Bioeconomy refers to all economic activity that is derived from the continued commercial application of biotechnology. It encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, chemicals, energy and healthcare wellness products via innovative and efficient technologies.
In addition to being a key contributor to economic growth, the bioeconomy benefits the society and nation through breakthroughs in agricultural productivity, discoveries in healthcare and the adoption of sustainable industrial processes, while helping to meet the most pressing global challenges, such as the increasing global population, depletion of fossil fuel and natural resources, and increasing environmental pressures and climate change.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates bioeconomy’s global contribution at an average of 2.7% to GDP by 2030. Recognising the significance of a bio- based economy to the future national growth and strength, major world economies such as the United States and the European Union have already begun initiating their own bioeconomy plans and blueprints in the recent year.
Malaysia, as one of the most competitive biotechnology hubs in the Asia Pacific Region, has also recognised the importance of a bioeconomy, and has taken early critical steps in coordinating and intensifying national efforts to harness bioeconomy’s potential through the implementation of the Bioeconomy Transformation Programme (BTP).
Bioeconomy Transformation Programme (BTP) is a platform provided by the government for the private sector to channel and maximise commercial opportunities based on biotechnology. Through the BTP, the government and leading industry players will work in tandem to set national goals for the application of biotechnology in agriculture production, industrial manufacturing and human health, put in place the structural conditions required and develop necessary mechanisms to ensure that policy can flexibly adapt to new opportunities.
The BTP is one of the implementation strategies under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). It is introduced as a Transformation Programme based biotechnology’s ability to cut across various different industries and potential to transform Malaysia into a high income, inclusive and sustainable economy.
The BTP’s vision is to develop Malaysia as a global high income bioeconomy by 2020 and is a continuation of the implementation of strategies outlined in the National Biotechnology Policy. The BTP intends to develop biotechnology as an engine for national economic growth, while simultaneously act as a catalyst to enhance and complement the ETP.
BTP aims to promote a knowledge based bioeconomy through the establishment of a sustainable ecosystem of R&D, commercialisation in the areas of agriculture, healthcare and industrial biotechnology and fostering public-private interactions in developing and exploring high-impact opportunities in biotechnology.
The BTP has been endorsed by Malaysia’s Biotechnology Implementation Council and launched by the Honorable Prime Minister of Malaysia during ICM meeting on 30 October 2012. Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) has been appointed as the lead Ministry, with Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation Sdn Bhd (BiotechCorp) as the implementation agency.
The BTP aims to increase private sector investment in the biotechnology industry and reduce the industry’s dependence on public funds for development. In other words, the BTP is an initiative that enables the private sector to act as the main driver for the development of the country’s biotechnology industry, with strong support from the public sector.
Furthermore, the BTP also provides the opportunity for the application of biotechnology to complement and add value to the existing products & services, production processes, business models and financial returns of other industries. The BTP targets investments amounting to RM10 billion, creation of 16,300 new jobs a GNI of RM3.6 billion by 2020.
In addition to the biotechnology industry, the BTP also focuses on other industries and economic sectors that produce, manage and utilize biological resources, including agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food production, healthcare, chemicals and renewable energy.
|TROPICAL AGRO-BIOTECHNOLOGY||INNOVATIVE HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS & SERVICES||RENEWABLE BIO-RESOURCES|
The shortlisted Entry Point Projects (EPPs) are focused on three areas, i.e. tropical agro-biotechnology, renewable bioresources as well as innovative healthcare products and services.
The 10 shortlisted EPPs include industrial bio inputs, biochemicals, biomaterials, bio-based farm inputs, high value bioingredients, high value food varieties, biosimilars, drug discovery, molecular screening, as well as stem cells and regenerative medicine in Malaysia. However, the number of EPPs under the BTP is expected to increase as new biotechnology projects are identified.
Click here to apply for Bioeconomy Transformation Programme (BTP)