Various stakeholders have implemented strategies to drive various components of the biotechnology sector in Malaysia. This is a snapshot of some of the active strategies and activities in the country at this time.
The BioNexus status is conferred by the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) and endows fiscal incentives, grants and access to capacity building programs and research facilities to qualified Malaysian and international biotechnology companies.
As of 2012, there are more than 200 BioNexus companies in various stages of development. The BioNexus program has had a positive impact in attracting foreign biotech investors to set up operations in Malaysia as well as easing the start-up and expansion of local biotech companies.
The BioNexus Bill of Guarantees allows such companies a series of incentives that increase the ease of doing business in Malaysia as well as a range of services and support from BiotechCorp:
- Freedom of ownership
- Freedom to source funds globally
- Freedom to bring in knowledge workers
- Eligibility for competitive incentives and other assistance
- Eligibility to receive assistance for international accreditation and standards
- A strong intellectual property regime
- Access to supportive information network linking research centres of excellence
- Access to BioNexus Partner laboratories
- Access to BiotechCorp as the one-stop agency for biotechnology assistance
For more information, please visit http://www.biotechcorp.com.my/bionexus-new/
The BioNexus Partners program was established to grant biotech companies, whether with BioNexus status or with significant relevance, open access to laboratory facilities in publicly-funded institutions, such as:
- Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL)
- Research Institutes (RI)
- Technology Parks
- Government-linked Companies (GLCs)
BioNexus Partners also hold regular networking sessions to facilitate business matching, knowledge sharing and promote mutual understanding.
For more information, please visit http://www.biotechcorp.com.my/services/
The BioEconomy Initiative Malaysia (BIM), launched at BioMalaysia 2011 by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, is expected to spearhead the application of biotechnology to primary industries in Malaysia, such as agriculture, healthcare and manufacturing.
The initiative is currently being discussed in a series of laboratories and workshops co-organized by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and BiotechCorp.
The BIM is expected to be announced as a National Key Economic Area in mid- 2012.
National Biomass Strategy
The National Biomass Strategy was launched by Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) at BioMalaysia 2011 and is designed to leverage on the high volume of oil palm biomass currently being produced by the Malaysian agriculture sector for further downstream processing and the production of biofuels.
The strategy touts that this could translate into RM 30 billion in gross national income, and 66,000 jobs by 2020.
For more information, please visit http://www.innovation.my/programmes/wealth-creation/bio-mass/
Malaysia Bio-Industry Organization (MBIO)
MBIO is the local biotech industry organization that seeks to bridge the gap between the public sector and the industry. Membership in the organization is open to all biotech companies and supporting industries as well as academics and researchers.\
MBIO focuses on providing support to biotech companies through networking opportunities, workshops and stakeholder engagement.\
For more information, please visit http://www.mbio.org
Year of Science and National Innovation Movement 2012
2012 has been inaugurated as the Year of Science and National Innovation Movement (SGI2012) by MOSTI. This initiative was launched to coincide with the ASEAN-EU Year of Science 2012.
The SGI2012 program serves as a platform to encourage Malaysians to adopt a culture of science and innovation; and raise public awareness on Malaysian innovations who have managed to develop products for the market, in lieu of Malaysia’s efforts to realize a knowledge economy by 2020.
The program will encompass several Science and Innovation Carnivals to be held in 6 zones across the country and several competitions targeting all levels of society, particularly school students, youths and women.
For more information, please visit http://sgi2012.mosti.gov.my/
National Bioethics Council of Malaysia
The National Bioethics Council of Malaysia was launched on May 22, 2012 and is tasked with providing advice to the Malaysian Government, as well as resolving and managing bioethical issues in the country.
The Council will also be involved in disseminating information and promoting public awareness on bioethical issues to the general public.
Though the Council will be primarily focused on emerging technology applications such as stem cell research, genetically modified organisms, synthetic biology and animal testing, the purview of the Council could also be extended to matters of academic integrity and conflict of interest.
For more information, please visit http://www.bioetika.gov.my/