The addition of TOY EIGHT to GKL Live Lab signals foreign investors' confidence in Greater KL’s competitive advantages for innovative, knowledge-intensive industries while growing local champions.

KUALA LUMPUR, 20 JANUARY 2022 — InvestKL, the leading investment promotion agency for Malaysia’s capital city announced the joining of Japanese artificial intelligence (AI)-backed edutech startup Toybox Creations and Technology (TOY EIGHT) to the Greater Kuala Lumpur (GKL) Live Lab programme.
GKL Live Lab was launched in April 2021 to position Greater KL as an innovation and ideation smart city, acting as a testbed where foreign companies experimenting with new and disruptive ways to solve the most challenging problems in the world today can bring their ideas to life while collaborating with local players. It aims to create high-value and future-ready jobs, as well as deepen our local ecosystem with more sophisticated and complex activities. GKL Live Lab, through InvestKL’s Business Ecosystem Collaboration (BEC) programme, provides a platform for multinational companies to have productive business relationships with local academia and Malaysian companies. It creates an integrated and holistic ecosystem.
TOY EIGHT is currently developing an AI-based tool that democratises developmental assessment for preschoolers via a smartphone. Designed by an ex-Nintendo game designer, it analyses children at play to understand their characteristics and strengths. This is part of TOY EIGHT’s collaboration with Sunway University, which aims to address socio-educational issues in Southeast Asia by making developmental assessment affordable and accessible whilst rapidly improving the understanding of child developmental levels in different communities and areas.

Through the GKL Live Lab, Sunway iLabs (iLabs Foundry) connected TOY EIGHT to two psychology researchers from Sunway University’s School of Medical and Life Sciences, Dr Woo Pei Jun and Dr Wo Su Woan who worked closely with TOY EIGHT’s technical team for 12 weeks.

This collaboration resulted in a localised AI system that focuses on early childhood development including motor skills, fine motor, cognitive, receptive language, and expressive language. The AI system aims to assist young parents in Malaysia to recognise what their children are naturally good at and unlock their talents through personalised learning content, whilst identifying areas of concerns or delay so parents can seek early assistance from professionals. The AI system is currently undergoing pre-commercialisation validation for the Malaysian market by Associate Prof. Dr. Rafidah Aga and Dr. Ponmalar Alagappar of the University of Malaya.

Masaki Ishibashi, Founder and CEO of TOY EIGHT, said, “GKL Live Lab resources were very helpful in developing and implementing an AI-based assessment system aligned with Malaysia's practices, following the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education of Malaysia. We were able to obtain all the support needed to implement solutions to educational challenges in Southeast Asia by making full use of innovative technologies and precedent cases.”

Professor Sibrandes Poppema, President of Sunway University, said, “Sunway University is very serious about university-industry collaboration in accordance with the 10-10 MySTIE framework, combining innovative ideas from our scientists with the ability of industry partners to make the resulting products widely available to the public.”

iLabs Foundry also connected TOY EIGHT with local communities, facilitated the startup’s access to new talents from Sunway University, and conducted a pilot trial with Sunway Business Units including using Sunway City as a testbed for TOY EIGHT’s innovations.

Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli, CEO of InvestKL, said, “TOY EIGHT and Sunway University’s co-developed edutech project is the latest addition to our cohort of exciting GKL Live Lab projects, and yet another vote of confidence in Greater KL as an innovation and ideation smart city. Companies are now reviewing their local and global business strategies due to the changes brought by Covid-19, resulting in many pivoting to prioritizing innovation and digitalisation. GKL Live Lab incentivises these forward-looking companies to commit new or increase their investments in Greater KL.”

GKL Live Lab focuses on driving innovation, accelerating digital adoption and deepening the local ecosystem. Key industry sectors for local and multinational collaborations are technology products and services; medical technology, autonomous vehicle; future mobility; pharmaceutical or medical testing and clinical trials; R&D, design, and development; deep and emerging technology; and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG).

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