Evelyn June Charlie, co-founder of Creative IT Hub in Sabah, Malaysia, speaking during the first meeting of the Friends of Creative Economy in Nusa Dua, Bali, last week. (Photo courtesy of WCCE)

Sabah's First Creative IT Hub Seeks to Virtually Connect Talent

NOVEMBER 17, 2018

Jakarta. With the youth starting to assume an increasingly larger role globally in developing the creative economy, an information technology hub in Sabah, Malaysia, seeks to provide both local and regional talent with a platform to show off their work.

The hub, believed to be the first in Sabah, had a soft launch in October and will officially open in January next year. It will provide a virtual platform to connect people and support creators to digitalize their creative content, especially in the gaming and performing arts communities.

"In my place, Sabah, we discovered there's a lot of potential and talented young people who have done their best creatively, but all of their efforts are scattered here and there. This is where the needs of the creative hub came about," Evelyn June Charlie, co-founder of Creative IT Hub, told the Jakarta Globe on the sidelines of the World Conference on Creative Economy in Nusa Dua, Bali, last week.

The program allows performers to participate in competitions by uploading their videos online, thereby allowing more people to join.

Creative IT Hub, which is a private initiative, hopes to attract foreign investors before its grand launch. Evelyn said she and co-founder Ting Yi Hang would also meet with the Malaysian government, including the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, to seek support.

She said feedback so far had been positive, which highlights the fact that Malaysia needs a creative economy council.

The hub plans to host a regional dance competition and an e-sports tournament on Borneo Island next year.

"We believe events create platforms – a crowd-puller – to deliver our message and our vision," Evelyn said.

Plans include collaborations with partners in the East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), which comprises Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, aimed at creating a solid network of creative hubs in the region.

The group, established in 1994, aims to accelerate economic development in an area with a total population of more than 70 million. Evelyn said her virtual hub for the creative industry should serve the group well.

"We will start by creating a network here to serve as a solid foundation before moving forward, because the digital world is borderless," she said.

Evelyn, who also heads the BIMP-EAGA's sociocultural education cluster, envisions the Sabah Creative IT Hub as the beginning of a much larger, inclusive endeavor.

"We still need a lot of input, especially on the creative side. We hope that through this initiative, it may also assist to achieve the objective of our strategic priorities – people-to-people connectivity and sociocultural exchange," she said.