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Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in RA News

Coming soon


The 8th Belait Travel Fair this March. Click image to check out updates on Facebook.



AITI Grant recipients


Dato Paduka Haji Awang Alaihuddin, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Communications and Hj Yahkup, Chief Executive of AITI, with the grant recipients standing behind. Congratulations!!

The Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) recently held a grant award ceremony for four successful recipients of the “AITI GRANT for Development of Local ICT and Digital Media Industries”.

The event took place at Seri Kerna Hall of AITI Building in Kg. Anggerek Desa and was officiated with the contract signing between Awang Haji Yahkup bin Haji Menudin, Chief Executive of AITI and all four (4) grant recipients, namely Awangku Mohd Khairi bin Pengiran Haji Metusin of PHMD Publishing Company, Tien Kai Ping of SocialBuzz Advertising, Haji Kairulazhar bin Haji Rosli of Cinematicpro Services and Haji Suhardi bin Haji Suhaimi of Media Hikmah.

This important event was witnessed by the Guest of Honor, Yang Mulia Dato Paduka Haji Awang Alaihuddin bin Pehin Orang Kaya DiGadong Seri Lela Dato Seri Utama Haji Awg Mohammad Taha, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications who is also the Chairman of AITI; Yang Mulia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yusof, Members of Authority of AITI and representatives from various stakeholders from the ICT and digital media industries.

PHMD Publishing Company was granted with B$152,000 for their “Salam Halal” project which is an enhancement of its Salam Halal Verification and Tracking System using Augmented Reality Technology.

Meanwhile, SocialBuzz Advertising was awarded with B$198,000 for their project called “The Gigland”. It is a unique project on global geo-location based online marketplace for buyers and sellers of online mini/micro services. Their product will be made available on website, mobile apps and as a Facebook application.

The third successful recipient was Cinematicpro Services with grant of B$66,640 for the business to develop and produce a 3D animation trailer for “Sam, the Inventorbot”.

Media Hikmah was the last recipient who received B$48,160 for their 3D animation trailer “The Little Warrior”.

Guests witnessing the signing ceremony for the grant recipients

Mr. Hiro of Socialbuzz Advertising receiving the grant from Hj Yakhup, Chief Executive of AITI


Media Hikmah receiving the grant from Hj Yakhup, Chief Executive of AITI

One of the grant recipients

Since its inception in 2010, AITI has, to date, awarded grant to eight local ICT businesses for development of products ranging from various ICT solutions, digital animation and e-learning, with an overall amount of B$1.2 million funded under the 9th National Development Plan. These recipients are MARS Enterprise, Crescent Sdn Bhd, John Harith Technology Sdn Bhd, Alif Technologies Sdn Bhd, BruGPS Technologies Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Indah Sejahtera Development and Services Sdn Bhd, ZimacSilicon Technologies Sdn Bhd and Ambuyart Animations Company.

According to the Chief Executive of AITI in his opening remarks, “For this round of grant application, we have expanded our scope of financial assistance to cover not only ICT but also the digital multimedia area, as we see there are also equal needs to support the development of local contents for Brunei especially in the area of creative digital multimedia.” He further added that AITI has received 21 applications and shortlisted 9 of them.  The project proposals were evaluated based on four main criteria; technical merits, commercial potential, financial resources, project plan and capacity to deliver. Further evaluation also emphasized on Brunei-Made elements of the proposed product.

AITI’s Grant was initiated to assist the local ICT companies to further develop their ICT products and encourage Research and Development activities and capabilities in producing local innovative Brunei Made products with commercial potential through Government funding.

There are four types of AITI GRANT that an applicant can apply, namely:

1. Product Development  – for developing prototypes or concept testing;
2. Product Enhancement – for improving and upgrading existing products;
3. Product Ownership – for obtaining certification and quality management systems; and
4. Product Marketing Grant – for marketing and improving existing packaging, design or labeling.

