K.K.I.P. Sdn Bhd. with Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation Sdn. Bhd. signed a Collaboration Proposal Agreement today for the development of Biotechnology Hub at Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP). The ceremony marks the starting point for joint collaboration between the two companies for the development and promotion of KKIP to local and international investors in particular domestic and foreign investments in bio-based and biotechnology ventures.
The proposed KKIP Biotech Hub will be located on a 30 acres land at Commercial Zone 1 Phase 2 within the park, with a possible expansion on another 100 acres land. The Biotech Hub will be designed to accommodate attractive offerings in biotechnology facilities, innovation capital and ecosystem that caters and focuses on Sabah’s biodiversity’s potential. This facility will enable companies to access multidisciplinary capabilities in a single location, provide strategic partnership opportunities for companies, researchers and organizations and accelerates bio-based and biotechnology discovery and development.
BiotechCorp, an agency under the purview of Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), is the lead development agency for the bio-based industry in Malaysia. BiotechCorp has been facilitating the growth of the bio-based industry in Sabah through numerous initiatives, including the implementation of four high impact Bioeconomy Transformation Programme (BTP) projects in Sabah which utilise new technologies, drawing significant investments while creating new skilled, high-paying jobs for Malaysians. The projects are expected to contribute RM858.4 million of GNI in 2020, RM2.73 billion in investments and 4,636 jobs by the year 2020.
Dato Dr. Mohd Nazlee Kamal, Chief Executive Officer of BiotechCorp said, “This collaboration signifies BiotechCorp’s continuous efforts to further enhance bio-based activities in Sabah and drive new sources of economic growth in the state. The KKIP Biotech Hub has the potential to transform Sabah into a thriving bio-based center by providing the necessary infrastructure, conducive ecosystem, skilled knowledge workers and support services, which in turn will contribute to the state’s wealth creation processes. I believe that with the establishment of this hub, we can really tap into Sabah’s wealth of bio-based strengths including rich natural resources, strong aquaculture activities and availability of raw materials for producing biochemicals.”
BiotechCorp intends to promote bio-based activities at KKIP via multiple channels. Sabah state has the largest acreage of palm oil plantation (1.5mil hectare) and production of crude palm oil (5.7mil tonnes). This opens up opportunities in the bio-based industry at various levels from upstream to downstream activities. The bioindustrial companies can leverage on this large palm oil and palm biomass resources as feedstock. The burgeoning agbiotech activities in the animal feed and aquaculture sub sectors would also be interesting for KKIP. Due to the rich biodiversity of Sabah, KKIP could contribute to the biomedical sector by developing nutraceuticals through drug discovery activities. KKIP can focus on the Bioeconomy Transformation Programme (BTP), a platform provided by the Malaysian government to channel and maximize commercial opportunities in bio-based industries. Through the BTP, Bioeconomy will benefit the society and nation through breakthroughs in agricultural productivity, discoveries in healthcare and the adoption of sustainable industrial processes.
KKIPSB’s Chief Executive Officer, Ir. Melvin Disimond said, “With the expansion of Sepanggar port, we are keen to capitalize on the spinoffs from the logistics and transshipment activity while continuing our focus on resource based downstream industries and also import substitution industries. Bio-based and biotechnology is another ventures where we see great prospect and KKIP’s focus on Sabah’s biodiversity potential and Sabah’s strategic locations could be a potent combination for bio-based and biotechnology companies.”
“This project is also in line with KKIPSB’s initiatives to present Sabah as an attractive investment destination for biotech related opportunities and can serve as a nexus for Biotech related companies to grow and thrive in this region. Both KKIPSB and BiotechCorp have put great emphasis on developing Sabah’s biotech industry as the next economic growth engine. KKIPSB believe that this represents an excellent opportunity to replicate the successful model of the Bio-Xcell Park in Johor.”
Established as a self-contained industrial park since 1995, KKIP to date has created approximately 8,766 job opportunities and currently houses 288 factories with investment value amounting to RM2.688 billion. With the new strategic ventures, the new biotech hub would enhance the appeal of Sabah as an investment destination in the Asean region.
The MOU was signed by Ir. Melvin Disimond, Chief Executive Officer of K.K.I.P. Sdn. Bhd and Dato’ Dr. Mohd Nazlee Kamal, Chief Executive Officer of BiotechCorp. The signing ceremony was witnessed by YB Datuk Hjh. Jainab Datuk Seri Panglima Ahmad Ayid, Minister of Community Development and Consumer Affairs cum Deputy Chairman of KKIPSB, KKIPSB’s Management, BiotechCorp’s Management, and officials from MIDA Sabah, MITI Sabah, Sabah Biodiversity Centre and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).