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Brunei
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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Brunei
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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    Spurring digital tech ecosystem development

    Hakim Hayat

    By linking the digital technology sector through offering a platform for capacity building, market access and community programmes, the Brunei Innovation Lab (BIL), launched back in July, aims to spur the development of the digital technology ecosystem in Brunei, especially local start-ups and scale-ups to produce technology solutions in addressing real-world problems and capitalising market opportunities.

    During a courtesy visit by QAF Brunei Group and its subsidiary Brunei Press Sdn Bhd to Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) at the BIL in Knowledge Hub (KHub), Kampong Anggerek Desa yesterday, General Manager of BIL Freddie Ting said in the early stages of the launch, driving more awareness on the BIL is vital, in tandem with their efforts to get all potential collaborations from different partners such as industries, technology, education and regulators to see what kind of role or support that they can bring into the ecosystem.

    The lab, a joint collaboration between Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP), Shell LiveWIRE Brunei (LiveWIRE), DST and DARe, is an avenue for participants to conduct technopreneur programmes, training, pitching sessions and as a technology showcase gallery area for the public to learn the conceptual mechanisms and practical applications of new technologies.

    Ting said developing an innovation and tech ecosystem increases the pipeline of solutions and products that not only address local opportunities, but may also have the potential to be scaled beyond Brunei.

    The BIL also aligns with the Sultanate’s aspirations to become a Smart Nation through the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025.

    QAF Brunei Group CEO Albert Lau and Brunei Press Sdn Bhd General Manager Mohd Najmuddin bin Abdul Razak in a group photo with Acting CEO of DARe Daniel Leong Nyuk Ming and General Manager of BIL Freddie Ting. PHOTOS: MUIZ MATDANI
    Albert Lau, Mohd Najmuddin and Daniel Leong Nyuk Ming during the tour

    Another aspect they are working towards, Ting said, is in improving digital literacy across all levels to spur more interest, as well as garner support from the industry itself and regulators to steer towards the ecosystem’s development as a whole.

    He said the innovation culture and mindset should not just be infused with organisations but also the nation as a whole, which is why they have flagship projects such as digital payments and fintech into play.

    The BIL has three pillars – flagship technopreneur development programme ‘Innovate Brunei’, capability accelerator to build competency in specific tech areas, and an innovative showcase to raise awareness on new technologies and technopreneurship.

    Acting CEO of DARe Daniel Leong Nyuk Ming meanwhile, explained that the BIL is not just an avenue where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can come and be connected to technology, but at the same time, established businesses can visit and see what is in store in terms of solutions for business problems and transformation.

    He added that there is a team based in BIL full-time that covers all the basic needs but have the network to help businesses tap into their own networks of partners, citing a company in Singapore that engages with robotics and automation as an example.

    Daniel said with the BIL, they want to generate enough pipeline of people to move on to the next stage. “While doing this, the team will be working closely with them, but what we are also trying to do more and more is building the community because we can’t do everything.

    We need support from everyone in this country and beyond to play their part,” he added.

    During the courtesy visit, QAF Brunei Group CEO Albert Lau and Brunei Press Sdn Bhd General Manager Mohd Najmuddin bin Abdul Razak also toured the BIL’s facilities and projects.

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