Developing smart cities

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BY LIM WING HOOI

 

Ashran says the issues in creating a smart city is universal – from urban mobility and transactions such as payments to information flow.

Ashran says the issues in creating a smart city is universal – from urban mobility and transactions such as payments to information flow.

 

BRINGING in applications that are market driven to create smart cities in Malaysia is vital, said Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) chief executive officer Ashran Ghazi.

“It is a balancing act between people’s behaviour and commercial viability, involving infrastructure such as traffic lights that can track traffic conditions to home automation for homeowners,” he said.

Speaking to Metrobiz on the sidelines at the Government Digital Transformation: Innovative Government 4.0 in Shangri-La Hotel, Putrajaya last week, Ashran said creating a smart city involved various parties, from the developer to the local council.

“Entrepreneurs who have an interest in participating in the creation of smart cities need to work with multiple parties involving an infrastructure, unlike creating an application and expecting users to download and use,” he said.

Adding that it was vital that entrepreneurs focus on solving specific problems that the community face, and incrementally introduce new features to their products, Ashran said this was a big market as the issues in creating a smart city was universal – from urban mobility and transactions such as payments to information flow.

“Another popular feature in a smart city is the push and pull of information in the locality,” he said.

Adding that Cyberjaya would be a good test bed for various smart city applications, he said they were working with government-owned company Cyberview Sdn Bhd, which spearheads the development of Cyberjaya, and another global payments company, to come up with an initiative that would be launched in December as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Community (GECommunity).

GECommunity’s initiatives was first announced in August with the intention to transform Malaysia into a global entrepreneurship hub.

Focusing on eight main business clusters, from biotech, education, finance, supply chain and others, each cluster is expected to have 100 key players from the sector to exchange ideas and initiatives that will lead to new economies and industry transformation.

Another aspect that it will promote is cross-border collaboration between countries to support entrepreneurs through policies, regulatory changes and new initiatives.

Ashran said all these clusters had a role to play in smart cities development.

“The players in the smart city ecosystem has to offer concrete solutions to the criteria that we had set,” he said.

When asked if there would be avenues for funding to participate in the initiative, he said funding was unlikely an issue as the startup that were selected would likely have a good product that would enable them to raise funding on their own.

“It maybe difficult to sell a concept, but not so difficult to sell something that works,” he concluded.

 

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