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

If we didn't pass the screening - will there be feedback provided and can we reapply?

Yes. There will be some general feedback provided.


Can a company apply for more than one project?

Yes, but please note the NTIS programme only allows one application per company per cohort.


Can we apply for NTIS even though we plan to expand our product for the export market/version?



How long will this programme be ongoing for - is there still funds leftover?

The programme is ongoing with applications being processed on a monthly cohort basis.


Is there a sample of a complete NTIS submission for us to understand the standard required by NTIS?

No. We would not provide a sample of complete NTIS submission.


I have two product solutions. My question is do I have to apply with one cost or does each application have to have its own cost?

Each application has to have its own cost.


If we have been awarded a technology matching grant from MDEC previously, are we still entitled for this sandbox grant for another solution?



How would NTIS be involved in regional commercialisation? i.e.; regional bureaucracy/G2G

The NTIS focus is to help technology and regulatory adoption challenges locally.

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.

Eligibility Criteria

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.

Eligibility Criteria

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

Eligibility Criteria

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.

Eligibility Criteria

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.

Eligibility Criteria

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.

Eligibility Criteria

Is there an application fee?

There is no application fee.

Eligibility Criteria

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.

Eligibility Criteria

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.
Goals Of The National Technology And Innovation Sandbox

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/entityy

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.

If our collaborator is a university who has already received a grant for a particular project, can it be considered as Greenlane?

As long as the agency that provided you with the grant acknowledges your product and endorses your application, you are considered as part of the Greenlane application. However, it is subject to the completion of Greenlane endorsement steps as specified in the Greenlane endorsement guide.


All products developed by ABC are either wholly owned by ABC or jointly owned with client/project partner. Can ABC be an applicant for all its clients?

ABC can be an applicant as long as ABC has obtained the letter of ownership and letter of acknowledgement/ agreement from the technology owner/ technology joint-owner on using the technology as part of the sandbox testing. However, the fund will only be awarded to ABC and its client, technology owner and/or any persons identified by MTDC may be required to sign the Personal/Corporate Guarantee and Indemnity Agreement.


Is a company in-house HR portal system eligible for funding?

As long as it is a brand-new innovative product/business model/product that is facing any regulatory hurdles are eligible for funding. However, the product must be commercialised to the market.


If we have used our fund to get the products fully commercialised, can we get the grant in terms of a refund?

MTDC will only recognise any costs incurred for any particular projects for the period of three (3) months prior from the application date to MTDC.


For sandbox 3, please explain what does it mean with 'promissory note'?

A promissory note is a financial instrument that contains a written promise by one party (the note's issuer or maker) to pay another party (the note's payee) a definite sum of money, either on-demand or at a specified future date. Under this funding instrument, the value of the debt may be converted into equity in the form of preference shares. The conversion to equity will only be done upon mutual agreement of the fund recipient and MTDC. This arrangement would be similar to a soft loan.


If we manage to get a government project as a client, can we go under Green Lane?

No, you still need to follow the steps as per the Greenlane endorsement Guide.


If approved including funding, can we concurrently go for other government funding/grants?

The NTIS does not limit your application to other government funding/grants. However, please note that other grant/funding agencies may refer to the NTIS to find out about the funding received. MTDC has no restrictions on this. However, kindly note that you are not allowed to apply for the same item applied under the Sandbox Fund with other government funding/grants.


If we have applied for Sandbox funding, can we still make a normal application to MTDC for financing with ready projects?

Yes, MTDC’s funding programmes are independent of the NTIS programme. However, please note that MTDC does not allow funding of the same item/project.


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

You may reach us via email at


How do we prove the technology ownership for blockchain technology/web/mobile app?

An official certified true copy company letter that states that the application belongs to the company is sufficient to prove the technology ownership.


In regards to new technology developed fully in house, what kind of ownership proof is required?

An official certified true copy company letter that stated that the application belongs to the company is sufficient to prove the technology ownership.


Regarding the test lab report, do you have any format that we need to follow?

There is no prescribed format for the lab test report. As long as the lab test report provided shows that testing results and outcome of the testing’s, it is sufficient.


We have submitted our IP under MyIPO for our product but the registration is pending, can it be considered as our technology?

Yes, as long as you could provide the receipt of registration on the MyIPO registration.


Can a letter of agency be used as proof of ownership i.e. we are allowed to use the technology by the vendor?



How will the committee manage the technology that is also being developed by TPM/ MIMOS - will there be a conflict as TPM/ MIMOS is the evaluator?

We have two different technical evaluation teams.  Nonetheless if required, an external technical agency will also support the evaluation process.


How would our chances be if the application does not include a regulatory or policy change, but a policy recommendation?

Yes, a policy recommendation is sufficient for us to consider the approval of your application but it is subject to approval from by the Executive Selection Committee and Funding Committee


Do we get assistance on regulatory aspects overseas like the US EPA?

No. We will facilitate the regulatory assistance for local regulators only


Do we need any collaborator to apply for this grant such as the Ministry of Defence, CAAM, etc.?

No collaborator needed for you to apply for this grant.


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