Grant will allow PichaEats to expand its food business that rebuilds lives of refugee families

SELANGOR, MALAYSIA (12 August 2020) — What began as a noble initiative to empower refugee families to be self-sufficient and able to send their children to school has earned PichaEats global recognition when it recently won the Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant. PichaEats beat thousands vying for the much sought-after Expo 2020 Dubai grant.

For its achievement, PichaEats was honoured at an event organised by the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre (MGTC) today in celebration of the International Youth Day themed “Youth Engagement for Global Action”.

MGTC is the implementing agency for Malaysia’s participation at the world expo while the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) is lead ministry.

The Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant programme funds novel and innovative solutions that make the world a better place. It has received over 11,000 applications so far and 142 global innovators, including PichaEats, have been offered grants of up to US$100,000 each. 

PichaEats received an acknowledgment from Deputy Commissioner-General of Malaysia for Expo 2020 Dubai, Dr. Mohd Nor Azman Hassan, who is also MOSTI Deputy Secretary-General. Also present were YAM Tunku Dato’ Seri Zain Al-‘Abidin Ibni Tuanku Muhriz who is brand ambassador for Malaysia Pavilion’s #MyButterflyEffect campaign, and MGTC Chief Executive Officer Shamsul Bahar Mohd Nor.

The #MyButterflyEffect Campaign aims to be a powerful tool for Expo 2020 as it carries the hope and idea that one small action will lead to great impact, and one small nation will create a great success.

“With the grant funding, PichaEats is able to continue our project with the refugee families and help them sustain through this tough time posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes  building a training and production space for them to train and cook,” PichaEats co-founder Suzanne Ling said.

“As the sole Malaysian entity to have won this grant, we are very excited to put Malaysia on the world map. We were lucky to join the Expo Live programme that brought together global innovators where we met many other innovators, and along the way, learned many amazing things which inspired us further,” Ling, 27, added.

PichaEats was founded in 2016 by a group of volunteer teachers who saw that many refugee children were forced to abandon their studies due to poverty. They were drawn to assist this community and came up with the idea to provide them opportunity to earn a living through the food business.

Meanwhile, also honoured at the event was Sean Lin, producer and co-founder of Studio Birthplace which has bagged more than 50 international awards for its films that advocate ecological and humanitarian causes.

The films have been screened in over 100 film festivals globally with his award-winning films including “Terraform” (2017), “Birthplace” (2018) and “Sleepless” (2019).

“Change begins with awareness. As filmmakers and more importantly, humans, we strongly believe it is our responsibility to shed light on these crucial topics. Stories have the power to drive positive change. So, let’s keep telling stories to build a more sustainable future,” Lin said.

Lin’s films will be among the contents featured at the Malaysia Pavilion amphitheater during Expo 2020 Dubai. 

Expo 2020 is a world exposition held to encourage international relations by congregating global countries as they exchange ideas, develop new thoughts and share their experience in various areas such as sustainability, education, business, technology and culture. 

Themed “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, Expo 2020 will be held from 1st Oct.  2021 to 31st March 2022 following a one-year postponement due to Covid-19. It will be participated by 192 countries as the first of such event to be held in the Middle East and North Africa region. Malaysia Pavilion’s theme is “Energising Sustainability”. 




Malaysia will be among 192 countries participating in Expo 2020 Dubai, scheduled for 1 Oct. 2021 to 31 March 2022. Themed “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, the world expo is the first to be held in the Middle East, Africa & South Asia regions.

Malaysia’s pavilion is self-built and depicts a Rainforest Canopy. It carries the theme “Energising Sustainability” to capture the nation’s commitment and approaches to sustainable development. It is the first pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai announced as net zero carbon.  Malaysia’s activities during the expo will include permanent displays, showcases, pocket talks, summits and forums, cultural performances, demos and 26 weekly thematic business programmes. The business weeks will be helmed and supported by 22 ministries, 40 agencies and 5 state governments.

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is the lead ministry for Malaysia’s participation at the mega event. Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre (MGTC) is the implementing agency.



Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre (MGTC) was formerly known as Malaysian Green Technology Corporation or GreenTech Malaysia. MGTC is a government agency under the purview of the Ministry of Environment & Water, mandated to lead the nation in the areas of Green Growth, Climate Change Mitigation and Climate Resilience and Adaptation.

Under Green Growth, MGTC focuses on three key areas:

  • Green Incentives and Certification
  • Green Advisory and Capacity Building
  • Green Promotion and Investment


Under its recently expanded scope, MGTC now focuses on Climate Change Mitigation and Climate Change Adaption through the following roles:

  • Policy Analysis
  • National Reporting
  • National Programmes Coordination (Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation)
  • Focal Point for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption Data
  • Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA)

MGTC is the Implementing Agency for Malaysia’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai.