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Malaysia Design Innovation Centre’s training, research and content creation arm, Limkokwing University College of Creative Technology, has signed an agreement with Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (MAVCAP) as a beta client for the University Cradle Investment Programme (UCIP).

Under this, students and staff can apply for grants of RM50,000 for them to develop a prototype or proof of concept.

Each project, if approved, will last six months. The grant’s purpose is to provide opportunities for creative and innovative projects to ignite, said Scott Whiteside, Limkokwing’s Head of School, Faculty of Art & Design/Faculty of Creative Multimedia and Vice President of Quality Control.

“For example, someone might have an idea for a new animation series. The RM50,000 grant would provide some funding for the staff or student to produce an animation pilot programme, then test the prototype on the market. The whole focus is for research to be commercialised.

“The benefit is obviously the opportunity to get funding and time off to work on a research project. If the project is successfully commercialised or further financed by a venture capital fund, the student or staff would be involved with the university college in setting up a spin-off company or licensing the product to a third party.

“The student or staff would have 40 per cent ownership of the company and the intellectual property of the idea,” he added.

UCIP’s Deputy Head Shannon Boase, when introducing UCIP to Limkokwing staff and students, said the collaboration is in line with MAVCAP’s objective of helping young people incubate ideas and create industry-ready services and products.

The Finance Ministry has allocated RM100 million for UCIP.

“Under UCIP, successful applicants are guided on how to develop their ideas from research, develop prototypes and business plans, and prepare for seed and later stage funding,” Boase said.

She said Limkokwing is an important source for UCIP’s growing pool of mentors, while at the same time acts as a beta test site for ideas being developed by UCIP’s entrepreneurs.

UCIP is managed by MAVCAP which is involved in nurturing and growing the technology sector and venture capital market.