KL Converge! To Benefit Creative Industry

Last update: 15/09/2014

By Kurniawati Kamarudin


KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- The creative industry in U.S. has contributed no less than US$3 trillion to its economy.

In Malaysia, the industry is only contributing 1.3 per cent to the national gross domestic product (GDP), unlike South Korea or Japan that contributes between five and seven per cent to their GDP.

However, the industry has promising potential in Malaysia. It is owing to that a conference called KL Converge! is being held for the first time here, as an avenue to channel ideas and disseminate digital materials online. It will also be Malaysia's platform towards becoming Asean's premier hub for media and digital communication.

The three-day conference is taking place from Sept 17 to 19 the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) and is organised by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

The MCMC Chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Mohamed Tarmizi said is was the best platform for industry players in the multimedia, content, communications and creative fields to exchange ideas and explore new opportunities.

The conference theme revolves around "see", "touch", "feel", "hear", "show", and "speak" and will be translated across various pavilions from different countries and corporations, with live demos and display of apps, games, shorties, films and TV shows.


IMPORTANCE OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY

Today, millions of people depend on apps to run daily tasks.

The demand for digital content is extremely high and diverse, covering various fields from entertainment to research.

Mohamed Sharil said the topic would be the main focus of KL Converge! 2014, especially in terms of the local developments in the field.

Malaysia ranks fourth in the world when it comes to broadband and app usage in the past five years.

The digital system for the national television stations are also in the midst of developing content and completing its transmission infrastructure before starting its operations next year.

He said KL Converge! would be an initiative for MCMC to scout for talent and local content for the upcoming Malaysian Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).

"The digital TV station would be an addition to the current stations. We are looking to invest in local content so that there would be a sizeable number of people in the industry when it is up and running", he said.


INDUSTRY FOCUS

The conference will see the participation of major names in the creative and animation industries, such as special effects guru Namit Malhotra who worked on the movie Transformers and Roger Christian from Star Wars.

Also attending the conference would be renowned arranger and composer Steve Sidwell as well as popular directors from LucasFilm, Prime Focus and Animation VFX.

"The local creative and animation industry practitioners should utilise this opportunity to collaborate with these professionals to produce works that can penetrate the international market particularly in Hollywood, Bollywood and Asean", said Mohamed Sharil.


BEST SHOT

Many of the local industry players found the organisation of KL Converge! timely.

"We in the creative industry have long waited for a conference like this", said the CEO of FUNCEL Sdn Bhd, Azrul Hassani. The company was involved in the production of animated films.

He said Malaysia was only preceded by Singapore in the Asean creative industry.

"Malaysia's desire to become the media and digital communication hub is in line with the vast number of available job opportunities in the industry", he said.

He said the field of animation was not simply limited to the creation of films but merchandising as well.

"A good example is the animation Upin and Ipin. Its marketing strategy has resulted in a solid branding system that has enabled it to succesfully branch into merchandising", said Azrul whose company produces the animated series Satria with the aid of Japanese technology.


FARMING WITH IT

There are also companies who use the internet-based technology called the "Internet of Things" in the fishery industry.

Aquagrow Corporation Sdn Bhd uses the Integrated Aquaculture Intelligent Solution (IAIS) in marine fish farming.

Its CEO Mohamed Razali Mohamed hoped that KL Converge! would help people realise that more people that the creative industry was also needed in farming and other sector besides the arts and entertainment industry.

He gave the example of Norway that employed the technology in its salmon-breeding industry, resulted in an increase of production to 600,000 tonnes a year, and an income of billions of ringgit.

The system allows for lesser manpower and the monitoring of fish and the quality of water and temperature through a cloud computing system.

Aquagrow will be sharing its experiences with the technology at the conference, he said.

Some 20,000 participants are expected to attend the conference. Details on schedule and registration can be obtained at www.klconverge.com

-- BERNAMA