Scaling up Opportunities in the Nanotechnology Sphere in Penang

By Dr Lee Siu Ming (Senior Analyst, Socioeconomics & Statistics Programme)   |   Posted on


  • Penang’s existing industrial strength is well-aligned with the national focus sectors for nanotechnology applications. This can furthermore be aligned to NanoMalaysia’s strategic jumpstart sectors that are expected to present opportunities in the medium to long-term, such as food and agriculture, wellness, medical and healthcare, energy and environment, and electronics devices and systems.
  • Penang may position for greater focus into graphene technology in radio frequency (RF) electronics and conductive ink applications. The RF electronics and conductive ink applications plans (collaborations under National Graphene Action Plan 2020) bode well, given the comparative advantages of Penang-based companies involved in the semiconductor, semiconductor-related and E&E sectors. Besides that, a number of organisations and industry members are involved in the Gallium Nitride on Gallium Nitride LED collaborative research.
  • Penang’s established ecosystem allows for more collaboration and joint efforts in nanotechnology and nanotechnology-based industries. Small and medium enterprises are also involved in nanotechnology and nanotechnology applications projects under iNanovation and Advanced Materials Industrialisation.
  • Policymakers should also encourage adjacent collaboration or development of nanotechnology applications by companies that already have a presence in Penang.
  • The main issues for nanotechnology and nanotechnology applications in Penang are (1) obstacles in the development and commercialisation process, (2) the level of willingness of MNCs to collaborate, (3) access for SMEs and local companies to ongoing projects, (4) the rate of adoption of nanotechnology applications products in the market, and (5) continued funding for the development of nanotechnology applications and materials.
  • Nanotechnology and nanotechnology applications cut across different spheres of industries and technological applications. This paper proposes that Penang align nanotechnology and nanotechnology applications to focus especially on the electronics devices and systems segment and at the same time concentrate on the national key jumpstart sectors.