GEORGE TOWN – After making its mark as a main global exporter of medical devices as well as electrical and electronics (E&E), Penang now wants to be a producer of satellite components and related technology as the next area of its industrialisation ambitions.

With the global aerospace market valued at over RM1 trillion, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that it was only natural for the state to venture into the field of satellite technology, especially since it is renowned for its E&E expertise, which can support its migration into the aerospace field.

Chow was speaking at the tripartite agreement between Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), state agency Digital Penang and Angkasa-X which is a local start-up exploring tie-ups in satellite technology.

Chow said that the agreement will help produce more brainpower to ramp up satellite technology.

Eventually, Chow envisions investors coming onboard with the state to help it make advancements in the field.

Under the tripartite agreement, USM will offer the required space equipment and labs for satellite development and testing.

It would then collaborate with Angkasa-X to offer a professional course in satellite engineering, while Digital Penang would market it to potential students working in the manufacturing sector.

For the past 50 years, Penang’s manufacturing ecosystem has grown from strength to strength since the advent of semiconductors.

USM vice-chancellor Prof Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan said that the country will roll out its own full-fledged operational satellite (100kg and above) in three to four years time which can be deployed to outer space.

Angkasa-X executive chairman Datuk Sean Seah said the company was working to launch a commercialised satellite into orbit by the first quarter next year in collaboration with regional and global partners with Malaysia having a role in this venture.

The satellite will assist the logistics sector with global mapping and services. – The Vibes, April 20, 2021