APRIL 22 â€“ Innovation, the global prescription for enhancing economic growth and competitiveness, had entered the radar screen of national politics recently.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had, during unveiling of the new cabinet on April 9, explicitly dovetailed his aspiration for a better Malaysia, spotlighting on Innovation as being the cornerstone to renew and revive the nation’s economy.
The PM had announced that a Council of Economic Advisors to help the government renew and revive the nation’s economy would be established. And that there will be also be efforts to build an economy based on innovation.
In the era of production-based economy, focus had been on establishing innovation in research and development (R&D). During this period, Technological Innovation epitomised by a Linear Model of Innovation had emphasised on delivering new or enhanced products and services to the marketplace.
However, presently, as nations strive to shift from production-based to an innovation-led economy, governments recognise the need to establish innovation beyond the laboratories and firm level but to expand and establish innovation at the national level.
And key to this new paradigm is the realization that apart from private sector, the public sector has the clout and impact to either further enhance, stall or completely reverse the rate and direction of Innovation.
As PM Datuk Seri Najib has set the task for the new government â€“ to define and deliver on a framework for economic development driven through innovation, a collaborative and coordinated approach is necessary to evolve that framework.
In view that innovation is not the sole jurisdiction nor responsibility of one or selected ministries but must permeate through all government departments and agencies, hence developing innovation policy components across ministerial boundaries and redefining innovation policy horizontally must be accorded priority by the government.
Hence, new government vision, approaches and capabilities, embracing collaboration, partnership and networking among, between and across ministries and agencies together with industry and other sectors is key for promoting an innovation-led economy.
As chief architect of Malaysia’s National Innovation Agenda, it is imperative that PM Datuk Seri Najib and his dream team, supported by the Council of Economic Advisors with significant input from innovation experts and practitioners from both government and industry, identify and select the most appropriate National Innovation Model for Malaysia, to adopt with the aim of using as important reference and guide in steering efforts towards formulating relevant innovation indicators, strategies, policies, and action agenda.
The National Innovation Model recently promoted internationally, with the goal of delivering value to the customer, the nation’s citizens and businesses including investors, comprise a National Innovation Ecosystem linking innovation input, process, to outcome including output and impact to reflect the reality of innovation today.
Thus the introduction of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by PM Datuk Seri Najib for the new Cabinet Ministers and their Ministries aimed primarily to focus on impact and not input, results and not output and to ensure that public services deliver value for money is indeed testimony that PM Datuk Seri Najib has in his early days as PM moved away from mere rhetoric to the serious business of enlisting commitment and responsibilities from all ministers and ministries to collectively work towards establishing and enhancing a National Innovation Agenda for Malaysia.
Last but not least, as indicators are necessary to benchmark, monitor, evaluate and compare the innovation performance of the public sector, it is pertinent for government to review present performance indicators, with the aim of abolishing irrelevant ones and introducing new significant indicators, thus setting the stage to transform Malaysia’s public sector into a competitive and performance-based government.
* Sheriffah Noor Khamseah Al-Idid is an innovation advocate.
Source : The Malaysian Insider