Malaysia’s AI Sandbox pilot program aims to create 900 AI startups and nurture 13,000 new talents by 2026

  • The AI Sandbox initiative aims to foster entrepreneurial growth in Malaysia’s AI ecosystem.
  • Projections indicate the creation of 900 AI startups and the development of 13,000 new talents by 2026.
  • Collaboration between the Science, Technology, and Innovation Ministry, Higher Education Ministry, and Nvidia is driving the program.
  • Specialized labs and strategic partnerships will support participants in the pilot program.
  • The imminent launch of an AI Faculty involving 20 public and 20 private universities underscores the commitment to AI education.
  • Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will inaugurate the first AI Faculty at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia on May 10, signaling a new era in AI research and education.

Main AI News:

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Sandbox pilot initiative is poised to be a catalyst for entrepreneurial growth, with projections indicating the emergence of approximately 900 AI startups and the nurturing of over 13,000 new talents by 2026. Spearheaded by a collaborative effort between the Science, Technology, and Innovation Ministry, the Higher Education Ministry, and Nvidia, this program marks a significant milestone in fostering innovation and talent development within the AI ecosystem.

Minister Chang Lih Kang emphasized the transformative potential of the AI Sandbox in his address at the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (Mranti) Park launch event. “The sandbox aims to incubate up to 900 AI startups by 2026,” he affirmed, highlighting the pivotal role of strategic partnerships in driving this initiative forward. Additionally, Chang projected the cultivation of a skilled workforce, estimating that over 13,000 new AI talents would be groomed through collaborative efforts with the Higher Education Ministry.

The unveiling ceremony witnessed the presence of key stakeholders, including Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Zambry Abd Kadir, Nvidia Vice President Keith Strier, and Mranti CEO Datuk Dr. Rais Hussin, underscoring the collective commitment towards advancing Malaysia’s AI agenda.

In a post-launch press briefing, Minister Zambry underscored the government’s commitment to a robust national AI policy framework. He announced the imminent launch of an AI Faculty, slated to involve 20 public and 20 private universities, signaling a concerted effort to integrate AI education into the higher education landscape. Notably, participants in the pilot program will benefit from access to specialized labs, fostering an environment conducive to innovation and experimentation.

Excitement mounts as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is set to inaugurate the inaugural AI Faculty at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) on May 10, heralding a new era of AI education and research. With academic activities slated to commence in October this year, UTM’s AI Faculty is poised to serve as a beacon of excellence, nurturing the next generation of AI innovators and thought leaders.


The AI Sandbox Programme’s ambitious goals and collaborative approach position Malaysia as a burgeoning hub for AI innovation and talent development. With strategic partnerships, specialized infrastructure, and a robust AI education framework, Malaysia is poised to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the burgeoning AI market, fostering economic growth and technological advancement.