensure it fulfils the customer’s needs

4. How do you foresee the future of innovation and local technology development playing a role in accelerating industry 4.0 in Malaysia?


Transformation towards an Innovative culture is taking place at all levels. Almost most companies are already adopting Industry 4.0 products, services or applications. As the government is very supportive through various schemes, the adoption is accelerated and positions Malaysia as one of the forefront countries in Industry 4.0. Innovation is not only limited to products but also in the service industry, therefore room to explore is vast. Therefore, embracing innovation as a whole is vital. Alongside, it is important for Malaysian companies to give local startups opportunities to deliver Industry 4.0 solutions.

Ethovent is Malaysia’s first-of-its-kind semi-ventilator, an automated bagging machine, to assist patients with breathing difficulties (Photo: Ethovent)


Medika Natura:

The Malaysian Government has given their commitment to the innovation of new technology advancement. This is proven in the RMK 12 plan where the plan stressed on the acceleration of technology adoption and innovation under Policy Enabler 2. 

In the medicinal and pharmaceutical field, we have a specific Industry 4.0 based technology application called Pharma 4.0. Most other biopharmaceutical companies have begun to implement Pharma 4.0 in their production of pharmaceutical products. Some of the technology under Pharma 4.0 is the automation of production, robotics and implementation of IoT in the production line. 

This kind of innovation and by implementing a locally grown technology can really help in accelerating Industry 4.0 in Malaysia 

Bioapps Sdn Bhd:

The demand of future industrial needs amidst the changing landscape of critical tools of growth and economic domain in light of the digital revolution and the impact of IR 4.0 will see a reimagination of innovation and technological drive as the futuristic propellers of smart and sustainable growth. 

The advent of top tier technological advances and innovation will require a transformative revamp of the current structure of resilience in transiting to the new era of a digital and knowledge led economic mobility. 

The chain effects of the transition to a high impact technological creation and innovation-based holistic development will bolster incentivisation of both upstream and downstream growth equality and investments, which will require a transformative shift in empowering technology creation, transfer and application. 

The future lies in the openings and access to the innovative technological bandwagon that will ensure encompassing industrial and societal participatory levels in boosting practical and sustainable embrace of a digitalised and innovation-led tool of growth.

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