Updated on 30 October 2012
What are the programs for life science education and how is BiotechCorp boosting the graduates to take up career in this field?
Several programs have been initiated by BiotechCorp to boost the interest and quality of the graduates and biotechnology workforce. A few prominent among them are the Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Special Training Program (BeST) Program and BeST at KRIBB, which is an extension of the BeST programme whereby eight graduates who had completed their training at BeST were selected to join KRIBB Training Programme Malaysia Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP) to help advance the market readiness and potential of Malaysian biotechnology entrepreneurs.
What is Malaysia doing to boost its R&D profile? What are the upcoming projects in R&D?
In ensuring the steady developmental pace of transformation of the country, Malaysia has, in its profile several projects and initiation which are underway to boost the R&D core for the industry. Under the BioNexus Program, high-end research labs and units are made available throughout the country in various institutes of higher learning (IHLs), research institutes (RIs), technology parks, incubators, and government-linked companies (GLCs) to encourage in depth research and innovative creations within the community. These labs and units have been carefully selected by BiotechCorp to ensure industry access to services, equipment, and facilities.
One of the technology platform acquired by BiotechCorp, the Center of Marker Discovery and Validation (CMDV) is using the marker assisted selection (MAS) technology, enables scientists and plant breeders to systematically organize a plant breeding program to select the desired traits and expedite the process in a reduced time period. Three R&D projects which are currently undertaken at CMDV are rice, watermelon, and goat program.
A huge initiative of the government, the Bioeconomy Initiative Malaysia (BIM), which was launched last year as a strategy to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020, complements the National Biotechnology Policy (NBP) and is set with 20 Entry Point Projects (EPPs) that have been carefully detailed out in each of the three bioeconomy labs conducted within a span of 6 weeks in March and April 2012. The EPPs encompass the industrial 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.
BIM, which is led by the Ministery of Science, Technology and Innovation, and is faciliated primarily by BiotechCorp, is anticipated to generate gross national income (GNI) of $1.18 billion (RM3.6 billion), $3.28 billion (RM10 billion) in investment and more than 16,000 employment by 2020.