THE Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) has opened another window for applications to its “Grant for the Development of Local ICT and Digital Media Industries” from November 1 to December 31, 2014.
According to a press statement, the AITI Grant offers partial funding opportunities for local businesses as well as foreign companies with local partners from the ICT and digital media fields to acquire enhancement, ownership and marketing assistance for their existing “Brunei-Made” product or prototype that has significant commercial viability.
There are three grant types available, namely, the ‘Enhancement Grant’ – for improving and upgrading existing products’; ‘Ownership Grant’ – for obtaining certification and quality management systems such as trademarks, patent, and IPR; and ‘Marketing Grant’ – for marketing and improving existing branding, packaging, design or labelling.
The grant amount varies depending on the type of grant applied and the classification of the businesses. Each applicant is allowed to apply for more than one grant type for the same product with a maximum cap of $300,000 per category within a project duration of 18 months.
To be eligible for the AITI Grant, an applicant must have valid AITI Accredited Business (AAB) Status and has financial capability to inject an initial amount of self-funding prior to the start of the grant project. The applicant must also have a product or prototype to obtain the grant to improve and enhance the technological aspects of the product, to improve marketing strategies, as well as to acquire a wider coverage of Intellectual Property Rights protection for their product.
Applications will be evaluated based on four main criteria: technical merits, commercial potential, financial resources, and project plan and capacity to deliver.
Further evaluation will also emphasise on Brunei-Made elements of the proposed product, as well as the relevancy to any of the following areas: application tools and platforms, communication, e-learning, financial industry application, government and public sectors, health and wellbeing, social inclusion and community, industrial application, media and entertainment technology, ICT research and development, retail and supply chain management, security, and sustainability and environment technology.
AITI’s Grant was initiated to assist the local ICT companies to further develop their ICT and digital media related products and encourage R&D activities and capabilities in producing local innovative Brunei-made products with commercial potential through government funding.
Since its inception in 2010, AITI has awarded grants to 14 local ICT and digital media related businesses with an overall amount of $1.9 million funded under the National Development Plan. To date, 10 recipients have already completed their grant projects where some of these products have been now made readily available in the market.
The first grant recipient, MARS Enterprise, has successfully developed their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution and has penetrated the overseas market within this region. Two recipients, John Harith Technology Sdn Bhd and ZimacSilicon Technologies Sdn Bhd, have successfully run their pilot projects on Halal Food Traceability System and iCLID, respectively with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and the Royal Customs and Excise Department and Immigration and National Registration Department. Other grant recipients include Crescent Sdn Bhd, Alif Technologies Sdn Bhd, BruGPS Technologies Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Indah Sejahtera Development & Services Sdn Bhd, Ambuyart Animations Company, Cinematicpro Services, Mediahikmah, PHMD Publishing Company, SocialBuzz Advertising, MeSixty Sdn Bhd and Giftbox Enterprise Sdn Bhd.
AITI has invited all eligible ICT and digital media businesses to apply for the AITI Grant before the closing on Wednesday, December 31, 2014 by 4.30pm. For more information and guidelines on the AITI Grant, please visit AITI’s website, www.aiti.gov.bn/AITIGRANT.
Individual consultation sessions are also provided.
For further enquiries, interested applicants can contact Farihah or Tajul Ariffin of Industry Development Group at 2366659/2366681/2323232 ext 6681 (during office hours) or via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.