Bioeconomy an Important Catalyst for Economic Growth
Kuala Lumpur, 20 November 2014 – Malaysia’s premier biotechnology event BioMalaysia & Bioeconomy Asia Pacific 2014, ended today, after two days of Conference and Exhibition at the University of Malaya Research Management and Innovation Complex, Kuala Lumpur. The event was officiated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak on 19 November 2014 and attracted more than 3000 trade visitors and guests.
Themed “Partnership for Innovation, Investment and Growth for the Bio-Based Industry”, the biotechnology annual conference and exhibition featured discussion topics related to Bioeconomy, bio-based industry, sustainable ecosystem, biopharmaceutical – Women@Biotech, advances in Aquaculture and the way forward for Malaysia.
In his opening speech YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia said: “Bioeconomy has been identified as a game changer for Malaysia’s economic growth. With our biodiversity and the abundance of biological resources, bioeconomy has the potential to increase the country’s economic competitiveness, create more job opportunities, enhance healthcare, ensure food security as well as address environmental and sustainability concerns.”
Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation said “It is for this reason that the government, through the efforts of Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (MOSTI) and BiotechCorp, is currently embarking on a comprehensive development agenda that promotes the use of renewable chemicals and bio-based products through an initiative called the Bioeconomy Transformation Programme.”
Dato’ Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal, CEO of BiotechCorp during the wrap-up interview said: “The bio-based industries are considered a strategic high-impact, high-growth and high-technology sector capable of driving the development of innovative conversion technologies, generating new economic opportunities and creating a broad spectrum of pioneering industry segments in the country.”
The conferences was attended by 40 speakers and 3000 participants from key industries and government agencies. Among the key speakers at BioMalaysia 2014 were international speakers comprising of Bioeconomy International Advisory Panel (IAP). BioMalaysia & Bioeconomy Asia Pacific 2014 was jointly organized by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation Sdn Bhd (BiotechCorp).
BioMalaysia 2014 also witnessed the execution of collaboration agreements amongst the local and international industry participants. A total of six (6) transactions were announced and exchanged in front of the YAB Prime Minister with total investment value of RM250 million.
The opening ceremony also saw the launching of the Bioeconomy Transformation Programme (BTP) Annual Report 2014 highlighting the benefits to Malaysian society by nurturing the commercialization of businesses in the bio-based industry. In line with the vision to increase income in a socially inclusive manner, 2014 has also seen the introduction of the Bioeconomy Community Development Programme (BCDP) to augment the BTP. BCDP was formulated as an effort to transform rural communities through adoption of bio-based technologies.
Also witnessed during the opening ceremony, was the official launch of the supercritical technology-driven ‘Haruan’ based skincare product developed by Professor Manan from University Putra Malaysia. This technology was acquired by BiotechCorp to accelerate commercialization of bio-based products. The products launched contain the essence of ‘haruan’ traditionally used by the locals for its healing properties and is well-known for post-partum treatments.
A key highlight of BioMalaysia 2014 is BioCareer, a platform for students and jobseekers as well as the general public to explore the various job opportunities in the industry. The participants had the opportunity to be interviewed for open positions, listen to free educational seminars and network with companies to discuss possible career options and requirements. There were 450 resumes deposited and interviews conducted at BioCareer.
In Biotechnology itself, it is estimated that a workforce of 100,000 knowledge workers will be required to support the industry, which translates into 280,000 additional jobs supporting the industry by the year 2020. Similar to most knowledge-based industries that require specialised skills, the biotechnology industry faces human capital gaps in terms of numbers, skills and expertise.
Another highlight of BioMalaysia 2014 was BioShoppe, a concept store or a brand incubator to market BioNexus products and services. A total of 100 products from 20 BioNexus status companies were on display and made available to visitors and the general public. These companies showcased pharmaceutical and health products, agriculture based products, dietary supplements, healthy drinks, bio-based fertilizers and fresh products.
BioMalaysia 2015 will be held in September next year in Kuala Lumpur.