BioMalaysia Announces New Collaborations


BIOMALAYSIA 2011 CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION AND THE 2011 PACIFIC RIM SUMMIT OPENS WITH STRATEGIC ANNOUNCEMENTS TO SPUR MALAYSIA’S BIOTECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY

BIOECONOMY AND BIOMASS STRATEGY AMONGST INITIATIVES ANNOUNCED TO DRIVE MALAYSIA’S BIOTECHNOLOGY AGENDA FOR PHASE 2 AND PHASE 3

Kuala Lumpur, November 21st 2011 – BioMalaysia 2011 and the 6th Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy was opened today by the Prime Minister of Malaysia YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak with strategic announcements on the pivotal role of a Bioeconomy in accentuating biotechnology’s share of economic output and the importance of the National Biomass Strategy to drive this initiative forward for Government and industry.

“Biotechnology offers solutions for many of the health and resource-based challenges including food, fuel and environment sustainability which are troubling the world”, Najib said, adding to his statement on the impact of biotechnology as being equal to that of digital technology on our everyday lives.

The rapid growth of the biotechnology industry has resulted in the emergence of innumerable economic activities. Bioeconomy, which encompasses the application of biotechnology to primary industries is slated to become one of the National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) for Malaysia, following in the footsteps of mature sectors such as the USA, China, Japan, The Netherlands, Germany and France.

Endorsed by the Biotechnology Implementation Council and chaired by the Prime Minister himself, the Bioeconomy NKEA will consolidate and converge to miximise participation of local private industry in the high-impact opportunities available within the bioeconomy space and ensuring continuity and implementation of all related national policies.

“To make bioeconomy work for Malaysia, we need to relook at how best to deploy our resources, enhance private-public partnerships not just on local but also international level, build strengths in focus areas, specialize and enhance service levels,” added Najib.

A Bioeconomy, he explained, is likely to involve “three elements: advanced knowledge of genes and complex cell processes, renewable biomass, and the integration of biotechnology applications across sectors.”

The Prime Minister has announced that, along with BiotechCorp, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and its other agencies will reveal a Bioeconomy roadmap for Malaysia by early next year.

Malaysia, through its National Biotechnology Policy (NBP) and the upcoming Bioeconomy initiatives, is among the leading Asian countries coordinating and intensifying national effort in maximizing the potential economic benefits of the entire biotechnology ecosystem and related value chains.

“Some of the focus areas our Bioeconomy will be looking at are Extracts, BioFeed ,BioControl BioFerstilisers, Genomics, BioSimilar and BioIndustrial. Our Bioeconomy is expected to generate 20,000 job opportunities by 2020.” he added.

As the world’s largest exporter of palm oil, Malaysia generates a lot of biomass, which holds tremendous potential for “high value add applications ranging from biofuels sector to bioplastics from cellulosic feedstock”. With an estimated value of USD11.14 billion in 2015, biomass is targeted to be a vital contributor in the agricultural and industrial industry.

Commenting on biomass, Najib said, “Collaboration between public and private institutions must be promulgated to unlock value from the breadth and depth of available biomass.”

Unveiling the country’s Biomass Strategy themed “Biomass to Wealth” at the opening ceremony, Najib explained how the Biomass Strategy will put “Malaysia on the map as the world leader in new, innovative and sustainable industries”. The Strategy will see the creation of new high value industries and 70,000 jobs of which 40,000 will be highskilled. Touching on the environmental aspect of the Strategy, Najib spoke of how the utilization of biogas for energy will lead to a reduction in emissions while the resulting surplus biomass to be utilized for high value-added applications. By 2020, the Biomass Strategy will generate RM30 billion in new income for Malaysia. The Strategy is developed by Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) in close collaboration with key government agencies, universities and business leaders.

The event also saw the launching of Center for Marker Discovery and Validation (CMDV) based in the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute (MARDI). MARDI is the custodian of the technology due to their extensive experience in the field of molecular agricultural genomics.

