GEORGETOWN, Oct 30 – It is great pleasure for me to be here today to witness the signing of the lease of Wisma Yeap Chor Ee (Ground Floor) between PENANG DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION and PENANG SCIENCE CLUSTER. Today’s event is a major milestone achieved by the Penang State Government in its vision to develop and enhance Science and Technology Human Capital for Penang, as outlined in the Penang Paradigm.
Through the Penang Science Cluster, we are setting up the largest Penang Science Cafe in the State, at the icon Wisma Yeap Chor Ee. As many of you may already know, the Penang Science Cluster was established in 2009 as a joint initiative between the State government, academia and the captains of the manufacturing industry – to rekindle interest in science and technology amongst the young, and create a channel to inspire the young people of Penang for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to establish Penang as Centre of Excellence.
The collaboration between the Penang State Government and the manufacting industries form the backbone of the PSC as part of Pubic, Private and people’s Partnership (PPP). Last week, we announced that the 2014 Penang International Science Fair will take place this coming November 15th to 16th, at the Subterranean Penang International Conference and Exhibition (SPICE) Centre.
CM Lim Guan Eng have also announced that this Science Fair will be the largest in the country, with over 50,000 visitors, with many firsts for Malaysia. Great Science fairs of this size and scope cannot happen overnight. Great science fairs are the results of hundred of parallel activities and collaboration over each year that are organized within a community creating the interesting innovations. This was exactly what the Penang Science Cluster had done.
Wisma Yeap Chor Ee is a beautiful heritage building that had been recognised as one of the key icons representing Penang’s rich heritage. In June this year, the Penang State Government, through Penang Development Corporation (PDC), signed a 30 years sub-lease of this building from the WAWASAN OPEN UNIVERSITY SDN BHD and will spend RM 5 million to restore it to its original magnificent state, to create one of the centres for creative multimedia development, the CreativeAnimation Triggers (CAT).
Today, we are witnessing the signing of the sub-sub-lease agreement between PDC and the Penang Science Cluster for ground floor of Wisma Yeap Chor Ee, for an area of twelve thousand nine hundred and twenty one square feet (12,921 sq.ft) for a period of 15 years. The first 10 years of rental is waived, where upon, monthly rental at RM1 per sq. feet, will be charged from the 11th year.
PSC will build the largest and best equipped Penang Science Cafe here, largely funded by the private enterprise. This centre will serve as the headquarters and focal point for the Penang Science Cluster to deliver best in class, hand-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) learning programs to young Malaysians with the objective of inspiring them to develop healthy interest in innovation through science.
We are all very excited about this milestone for Penang. Over the last 5 years, the activities from Penang Science Cluster had made a significant impact to Penang’s science outreach initiative. Currently, we already have over 51 schools spread out over the state that are benefiting from our robotics and embedded systems programs.
In additional, there are also over one hundred young innovators, which we call “makers”, actively working on their projects to be showcased in the upcoming Science Fair. Finally, we have over 2000 youngsters that went though our Science Cafe programs since January, at our satellite Penang Science Cafes at Krystal Point. The additional of this new Science Cafe at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee will be jewel in the crown as we strive to bring science to every corner of Penang, through more satellite Science Cafes.
Wisma Yeap Chor Ee has a total of about forty thousand square feet of space. (40,402 sq. ft.) While the ground floor is leased to PSC, the first and second floor will be leased to potential creative multimedia industry players, for our Creative Animation Trigger initiative. We believe, together with the Penang Science Cafe on the ground floor, we have all the makings of an extremely effective and vibrant ecosystem for the creative artist and innovative scientists to come together to create value in Penang – a truly “think and maker city”.
In conclusion, he would like to thank Keysight Technologies, the pillar head for the “Community Engagement and Entrepreneur Development” pillar of PSC, for their continuous commitment for the Penang Science Cafe rollout. He would like to thank all the other key contributing members from the other pillars of the PSC; B Braun, Intel, Business Wise, Dreamcatcher, Exabytes, Motorola, Minicircuits and National Instruments.