Kuala Lumpur, January 13, 2015. In preparation for Phase III of the National Biotechnology Policy (NBP), Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp), in collaboration with United States (US) based Larta Institute (Larta), is implementing the Bioeconomy Accelerator Programme: Commercialisation Assistance Programme (CAP) for emerging and also established bio-based companies.
Larta is an independent, private, non-profit corporation and innovation hub. They provide professional services in designing and managing commercialisation programmes for public and private companies and universities, federal agencies in the US, governments and regional authorities across the globe.
Guest of honor YB Datuk Dr. Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah, the Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), attended the opening ceremony to give his support. He said that the funding of Research and Development is one of the vital ways to drive commercialisation forward in Malaysia, which in turn contributes to the nation’s economy.
Dato’ Dr. Mohd Nazlee Kamal, Chief Executive Officer of BiotechCorp, was also at the launch of the programme this morning. “The 20 companies which participated in the previous CAP implemented in 2010, benefited from Larta’s approach of nurturing early stage companies, bridging them to investors and industry in carving strategic linkages crucial for commercialization,” he said.
Through customised coaching and mentoring by Larta’s Principal Advisors, the companies were able to produce commercialisation strategy roadmaps which were used to pitch to Larta’s network of venture capitalists and industry leaders.
BiotechCorp received an overwhelming response for applications for the CAP this year. The programme will mentor 20 companies consisting of spin-offs from Universities and BioNexus status companies. The 7-month customised coaching and mentoring programme will help prepare the companies to enhance their commercial potential and global business readiness.
On the 13th and 14th of January 2015, BiotechCorp and Larta carried out a Commercialisation Training Workshop. During the workshop, the selected companies had opportunities to participate in specific interactive sessions on market access, business landscape, intellectual property, funding, marketing, branding and business partnering.
Dato’ Dr. Mohd Nazlee Kamal said, “Larta provides a great forum for local companies to learn about pertinent aspects of commercialisation to help them get their products and services into the global market. Larta’s programme has been a great success and allowed 18 BioNexus companies to establish key contacts which helped their businesses to grow internationally.”
BiotechCorp, through the BioNexus framework, has successfully built a network of 248 BioNexus status companies which have generated more than USD 1.4 billion (RM 4.6 billion) of approved investments, some of which are already actively engaging in export activities. Revenue generated by these companies as of 2013 amounted to RM1.169 billion and the revenue as of the second quarter of 2014 stands at RM655 million.
Given the right focus and strategy, the Bioeconomy Transformation Programme (BTP) will catapult the bioeconomy contribution to Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product from 2% – 3% currently to 8% -10% by 2020. The growth of the biotechnology industry is expected to further grow once the BioMalaysia & Bioeconomy Asia Pacific 2015, Conference and Exhibition kicks off from 17 to 19 August this year in Kuala Lumpur. With efforts such as these, the plans are in motion for Malaysia to become a developed nation by 2020. In order to realize this goal, the bio-based industry today must step up to the changes and development in technology and innovation to drive the bio-based industry forward.