In conjunction with the launch, strategic collaborations involving BiotechCorp, MARDI and four other parties in the form of Memorandum of Agreements were announced, utilizing one a platform technology acquired by BiotechCorp namely the Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) platform. MAS uses DNA markers in the process of selecting desired plant varieties which will speed up the plant and animal breeding process by enabling variety development through selection of desired genotypes during the early stage of the breeding program.

The four agreements are:

  • Collaboration between BiotechCorp, MARDI and Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to utilize the services of the MAS platform technology for the purpose of genotyping the oil palm crop.
  • Collaboration between BiotechCorp, MARDI, and JEFI Aquatech Resources S/B (JEFI) to utilize the services of the MAS platform technology in the breeding of shrimps and other aquaculture products.
  • Collaboration between BiotechCorp, MARDI and Green World Genetics Sdn Bhd (GWG) to utilize the services of the MAS platform technology for the development of hybrid seeds of various crops.
  • Collaboration between BiotechCorp, MARDI, and Department of Agriculture (DOA) to utilize the services of the MAS platform technology to develop fingerprinting and seed purity testing of various crops.

Other collaborations executed and announced during the event are:

  • Memorandum of Collaboration between BiotechCorp and MIGHT on the formation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to transform biomass into high value products with participation from palm oil companies.
  • Strategic Collaboration Agreement between BiotechCorp and Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) towards the development, promotion, facilitation and funding of innovation in biotechnology / life sciences.
  • Memorandum of Agreement between AIM and GWG on the development and upscaling, commercialization and funding of National Seeding and its Initiatives.
  • Memorandum of Agreement between BiotechCorp and KRIBB which outlined the collaborative initiatives of both parties in providing specific training in the bioprocess related areas to Malaysian graduates who had previously undergone the Biotechnology Special Training (BeST) Program.
  • Memorandum of collaboration between Bio-XCell and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) towards the development of knowledge and skilled human capital, partnerships in research and development and shared resources.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between BiotechCorp, Intrasys Sdn Bhd and Exoreus Sdn Bhd towards the establishment of a venture capital and private equity fund dedicated to the development of the Malaysian biotechnology industry with potential fund size of USD100 million.
  • Strategic Collaboration between Technology Park Malaysia (TPM) and AT Lab Co. Ltd. for the discovery, investigation, research and development of herbal and botanical based cosmetic ingredients in Malaysia and transfer of technical knowledge in the in-vitro studies for anti-microbial, anti-aging, antiinflammatory, moisturizing and whitening.
  • Collaboration between Warisan Asal Sdn. Bhd. and ESG Kraeuter GmbH, Germany towards the formation of the joint venture as anchor partners in the areas relating to large scale farming, contract farming and business to business supplying dried herbal raw material for downstream and upstream products to the local, regional and international markets.

In supporting the Prime Minister’s announcement on Bioeconomy strategy, Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation commented “The Government is looking into various strategies including that of establishing Bioeconomy as one of the national Key Economic Areas (NKEA) in line with the New Economic Model and the Government Transformation Program.”

He added, “The transition towards and the development of a bio-based economy could bring about an industrial transformation, an improved quality of life and a revitalization of rural economies that is both transformative and sustainable. This is why we have adopted the theme “For Sustainability and Prosperity of the Nation, Region and the World”, as the theme of this year’s BioMalaysia event.

BioMalaysia 2011 achieves new significance with the co-organization of the 6th Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy which is being held for the first time outside of the US. “The organizing of the Pacific Rim Summit together with BioMalaysia this year is testament to the growing stature of BioMalaysia and the role it plays in the region and global biotech space,’ commented Dato’ Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal, Chief Executive Officer of BiotechCorp.

BioMalaysia 2011, which is being held for the ninth consecutive year, and the Sixth Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy event is organized by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), BiotechCorp, Biotechnology International Organization (BIO) and Protemp Exhibitions. The Conference and Exhibition will be held from November 21st till 23rd at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.

For the latest on BioMalaysia 2011, please log on to www.biomalaysia.com.my