Updated on 18 June 2013
Malaysia creates 13,600 new job opportunities
In a bid to boost the biotechnology sector, in 2012, Malaysia identified 10 entry point projects in the areas of bio inputs, bio-based chemicals, biomaterials, bio-based farm inputs, high value bio-ingredients, high value food varieties, biosimilars, drug discovery, molecular screening and diagnostics, and stem cells and regenerative medicine. These entry points are designed to create additional 20 trigger projects, creating 13,600 new job opportunities and are expected to push the gross national revenue to $1.1 billion (RM3.6 billion). Malaysia had harnessed investments of around $4.1 billion (RM12.7 billion) in 2012, exceeding the $2.9 billion target set for 2015, and the sector has created 64,753 jobs.
Hays Pharma mentions that contract research organizations are experiencing a period of unparalleled growth in Malaysia. The shift by pharmaceutical companies to outsource most of their clinical functions and even some regulatory affairs work has seen a high increase in demand for clinical research associates, and clinical leaders in Malaysia. This has created an environment of fierce competition for talent and is steeply driving up salaries.
Singapore tackles HR challenges
The 2012 Yearbook of Statistics by Singapore Department of Statistics reveals that during the period from 2009 to 2011, the country witnessed a five percent lower average growth rate compared to 27 percent between 2006 and 2008, in new enrollments for life science courses at polytechnics and universities.
"Opportunities in the biomedical industry have especially attracted candidates from countries like Australia, Europe and the US, where there are more talents with the needed experience, academic qualifications and international exposure compared to Singapore," shares Ms Karen Tok, managing director of ScienTec Consulting, an executive search and professional recruitment firm. "It is a skilled market with very intensive standards," says Ms Tok. "Hiring outlook remains positive, but roles in biomedical and scientific areas for the R&D facilities require, among others, clinical exposure plus commercial experience and, at least, a PhD. Right now, there are not enough local candidates to meet end-to-end requirements."
To create aspiration among Singapore nationals to pursue higher studies in bioscience, Singapore has implemented various programs capable of attracting industrial, intellectual and human capital investment in bio-medical sciences. Brighter prospects in areas like R&D productivity, innovative medical solutions, integrated research network in basic and translational research, are being highlighted through international collaborations and exchange programs such as Singapore-Stanford Biodesign program to train the next generation of medical technology innovators in Asia.