Kuala Lumpur, 12 March 2013 – Science and Technology cooperation between Malaysia and United States of America was further strengthened when the two countries convened its inaugural Joint Committee Meeting on Science and Technology (JC S&T) Cooperation today in Kuala Lumpur.
The JC S&T is a follow up to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Malaysia and the United States on Science and Technology Cooperation on 2 November 2010. The MoU was signed by Foreign Minister YB Dato’ Sri Anifah bin Haji Aman and the then US Secretary of State HE Hilary Clinton.
The Joint Committee Meeting was co-chaired by YBhg. Dato’ Dr. Madinah Mohamad, Secretary General of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones, US Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs who led a twelve (12) member US delegation.
MOSTI Deputy Secretary General (Science) Professor Datin Paduka Khatijah Yusoff and Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Adviser to the Prime Minister were amongst the 23 senior Malaysian officials who attended the meeting
In her opening remarks, Dato’ Dr Madinah said that the Memorandum of Understanding on S&T Cooperation will permit greater agency to agency cooperation across the range of scientific and technological fields.
She added, ‘We also anticipate that this Memorandum of Understanding will benefit Malaysia by giving our scientist greater access to new research opportunities, our academic institutions the chance to form new partnership with centres of learning in the US and our S&T business community especially to our MSC and Bionexus Status Companies with new ways to be more globally competitive.’
She also welcomed the joint project on the Biotechnology Outreach Program. She added. ‘As a first step in the right direction, I am extremely pleased to note that the Biotechnology Subcommittee has identified and agreed to implement the Biotechnology Outreach Program before third quarter this year. This programme will involve collaboration between National Institute of Biotechnology Malaysia (NIBM) and the US Department of State in a project aimed to increase the media and public awareness towards agro-biotechnology. I look forward to the successful implementation of this project.’
The Secretary General of MOSTI also stressed on the need for programmes agreed in the action plans by the sub-committees to be implemented expeditiously and successfully to translate the objectives of the MoU into vibrant and continuously evolving collaboration.
Prior to the meeting, Malaysian and US experts met in four sub-committees namely marine science, biotechnology, climate studies and conservation science and management to discuss and identify collaborative projects under a two (2) year Action Plan (2013-2014). Thirteen (13) priority projects as well as other potential areas of collaboration were identified and agreed upon by both sides. The outcomes of the sub-committees were presented in the meeting which subsequently endorsed the action plans of each sub-committee.
The meeting agreed that the next JC S&T will be held in the United States in two years time.