Kuala Lumpur, June 25th 2013 ~ In its effort to promote and highlight opportunities and value proposition of the Bioeconomy Transformation Programme (BTP) and other biotechnology projects, Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) organised the Bioeconomy Investor Forum (BIF) in Kuala Lumpur today. BIF is endorsed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).
With the attendance of more than 200 participants, the inaugural event is aimed at establishing a transparent, continual and consistent communication between private funding communities and the various BTP promoters as well as Bio-Nexus companies. The forum is also a platform for local and international investors to understand, deliberate and evaluate BioNexus companies within the bio-based sphere with serious growth potential, and trigger projects under the BTP.
“This drive for investments is essential in boosting the Bioeconomy Transformation Program for Malaysia. Any positive change must be in the presence of financial assistance which is why we have set up this platform to link venture capitalists, private equity, firms, banks, and corporations, local and abroad, together at a global level, in accelerating investments to bring bio-based products and services into the market more quickly and efficiently in this Commercialization phase of the National Biotechnology Policy”, said MOSTI Minister, YB Datuk Dr. Ewon Ebin, in his special address.
In attendance were Secretary General of MOSTI, YBhg. Dato’ Dr. Rosli Bin Mohamed, Chairman of BiotechCorp, YBhg Prof Emeritus Dato’ Sri Dr. Zakri Abdul Hamid, and Chief Executive Officer of BiotechCorp, YBhg Dato’ Dr. Mohd Nazlee Kamal.
The inaugural BIF event, which revolved around a conference, presentations, and pitching and business matching sessions between BTP project promoters and BioNexus companies, was held in close alignment with the Government’s innovation and bioeconomy growth agenda, and provided a venue to engage private funding for Bioeconomy initiatives.
The conference comprises of forums, presentations and business pitching sessions will highlight renowned industry speakers such as Dr. Roger Wyse of Burill & CO., YBhg. Datuk Zubir Ansori Yahaya of Malaysia Debt Ventures, and Encik Amirul Fares Zaher of Xeraya Capital. 7 of 15 participating BioNexus companies were given the opportunity in BIF’s ‘Spotlight’ session to present on their value proposition, pipelines, and business models as well as investment opportunities, followed by a one-to-one business pitching.
“Closely aligned with the BTP, this BIF is a necessary drive to expose, improve, aid, and facilitate current projects and situations for our BioNexus and bio-based companies in the bio-based industry, which in the end will be for the good of all in our globalized world”, added Dato’ Nazlee.
The Government has continuously extended financial aid to support the growth of business operations of BioNexus status companies and other eligible biotechnology companies. Through BiotechCorp, the Government has made available the Biotechnology Commercialization Grant, an allocation of RM80 million as grant and soft loans to BioNexus status companies from the period of 2011 – 2013, to facilitate on-going commercialization of biotechnology products and services and expansion of existing biotechnology business for the BioNexus status companies. Records indicate an investment return of 6 folds, of more than RM1 billion, for BioNexus companies utilizing this soft loan, from the initial amount provided.
The 2-day event was a platform for the industry to attract investments into Malaysia’s centric bioeconomy and saw the attendance of venture capitalists, private equity companies, bankers and financial institutions, fund managers, corporate and government, as well as biotechnology entrepreneurs.
Malaysia’s bio-based industry has recently recorded a remarkable achievement of RM10.6 billion for investments for 2011 and 2012, surpassing the RM9 billion target for the second NBP phase (2011 – 2015).