• Key focus areas centred around facilities, community, activities, experience and incentives
  • Cyberjaya doesn’t just have the infrastructure to support innovation, but also programmes

The Malaysian smart city of Cyberjaya, Selangor is en route to an evolution. Cyberview, the government-owned company mandated to develop the ecosystem in the tech city, had earlier unveiled Cyberjaya’s New Masterplan, which lays down the future of the country’s premier tech hub.

Cyberview recently held a webinar titled “Cyberjaya’s New Masterplan, Driving Growth for the Global Tech Hub” to further highlight their plans for the city as well as how it can help drive the growth of Malaysia’s digital economy.

“The intent of Cyberjaya was for it to become the nucleus of Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor, which translates into becoming the nucleus of innovation and digital transformation for Malaysia,” begins Roni Shah Mustapha, head of Business, City & Communications with Cyberview Sdn Bhd.

“That intent, for the past 23 years, has not changed. That is still our drive for Cyberjaya.”

He iterates that, for the past 23 years, Cyberjaya has seen success in attracting tech companies and also pushing innovation in Malaysia, but he acknowledges that there are also a quite a lot of challenges as well.

“A city is a living organism, and the only constant in life is change. So we also need to change. We need to change in order to adapt and become sustainable as a city and community moving forward, while keeping our goals in mind,” he says.

Cyberjaya’s new masterplan entails dividing the city into four zones with its own distinctive themes: West Cyberjaya, which focuses on nurturing latent; North Cyberjaya, the business district (and where the upcoming MRT station connecting the city to Kuala Lumpur will be located); South Cyberjaya, which focuses on innovation and R&D; and Downtown Cyberjaya, the retail and commercial area (and also, according to Roni, where the innovations of South Cyberjaya will converge in practice).

To validate the plan, Cyberview has engaged with global consultancy Roland Berger. Their co-managing partner for SEA John Low was present at the webinar to share the direction of Cyberjaya’s new masterplan.

“We have done quite a number of benchmarks on different [tech] hubs across world, so we know what works and what doesn’t work, and how we could do it differently for Cyberjaya. And, more importantly, how to make it suitable for the Malaysian industries as well as in the Malaysian context,” he states.

 

Cyberjaya’s New Masterplan aims to evolve city into thriving innovation & digital ecosystem The key areas

The masterplan, Low adds, will focus on five key areas. Firstly, they looked at the facilities: the types of facilities required by tech players in the hub. Secondly, they looked at the community: how do they ensure that the community of players and stakeholders required to make the hub work, comes together.

Another key focus area is on activities: the ones that are required to gell the community and also provide the engagement, not just for the stakeholders but the people residing in and around the city. Besides that, they are looking into the kinds of experience they want to create that will really attract the right people they want to target.

Completing these are the right incentives to attract the right players and people to come. “We’re hoping that this new plan will create an international recognition as well, and not just focusing on global tech hubs, but on the three focus industries,” Low says.

The three focus industries, Roni iterates, are on Smart Mobility, Smart Healthcare, and Digital Creative.

The masterplan isn’t just for the city’s fate in the immediate sense, but for the future at large. Low says that Roland Berger have looked at how the plan is able to further grow, and how the city can grow with it. They have also looked at complementary adjacent industries that can allow the plan to grow with the industries.

 

The three clusters

As for why they chose the three clusters, Roni points out that the existing ecosystem for these three are already strong in Cyberjaya, and they want to expand them further. The clusters also overlap with each other in terms of services, thus creating synergy.

They now want foreign and domestic companies to come to Cyberjaya and utilise the ecosystem there. These include the National Regulatory Sandbox, which is spearheaded by Fututrise (a subsidiary of Cyberview).

“We have not only infrastructure, but also the programmes and services to assist companies looking into migrating to Cyberjaya,” Roni elaborates. One of them would be the Living Lab programme, which positions the city as a test bed for any technology company that would want to test their solutions.

An example would be SoCar, the South Korean car-sharing startup, which partnered with Tenaga Nasional Bhd to deploy their first electric cars in Cyberjaya. According to Roni, 20% of Cyberjaya’s residents are early tech adopters, making it a prime location to test out new commercial offerings.

Cheong Jin Xi, the founder and CEO of drone startup Poladrone, was also present to speak about how Cyberjaya has benefited the development of their solutions. When Poladrone first started, they were based out of Penang. However, a majority of their customers and partners are based in Kuala Lumpur, which prompted them to move to Cyberjaya, which is closer to KL and, as Cheong points out, has little to no traffic congestion.

Poladrone has benefited from the Maker’s Lab that is part of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). More importantly, the drone testing zone that is part of the National Regulatory Sandbox has allowed them to test and innovate their solutions more conveniently.

Cyberjaya’s development will also grow alongside the innovations occurring there. SoCar and GoCar are among the car-sharing platforms that first deployed in the city. Roni adds that e-scooter sharing services have also been piloted in Cyberjaya. Going forward, they are looking to partner with public transportation players to implement projects like autonomous buses or electric buses that can operate at a lower cost.

It’s not just tech-centric companies that Cyberview hopes to attract into Cyberjaya. “We are a city, so it needs to be vibrant,” Roni says, adding that there are incentives for non-technology-centric companies to start their businesses in the city.



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