Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


When will applications open for the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox?

Applications open on 15 July 2020.

Who are the regulators?

Government departments or agencies who oversee regulations and laws that oversee a certain industry.

Who are the NTIS implementation agencies?

MOSTI is spearheading the NTIS, supported by the NTIS Secretariat represented by MaGIC, TPM, MIMOS and Futurise to coordinate and facilitate its implementation.

How to partner with NTIS?

We welcome more partners to join us as industry and tech experts, investors, facility and programme providers. Please email to

What is the meaning of ‘Technology Readiness Level’ (TRL)?

‍TRL is a method for estimating the maturity of technologies during the acquisition phase of a programme, which is developed by NASA. It is divided into 9 levels as below:

TRL 1 – Ideation
Basics principles are observed and reported

TRL 2 – Innovation begins
Basic principles observed so practical applications can be formulated

TRL 3 – Proof of concept
Analytical and laboratory studies are required to see if the technology is viable

TRL 4 – Component test
Laboratory testing of the prototype component

TRL 5 – Prototype construction
Laboratory testing of the integrated system

TRL 6 – Alpha testing
Prototype system demonstrated in an operational environment

TRL 7 – Beta testing
Completed design tested in real environment

TRL 8 – Certification
Proven to work under its expected conditions and certified to be used

TRL 9 – System proven to successfully function
Ready for commercial deployment

Eligibility Criteria

Who can apply to the NTIS?

Malaysian individuals or Malaysian-owned companies. The primary applicant must be a Malaysian citizen above 18 years old and residing in Malaysia.

How long is the application process?

Applications will be processed in cohorts (batches). Each cohort will usually require  31 working days of processing, subject to the completeness of information submitted.

Applicants will be notified on the status of their application by email once it has been screened.

How do I apply to the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox?

Applications are open from 15 July 2020 onwards. The online form is available at

Is there a need for a prototype?

NTIS applicants’ solution must be  at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6. TRL is a method for estimating the maturity of technologies during the acquisition phase of a programme, developed at NASA. 

How will NTIS ensure that ideas submitted by applicants are not shared, sold or stolen?

Provide high-level concepts for the initial application process. Ideas submitted will receive email acknowledgement by the secretariat and is an overview of the concept. Submission will be kept strictly private and accessible to the secretariat only.

Is there a limit to the number of submissions per applicant?

There is no limit to the number of applications but all applicants are strongly encouraged to  prioritise their projects.

Is there an application fee?

There is no application fee.

What are the technology areas accepted for NTIS?  
NTIS is open to all technologies, with priority given to the followings:

1. 5G/6G
2. Sensor Tech
3. 4d/5d printing
4. Advanced Material  
5. Advanced Intelligent Systems
6. Augmented Analytics & Data Recovery
7. Blockchain  
8. Neuro Tech  
9. Bioscience Tech
10. Robotic
11. Manufacturing Tech
12. Electrical & Electronics
13. Cybersecurity & Encryption
14. Drones

NTIS can consider foreign technology provided that the solutions are owned by a Malaysian majority owned company. However, this solution is not eligible for funding under MTDC.

What is a Greenlane application?

For an application to be considered for Greenlane, the applicant would need to have received financing from a government ministry, agency or GLC.

For more information on Greenlane, kindly refer to the guide in the application form.

Selection Criteria

What is the criteria for NTIS application

Malaysian Individual or Malaysian-Owned Company 

Foreign companies -  JV plans / incorporation of Malaysian-owned entity upon approval of application

Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 6 (Commercial Ready Prototype) and above

Have proof of technology ownership / permission to use the technology

Problems & Issues relating to market access / regulation

Goals Of The National Technology And Innovation Sandbox

What is the purpose of the NTIS?

To drive talent development so the country reaches its potential of becoming a high tech nation.

To create an alternative route for local technology solution providers to access government procurement.

To increase sector productivity through the use of advanced technology.

To accelerate R&D and commercialisation by working with regulators to relax rules and regulations for a controlled testing environment.

To enhance Malaysia’s digital infrastructure and technology platforms.

Increase the innovation and commercialisation rate.

Outcome of the NTIS

Address challenges facing society and the government at the national, federal and local level, which includes:

Reduce foreign national labour dependency.

Increase employment opportunities for Malaysians.

Increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP) / Gross National Income (GNI).

Increase participation, investment and collaboration in research by the private sector.

Increase the innovation and commercialisation rate.


What is the role of MTDC in the NTIS?

MTDC’s role is to provide relevant funding for products/technologies/ services that resulted from local R&D output or innovations from prototype to commercialisation stage, which have been accepted into the National Technology & Innovation Sandbox programme. MTDC will facilitate access to funding for SMEs/startups to develop and to conduct validation processes or to commercialise their products/technologies/services in a controlled environment (sandbox). Besides that, MTDC will also be responsible to monitor the utilisation of the approved funds.

What are the funds offered by MTDC via the NTIS programme?

There are four funds offered by MTDC via the NTIS program as follows:

Sandbox Fund 1 (Single Site Sandbox);

Sandbox Fund 2 (Multiple Site Sandbox);

Sandbox Fund 3 (Commercialisation Sandbox); and

Sandbox Fund 4 (Corporate Sandbox).

Will the project be fully funded?

For the Sandbox Fund 1, funding will be in the form of a 100 percent grant for all eligible costs*.

For the Sandbox 2,3 & 4, the funding will be 70 percent of all eligible costs* according to the determined maximum quantum.

*Eligible costs for the funds include, but are not limited to the following:

Technology Licensing/Consultation Fees;

Purchase of Equipment/Machinery (Sandbox Fund 3 & 4 only);

Product registration/regulatory compliance costs;

Cost of Production;

IP registration;

Technology & Market Validation Activities;

Marketing & Promotional Costs (Sandbox Fund 3 & 4 only); and

Operational Expenditures.

Who is eligible to apply for funds under this programme?

The funds are open to all Malaysian Companies registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia, excluding sole proprietorships. The eligibility for each fund is subjected to additional terms and criteria which have been determined for each fund.

What is the type of fund instrument offered by MTDC under National and Technology Innovation Sandbox program - grant, loan or equity?

For the Sandbox Fund 1 and 2, the funding instrument is grant.

For the Sandbox Fund 3, the instrument is in the form of grant and Convertible Promissory Notes.

Whist for the Sandbox Fund 4, the funding mechanism will be mutually decided between MTDC and the corporate investor/entity.

What is the funding quantum?

The quantum of funding is between RM250,000 and RM4 million depending on the funding schemes.

How will the disbursement process be?

For Sandbox 1 & 2, the disbursement of the fund shall be made via milestone basis. MTDC shall make payment once the set milestone is achieved.

For Sandbox 3, the disbursement shall be made via matching payment on a claim basis.

What are the minimum criteria to apply for funding under NTIS program?

Applicants must be successfully accepted into the NTIS programme

The applicant must be a registered company in Malaysia which has at least 51% ownership by Malaysians and the primary base of operations is in Malaysia.

What is the Sandbox Fund Application Process?

All applicants must first apply for the NTIS Programme via

Once the application is accepted into the NTIS programme, the NTIS Secretariat shall notify MTDC. An officer from MTDC will contact the successful applicants to guide the applicant through the fund application process.

What is the duration of the Sandbox Funding?

Duration of the Sandbox Funding is as follows:-

Sandbox Fund 1: 6 months

Sandbox Fund 2: 6 months

Sandbox Fund 3: 18 months

Sandbox Fund 4: Between 6 to 18 months depending on the project requirements.

How can I get in touch with the Sandbox Fund Team?

You may reach us via email at