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Malaysia has long had the target of becoming a knowledge-based economy by 2020. Creating a vibrant environment for science and innovation is seen as the best way to escape the middle-income trap. Recent decades have seen record levels of investment in education and research. Shining new labs and special zones for technology and entrepreneurship reflect the government’s ambitions, yet challenges such as a shortage of talent and limited private sector innovation seem to hinder progress.

Looking across all the different elements within Malaysia’s science and innovation system, this comprehensive study asks whether the current blend of initiatives and strategies is the right model for a more innovative Malaysia?

Malaysia is the first study to be launched as part of the Atlas of Islamic-World Science and Innovation project which brings together partners from across the Islamic-world, Europe and North America. The Atlas project is exploring the changing landscape of science and innovation across a diverse selection of countries with large Muslim populations.

This study, and the Atlas project more generally, is supported by an international consortium of partners listed here. The views outlined in Malaysia do not necessarily reflect the policy positions of these partner organisations, including the Royal Society. This Malaysia study importantly draws on in-country partners. Thanks to the Malaysian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (the National Focal Point) and the University of Malaya (the National Research Partner).

Project partners

We also work with national research partners on the production of each case study.