Kota Kinabalu, 20 April 2015 – Borneo’s premier biotechnology event BioBorneo 2015, themed “Bio-based technologies for wealth creation through the Bioeconomy”, served as a platform to disseminate information on current bioeconomy R&D efforts and related business potential, along with sharing on bioeconomic transformation programmes and implementation in Malaysia.
Organised by the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI) and Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) in collaboration with the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) and Sabah Biodiversity Centre (SABC), was launched by the Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Hj. Yahya Hussin, the Deputy Chief Minister & Minister of Food and Industry, at Kota Kinabalu’s Sutera Harbour Resort today.
The two-day event was also graced by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin, BiotechCorp CEO Dato’ Dr. Mohd Nazlee Kamal, CEO/President of SEDIA Datuk Dr. Mohd Yaakob Haji Johari and Director SABC, Dr. Abdul Fatah Haji Amir. The inaugural BioBorneo was held in Sarawak in 2012.
In his speech, the Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah, YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Hj. Yahya Hussin, said Sabah offers tremendous potential to the wealth creation through Bioeconomy as the state is rich with biodiversity and natural resources. The state has already embarked on various bioeconomic endeavors in agriculture, biomedical and bio-industrial sectors.
“Sabah holds enormous opportunities in bio-based economy. The Sabah Development Corporation (SDC) has taken into account and have listed strategies for the action plans on Sabah Biotechnology. The main initiatives under SDC include Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct (SAIP), Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC), Keningau Integrated Lifestock Centre (KILC) dan Marine Integrated Cluster”.
Dr Ewon Ebin, Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation said, “Sabah possesses a vast potential in the biotechnology field. The biotechnology application process for genetic sources in Borneo offers remarkable potential for the process of wealth creation in Sabah. This could spur sources for new growth and for Malaysia to be a global biotechnology hub.”
He added that BioBorneo 2015 is part of the government’s transformation programme through the Bioeconomy initiative that also aims to enable all states to share in the nation’s successes and wealth. BTP will greatly impact and benefit Sabah by merging diverse bioeconomy initiatives that tap into the bountiful resources of this land. Such efforts will generate a dynamic bioeconomic movement as well as retain Sabah’s mega biodiversity heritage. BioBorneo 2015 focuses on the biotechnology development and innovation potentials of the East Malaysia states through trigger projects of the BTP.
Dato’ Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal, Chief Executive Officer of BiotechCorp, noted that 16 of the current 253 BioNexus Status companies are located in Sabah and Sarawak, which have the potential to contribute to the nation’s demand of highly skilled knowledge workers. “Collectively, the BioNexus Status companies based in Sabah and Sarawak have approved investments of over RM12 billion. This shows the high potential of biodiversity in Borneo to spur new sources of growth of the Malaysian economy,” he added.