National Instruments (NI) announced the collaboration with Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) as a technology partner for the ‘Grow the Embedded Systems Industry’ project under the Digital Malaysia program.

Digital Malaysia is a government program championed by MDeC to promote the pervasive use of ICT in all aspects of the economy to increase national productivity and drive the country towards a developed digital economy by 2020. A total of eight projects were earmarked as the first set of initiatives for this program. The ‘Grow the Embedded Systems Industry’ project aspires to develop the local embedded systems industry as a new source of economic growth.

With its established electronics industry ecosystems and the skilled workforce in place, Malaysia is well positioned to expand its embedded industry capabilities to forge a niche in the burgeoning global embedded systems market.

Embedded systems are autonomous, programmable systems designed to control a few dedicated tasks within a larger system. Embedded systems are tightly integrated with computer hardware and software and used extensively across different industries such as automotive, aerospace, electronics manufacturing, healthcare, oil and gas as well as consumer electronics. With such wide spread industrial applications, the global market for embedded systems are poised for growth at 9% CAGR to reach USD220 billion by 2018.

As a technology partner, NI will provide local companies with the tools and technology to establish competencies, build capacities, nurture innovation and create local intellectual property. Local SMEs can have access to NI technology and tools at the National Instruments Academy and Innovation Nucleus (NI-AIN) to work on proof-of-concept designs, systems prototyping and commercial system development projects. NI-AIN is a shared services laboratory facility established by NI and the Malaysian Government as part of the national Economic Transformation Program (ETP) to establish a “Test and Measurement Innovation Hub” in the industrial corridors of Malaysia. The facility is located at the Technology Park Malaysia and is now fully operational.

“National Instruments is an innovation driven company and our platform-based approach seeks to do for the embedded systems what the PC did for the desktop. We look forward to working closely with MDeC to develop Malaysia’s technology capabilities in the embedded systems arena, especially for the industrial embedded market segment,” says Mr Chandran Nair, Managing Director, National Instruments Southeast Asia.

NI and MDeC will also jointly develop a national talent development program to expand the existing talent pool of highly skilled technical workforce to support a sustainable embedded systems industry.

Ms Ng Wan Peng, Chief Operating Officer of MDeC added, “MDeC is excited to have National Instruments joining Intel as the global technology partners to support the “Grow the Embedded Systems Industry’ project. Having two of the world’s largest technology platform providers for embedded systems, both with significant presence of R&D facilities and capabilities in the country, will help to expand the embedded systems industry capabilities in Malaysia”.

As part of its expanding presence in Asia and to cater to a growing industrial customer base in Malaysia and Asia as a whole, NI had also invested USD80 million in a state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) and manufacturing facility in Penang that has started operations in 2013.