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INNOVATION CATALYST FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH

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Awang Yusof bin Hj Abdul Rahman, Deputy Permanent Secretary (International, Economic Finance Research and Development Division) delivering a speech on behalf of Dato Paduka Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Chairman of the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB).


'TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE WITHIN THE DIGITAL WORLD GLOBALLY, INNOVATION MUST BE EMBRACED'

Bandar Seri Begawan: Brunei Darussalam possesses its own unique flavours of innovation, like other countries, and it is critical that these forces are leveraged to develop models of innovation in creating sustainable economic growth.

This was highlighted by Dato Paduka Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Chairman of the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB), which was read On his behalf by Awang Yusof bin Hj Abdul Rahman, Deputy Permanent Secretary (International, Economic Finance Research and Development Division) at the Prime Minister's Office, at the THiNK BIG Innovate Forum yesterday.

"Innovation is pivotal to economic growth and to be competitive within an increasingly global world, innovation needs to be embraced," he said.

He described the 'THiNK BIG Innovate' as a platform where policy makers and start-ups have the opportunity to network and launch the innovation movement to propel Brunei towards digital empowerment.

"We must continue to emphasise on increasing productivity, investments and sustainability in new high-tech industries to generate new wealth via fresh potential growth ventures that will meet local needs whilst creating export oriented products and services."

This, he said, will establish and reinforce an innovation culture to strengthen the capabilities of the industry reminiscent of the Silicon Valley Culture of "Innovate or Perish".

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Senior Product Manager, Google, Southeast Asia, Andrew McGlinchey delivers a talk on how Google creates a culture of innovation.

He highlighted that Brunei must also develop the often-talked about 'Virtuous Circle Of Innovation'. "We must develop a positive culture that generates new ideas and innovative product developments. Much emphasis evolves around being R&D-driven and becoming a magnet for talented people.

"The concept of open innovation is represented by knowledge sharing and creation, access to connections and capital. Through this, we will collaboratively cement innovation together and build a conduit for ideas to be commercialised. Hence, policies to create and attract enterprise champions are important."

He then underlined that local start-ups, with the assistance of international and local partners, must strive to develop the right talents, expertise and knowledge.

They must all work locally but act globally. "I believe we can create great local companies but to achieve this, we need knowledge creators and diffusers that will produce creative goods and services."

The speech cited the attributes in the Boston Consulting Group's "The most Innovative Companies of 2013". These five key attributes are; Top management sees innovation as a competitive advantage; they leverage their Intellectual Property (IP); devote resources to innovation and maintain a pipeline of high, potential ideas; maintain strong customer focus; and strong processes and controls.

In his speech, the deputy minister expressed his firm belief that these attributes are directly applicable to start-ups and SM as well as MNCs in Brunei.

Founders of start-ups and senior management of SMEs must be committed to innovation as it will provide a competitive advantage, which will serve as a key enabler for their products and services to grow in Brunei, and regional as well as global expansion.

Secondly, Brunei has developed its own Intellectual Property Office to facilitate the registration and protection of IP rights. Since then, more patents are being filed locally.

Thirdly, to continuously promote innovation and pipeline development within Brunei, the BEDB has introduced various initiatives aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and innovation within Brunei. BEDB, along with their partners in the government, are committed to facilitating business growth for local SMEs.

"I firmly believe that it is the time for collective action - We must unite to push through the technology and entrepreneurship agenda in Brunei.

"It is our collective responsibility to promote technopreneurship and a productive innovative ecosystem for our country.

"On this journey, we must behave like entrepreneurs: take risks, be persistent, be resilient, creative, imaginative, become change agents and innovate," he concluded.

 -- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin


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