What is the role of the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp)?
KAMAL: Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation was formed in 2005 and our role is basically to drive the biotech industry in Malaysia.
The formation of the National Biotech Policy, which has been divided into three different phases, phase one 2005 – 2010, phase two 2011 – 2015, and the last leg will be 2016 – 2020, which is a very crucial timeline for us because the aspiration of the country is to be a developed country by 2020.
So biotech is regarded as one of the most important areas of development that will contribute back into the economy.
In 2012, our Prime Minister launched what we call bio-economy Malaysia. That will also be very significant and as the world is changing, with climates issues, environmental issues, we add on to the national biotech policy and I think to date, we have been very successful in bringing investment in the area.
During the second phase our target was MYR 9bn, which is equivalent to $3bn and we achieved MYR 18bn in terms of investment into biotech. We see that as quite significant and that will translate into more jobs for Malaysians and more exports and also domestic requirements will be met by the industry. I think we are playing a very important role in driving the agenda.
Where does Malaysia’s biotech industry stand today?
KAMAL: I think over the years we’ve see a lot of development in the field and now we are talking about not only biotech but also bio-based technology where we are addressing the issue of energy, we are addressing the issue of wellness, and we are addressing the issue of increasing the income of the rural communities.
I think biotech is now playing an important part in driving that agenda, and most importantly in translating the science to business. In Malaysia, we’re in the development of what we call the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). We decided to basically develop the bio-economy transformation program, and that would be very significant in terms of organizing ourselves and coordination between the government sector and the private sector.
So the public-private partnership becomes a very important ingredient in driving this agenda, and we are doing it in a coordinated form.
We have the Ministry responsible to ensure programs that we put on the ground will be successful and we track the milestone achievement of each project, and most importantly, in devising a new business model, in reducing the influence of, let’s say, middle men. The main focal point in our biotech agenda in the country today…
BiotechCorp CEO Mohd Nazlee Kamal on Malaysia’s biotech industry is originally published by and copyright of The Prospect Group.