The Grant amount varies depending on the type of Grant applied and the classification of the business. Each applicant is allowed to apply for more than one Grant type for the same product within two years’ project duration.
I’m not sure when is the next batch for application. It could be in the later half of the year. For more details and guidelines about the AITI Grant Scheme, information is available for download at AITI’s website www.aiti.gov.bn/AITIGRANT, and for further enquiries, interested parties can contact Ms Farihah Haji Md Said or the ICT Industry Development Group at 2323232 (during office hours).


One of the previous grant recipients, BruGPS showing his progress from the grant

One of the most successful rising star in the past year and now he’s concentrating on his new project, Gigland

The Salam Halal project should be very interesting too. Can’t wait!!


Die-cast exhibition a success!!


Last Sunday, Brunei Hot Wheel lovers organised the first Die-cast exhibition and there were 14 vendors who participated in the event. It was also another great avenue to showcase the talents of Die-Cast enthusiasts. I missed the event but thanks to Hadi Iskandar and the organiser, Zulhazmi Azhan for the pictures. Let’s hope for more of these events in the near future.

One of the custom made models to commemorate Brunei Darussalam’s 29th National Day.

The organisers of Die-Cast exhibition


Great printer for SMEs


Printer development is showing no signs of slowing down in the technology-savvy Brunei market as Concepts Computers continues to introduce new models of its Epson range of all-in-one printers to compete with third-party alternatives. It unveiled the Epson L550, an all-in-one original integrated ink tank system printer, which will go on sale in the consumer and business markets in Brunei.

Amidst the influx of external ink printers on the market over the years, the shop, which distributes Epson-branded printers, is hoping the L550 printer will bring back customers that have been looking at third-party solutions.

Zul Abdul Rahman, the marketing executive at Concepts, said the L550 is Epson’s answer to years of defective third-party ink tank modifications to its printers.

“In the past, we normally discouraged the use of external ink printers because they will easily ruin the printer, but now Epson has made it safe and affordable,” he said.

Zul said manufacturers would continue to improve on printers by introducing cost-efficient solutions so that they remain relevant to the market.

For a long time, consumers have considered printer ink cartridges to be expensive, which led many to turn to third-party ink tank refill solutions.

The Epson L550 will be selling for $418, inclusive of six 70ml bottles of original ink.

Zul said the low cost of consumables $10 per bottle and with an expected print yield of 4,000 pages ensured low-cost high-volume printing.

“We believe our customers will be very happy with the $10 price tag we put on these original ink bottles,” he added.

While the industry is going paperless with the advent of digital documents and digital publishing, Zul said the printer market was still going strong in Brunei, particularly in the education sector where students were still required to produce hard copies of their project work.

“There is still strong demand here. We constantly replenish our stock of black inks as students keep coming back to buy them,” Zul said.

Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer and Zul Abdual Rahman, Marketing Executive of Concepts Computer displaying the new Epson printers

The most cost effective printer – Epson L550 – and very ideal for SMEs

Vincent Pao, Concepts general manager, said sales of Epson-branded printers from his store had been very good over the years due to the brand’s value-for-money price point.

Its previous printer, the Epson L210, the first to introduce the original ink tank system, has sold over 1,000 units in Brunei, Pao said.

The shop yesterday also launched two new Epson laser printers, the $338 AcuLaster C1700 colour laser printer for home and small office users, and the high-end $668 Aculaser CX17N for medium and large enterprises.

Replacement toners for the printers cost $98 per cartridge per colour.

With the launch of the new printers, Pao said that Epson and Concepts would be expanding its range to offer wider selections of printers to cater to schools and businesses looking to chose the most suitable model for their low-cost printing needs in Brunei.

“Epson is not only catering to the needs of everyday users but also to the needs of SMEs. This will ensure that Epson will have a high market range when it comes to choices so that customers can perfectly purchase a printer exactly to their needs,” Pao said.

“Printers that offer big savings is the key point that we are trying to share, and we hope local SMEs understand what Concepts Computer and Epson have to offer.” Text courtesy of Al-Haadi Abu Bakar of The Brunei Times.


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