Malaysia: Industry 4.0 & Start-Up Initiatives

Rome, considered a nerve center for diplomatic relations, has 139 embassies accredited by the Italian Republic and 78 by the Holy See. It is worth remembering the considerable number of international organizations, universities, academies and institutes of foreign culture that consolidate the Italian capital as one of the first international cities in the world.
Festival della Diplomazia (Diplomacy Festival), is a not-for-profit association funded by high level Italian representatives of economic, social, political and institutional sectors. The objective of the festival is to organize yearly events focusing on the analysis and understanding of European and global phenomena under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Representation in Italy of the European Commission and the European Parliament. In the framework of the 2019 edition, Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi (USGM) joined the event Malaysia: Industry 4.0 & Start-up Initiatives, hosted by the Embassy of Malaysia in Rome on October 24, 2019. The meeting presented “Industry4wrd”, the new Industry 4.0 Malaysian national plan launched in 2018, along with the governmental initiatives favoring investments in start-ups and innovative companies in the Southeastern country.

Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino, Malaysian Ambassador in Italy, and Giorgio Bartolomucci, President of Festival della Diplomazia, initiated the meeting, welcoming the audience with a speech on the great relationship that unites Italy and Malaysia. Following, Awangku Fiarulnazri, Director of MIDA – Malaysian Investment Development Authority, initiated the debate with a presentation on the 14.0 national plan, on the partnership opportunities in Malaysia’s start up ecosystem and on the importance of Malaysia as a gateway for Italy and Europe to strengthen economic relations in the ASEAN region. Mr. Stefano Righi, Chairman of LVenture Group S.p.A., provided exhaustive details on the business model and on the activities performed by his company, including the selection of potential startups and the support through fund investment and acceleration programs. Lastly, Arturo Lavalle, Head of the Research and Development Area at USGM, gave an interesting speech on the pros and cons of the Industry 4.0 Italian National Plan, stressing the importance of the new skills and competences brought about by the digital transformation, in not only the technological realm, but also when it comes to companies’ culture and values.

USGM’s representative mentioned the Industry 4.0 Position Paper issued by AICQ – the Italian National Association for the Culture of Quality – and the athenaeum commitment to collaborate with important industrial players like BHGE and General Electric Company, to create new contents and curricula, improving skills that negatively affect productivity. Dr. Lavalle also announced USGM future participation to the new Erasmus+ project “Master in Industry 4.0” that will start in December 2019. The three-year project, implemented by a consortium of 16 partners from 6 different countries, will be coordinated by the Malaysian Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and will focus on delivering MSc programme applied to Industry 4.0, targeting the Southern Asia Region, in particular Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia. Considering the multidisciplinary nature of Industry 4.0, the programme will have a multisector approach providing fundamental technological knowledge of Industry 4.0 and practical specialization contents in vertical and horizontal value-creation chains of four key industries, i.e. Manufacturing, Agriculture, Aquaculture and Pervasive Health. The project represents a perfect example of transnational collaboration in a region – ASEAN - that is expected to be the 4th largest economy in the world by 2050. This initiative will foster cooperation activities on training and research topics even between USGM and the Embassy of Malaysia.