INNOVATIVE French companies and Malaysian SMEs including startups can now develop collaborative projects with the official launch of the French-Malaysian Innovation Challenge 2017 at the French Embassy recently.

The challenge, a joint effort between Bpifrance and PlaTCOM Ventures Sdn Bhd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Agensi Inovasi Malaysia), aims to establish a platform to foster technological exchanges and innovation collaborations between companies, organisations and institutions of France and Malaysia.

Proposals must however be led by business entities. The call for proposals is now open for joint development projects between Malaysian SMEs and French businesses, focusing on innovative products and application in all sectors.

The official launch was hosted by Christophe Penot Ambassador of France to Malaysia. Also present were AIM chief executive officer and director of PlaTCOM Ventures Mark Rozario, Bpifrance Asean area manager Marianne Wlassewitch.

“We are calling on all Franco-Malaysian companies concerned, to come to the fore and demonstrate the strength of their proposed innovative projects to be developed. Our hope is that the companies aiming to take up the challenge will find innovative matches amongst each other within the network of French and Malaysian business entities, as well as ensuring business and financial viability of their project proposals, amongst other criteria,” said Rozario.

“I believe this challenge will assist SMEs in both our countries to increase their commercialisation opportunities, through direct funding support and applied demonstration opportunities to prove the value of their innovations to domestic and global markets,” he added.

The main goal of the challenge is to coordinate these collaborative projects by companies from both countries in developing innovative processes, products or services with Bpifrance and PlaTCOM Ventures reviewing these projects in a coordinated but independent manner.

It also aims to catalyse further joint development projects between French and Malaysian SMEs; promote and facilitate sharing of knowledge and Intellectual Property amongst a fresh and diverse range of French and Malaysian commercial entities. It is key that the challenge will help bring innovation close to market and build on the strength of each country’s public-private innovation ecosystem, as well as generate more value for SMEs.

Under the Challenge, French and Malaysian companies need to identify partners to form a consortium for the submission of a joint application. The projects need to demonstrate strength of the proposed innovation to be developed, a good match between French and Malaysian companies within the consortium, and business and financial viability of the proposal, amongst other criteria.

Each consortium must consist of one French Project Lead and one Malaysian Project Lead. The eligibility criteria for these Project Leads are based on the existing funding programmes of Bpifrance and PlaTCOM Ventures. Both Bpifrance and PlaTCOM Ventures will provide funding for winning projects under their respective programmes for promoting technology development.

Information on the steps involved in the application process, funding framework, timeline, eligibility criteria, etc., can be found at

Interested companies from France and Malaysia can also register their profiles through the same portal (link above) to identify potential partners to match with. Successful match will lead to the formation of a consortium on the platform and further deliberation on the proposal to be jointly submitted. The deadline for submissions is July 21, 2017.

Prior to the launch of the challenge, Bpifrance and PlaTCOM Ventures signed a MoU where both parties agreed to provide funding for innovative business projects under the respective French-Malaysian innovation ecosystem facilities to boost technology development.

The Bpifrance – PlaTCOM Ventures MoU was signed between Rozario and Wlassewitch. It was one of five MoUs signed between major French and Malaysian businesses focusing on innovative projects. The signings were witnessed by President of the French Republic François Hollande and Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed.



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