BUKIT MERTAJAM, Sept 15, 2014:The Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry plans to implement a “buy-back” policy for local innovative products so that they can be commercialised. Deputy Minister Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah will propose the idea to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and request for a RM500 million allocation to buy innovative products from local researchers to be commercialised. “Malaysia has to become an exporter of technology in order to achieve its aspiration of becoming a high-income nation and the ‘buy-back’ policy can prove the commercial value of innovative products to the local market. “For instance, the ministry can buy innovative products produced by local universities, such as teaching aids, which can be used in schools and institutes of higher learning,” he told reporters after the 14th Convocation Ceremony of Politeknik Seberang Perai here today. A total of 1,265 graduates received their diplomas at the two-day ceremony which started yesterday. Abu Bakar said the ministry was also targeting 360 local research and development (R&D) products to be produced in six years until 2020. “This means that every year we have to produce at least 60 local R&D products which can be successfully commercialised in supermarkets, convenience stores and any other business premises to ensure that these innovative products are not wasted. “In the 9th Malaysia Plan, the government allocated RM3.2 billion for R&D grants, while in the 10th Malaysia Plan, RM850 million was allocated for the same purpose.” He said the public should also change their perception and have faith in local innovative products. “The government is working to ensure that local innovative products can be commercialised. However, society’s attitude in not having faith in local products is making it difficult to develop and compete with foreign brands. “It is high time the people had confidence in Malaysian researchers because we cannot go on being a nation which is a ‘user of technology’ instead of being an ‘exporter of technology’,” he said.