Wednesday February 6, 2013
SME Corp’s innovation target
By INTAN FARHANA ZAINUL and CHERYL POO
It expects to award 1-innoCERT certifications to 50 SMEs
KUALA LUMPUR: SME Corp Malaysia is expecting 50 local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to be certified with the 1-Innovation Certification for Enterprise Rating and Transformation (1-InnoCERT) by year-end.
“The 1-InnoCERT is a certification programme adapted from the Korean Innobiz model. Its core functions are to identify, certify and recognise innovative SMEs through stringent and vigorous certification processes to enable SME Corp to provide more efficient assistance, customised to the needs of the SME,” its chairman Datuk Dr Mohamed Al Amin Abdul Majid said at the soft launch of the SME Innovation Award 2013 yesterday.
The programme was incepted in 2010 with 1-InnoCERT-qualified SMEs eligible to participate in the SME Innovation Award programme, which rewards the Top Most Innovative SME with RM1mil cash. The entry fee is RM5,000.
Companies will be evaluated based on their technological innovation, commercialisation and innovation management abilities as well as their technological innovation results. The certification also measures the rate at which local companies integrate innovation into their business practices.
SME Corp plans to organise five awareness workshops nationwide from now until the end of next month to guide interested SMEs on the application process.
The online assessment on 1-InnoCERT will close by end-March.
To date, 17 new applications have registered with the programme.
As at December 2012, 115 firms had received the 1-InnoCERT, with 46% of them being bumiputra firms.
SMEs certified under this programme will benefit from the Green Lane Policy, a government initiative to acknowledge the contribution of competitive and innovative local SMEs under the 10th Malaysia Plan.
The benefits include priority access to government procurement, financial facilities and tax incentives.
“The 1-InnoCERT programme complements one of the six high-impact programmes of the SME Masterplan designed to remove market barriers and provide targeted and tailored assistance to potential high-growth SMEs,” Mohamed said.