State Counsellor opens Yangon Innovation Centre

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State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi cuts ribbon to open the ceremony of Yangon Innovation Centre in Yangon on 17 July 2019. Photo: Thet Aung

The opening ceremony of the Yangon Innovation Centre was held in front of that building in the compound of Health Port at the corner of Pansodan road and Strand road in Seikkan Township, Yangon Region, at 10 am yesterday. State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivered a speech at the ceremony.
She inaugurated the Centre by cutting the ceremonial ribbon.
In her opening remark, she said, “Innovation is emerging as a top priority during the period of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Developed countries have already applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IOT) across the areas from agriculture to education in their way to Industry 4.0. Automated machines have successfully taken over the combined use of man and machines in the production sector. On the whole, many global countries are found to be prepared for Industry 4.0 or Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Our country has geographical advantages to produce green energy and healthy organic fruits abundantly. It also has many opportunities to become an agri-power nation through efficient and effective investments by applying technologies and innovations on the vacant cultivable lands. Therefore, it is very important that we need to have absolute self-confidence.

I hold an unwavering belief and have said it very often that whether it is Industry 4.0 or any era and period, the most important resource is our people. No matter old or young, everybody is a valuable person. As man is of the utmost importance, we need to keep on working hard. After Industry 4.0, the next generations of Industry 5.0, 6.0 and so on will sure come about. The strength of our youths is crucial for this developing trend.
The State Counsellor continued, “The percentage of mobile SIM card users have reached 126 % in Myanmar. Relay stations were built to expand coverage of mobile phones in the remote areas with poor access to landlines. It has shown that we leapfrogged technologies and innovations in a short span of time. Although our country lagged behind in development, we would be able to shorten times and reduce investments in applying intelligence and technology harmoniously as an advantage of a less-developed country after reviewing the experiences of developing countries.
Young people of our country are believed to have enough strength to keep abreast with the global people. In recent years, students from the University of Information Technology won second prize and the Chinese team won the first prize in the ASEAN Makerthon held in Malaysia. Moreover, the team of Myanmar students achieved sixth rank in the First Global Challenge 2017 Robotic Competition. What I want to highlight is our young people would be able to join hands actively in making the dream of our country come true if they received proper support and suitable guidance.
To be consistent with the developing world, the first thing we need to do is the country-wise development of our education system. Our government put emphasis on it since we took office. The second requirement is to modernize the vocational education system of our country. We are implementing this programme. The third matter is to support technology and innovation. In doing so, Yangon Innovation Centre is the first initiative in this process.

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State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi observes the innovation displayed at the Yangon Innovation Centre in Yangon yesterday. Photo: MNA

Like similar innovation centres in neighbouring countries, the Yangon Innovation Centre will support potential and capable young people across the country who lack access to and experience in an innovative atmosphere. It is expected at the centre to obtain bilateral support and relations of experts, designers, computer programmers, accountants, economists, investors, technicians, researchers and investors. It is hoped the centre would become the breeding ground of techno-based businesses of Myanmar young people and more innovations. They could invent some products for the digital market. They could try to set up a new business venture. More citizen entrepreneurs will surely come out.
Moreover, the State Counsellor said, “It is needed to support innovators as much as possible. I also hope the Yangon Innovation Centre could help develop new innovations for the country steadfastly. The government will support with policies and arrangements as we cordially invite universities, research and renovation centres, partner-organizations, well-wishers and businesspersons at home and abroad to help in the creations of our young people.
If the necessary contributions were received, our young people could get new ideas to produce new products, new forms of services and new job opportunities in coming years. Moreover, the country’s economy could be supported technically through these contributions. However, success can be achieved by means of systematic and professional approaches.
We are now talking about the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is not enough to view its physical aspects only, but we should also consider its mental aspects. Through the series of revolutions up to the fourth stage of industrial revolution, the extent of development for human beings should be reviewed. Only if we could enjoy both physical and mental developments, would we be able to create a good environment for the global society.
All the people, young and old alike are urged to understand the improvements they feel themselves. Do they feel only their physical improvements, or have they cultivated enough spiritual powers to reduce hatred and ignorance in their mind? Nowadays, many people are found to overlook their mental conditions as they are drowning in hatred and animosity. Genuine improvement of human beings can be judged on the extent of decline in pessimistic attitudes, without developing optimistic moods. Therefore, it is needed to consider about cultivation of good positive attitudes while developing innovations. Only then, Myanmar will turn into a peaceful society in the world.
I would like to conclude my speech with best wishes that the Yangon Innovation Centre may generate young entrepreneurs; both our local and foreign partners may contribute in this centre as much as possible; through the success of our country and people, may all the global people may enjoy peace and prosperity”
Then, U Ravi, Chief Executive Officer of the Yangon Innovation Centre, and Ms Atriana Collini, Head of Programmes from Seedstars Academy based in Switzerland, explained about the programmes of the centre.
Next, French Ambassador to Myanmar Mr Christian Lechervy handed over the documents of the digital museum to Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture Thura U Aung Ko. The museum was built with the funds of French embassy in Myanmar in the compound of the centre.
Then, the State Counsellor, members of Seedstars Academy and officials of Yangon Innovation Centre posed for a documentary photo together with union ministers, chairman of the Peace Commission, Yangon Chief Minister, speaker of Yangon Region parliament and regional ministers.
Next, the State Counsellor looked around inside the centre.
Yangon Innovation Centre was built by Switzerland-based Seedstars Academy under the supervision of Yangon region government. The centre will mainly support students and young people, and small and medium-scaled business firms with modern technologies and practices of innovations. It will also conduct training courses on business, management and entrepreneur skills, while providing assistance for implementation. The technical assistance will emphasize on agriculture and livestock, education, health, and financial sectors to ensure substantial benefits in relation with the geographical advantages of Myanmar.
Moreover, over 20 technological companies in the area of technology, travel and business will hold workshops and conduct training courses for students from high school level to university level.
The centre will become a hub for coworking space, supporting for business, organizing a three-month motivation programme for investment, weekly talks, shows, contests and discussions.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Union Minister U Min Thu, Thura U Aung Ko, Dr Aung Thu, U Thant Sin Maung, U Khin Maung Cho, Dr Than Myint, U Ohn Maung, Chairman of Peace Commission Dr Tin Myo Win, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein, Speaker of Yangon Region parliament U Tin Maung Tun, ministers of Yangon region government, Hluttaw representatives, departmental heads, ambassadors and officials of foreign missions, CEO and officials of Yangon Innovation Centre, members of Seedstars Academy, teachers and students of technology universities and the invited guests. —MNA

(Translated by Aung Khin)

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