Thursday, January 20

Bio-Borneo now an annual event — Fadillah


KUCHING: The inaugural Bio-Borneo, a programme aimed at further exploring the bioeconomy of Borneo, will now be an annual event, said Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof yesterday.

Speaking at its opening yesterday, he reasoned that such programme would provide a proper platform to transform the bioeconomic opportunity into something that could benefit the country and the people.

“Bio-Borneo 2012 reflects the focus of the country to further develop biological resources-based industry or bioeconomy.

“Bioeconomy is the continuity to National Biotechnology Policy in line with the economic transformation strategy. More than 210 companies have gained the status of BioNexus with total approved investment of RM2 billion, since the implementation of the policy.”

The Petra Jaya MP revealed that Bio-Borneo 2013, co-organised by Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) and Sabah Development Authority (Sedia), would be held in Kota Kinabalu.

“Hopefully, Sarawak can hold the 2014 Bio-Borneo. I do hope that local biotechnology players, researchers and the public can utilise the event to enhance your network with international players and explore new investing and reinventing opportunity in the biotechnology industry.”

The opening ceremony was officiated at by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud who launched a regulatory guidebook entitled ‘EU and US Pharmaceutical Regulations: A Guide for Malaysian Companies’.

He also witnessed the exchange of three Memorandum of Understandings between National Institutes of Biotechnology, Malaysia and Universitas Tanjungpura, Pontianak; BiotechCorp and Craun Research Sdn Bhd and; Bee Forty One Agrotech Sdn Bhd and Dewan Usahawan Bumiputera Sarawak, Samarahan Branch. The three-day Bio-Borneo 2012 which ends today is themed Accelerating Innovation of the Borneo Bioeconomy.

It was part of the year long programme in conjunction with the National Science and Innovation Movement 2012 and the Bioeconomy Initiative Malaysia launched last Nov by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The programme is co-organised by Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti), Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC), BiotechCorp, Malaysian Genome Institute and Malaysian Biotechnology Information Centre.

Its main objective is to establish a platform for sharing high-impact innovation and technology to drive the bioeconomy in the region. It is also aimed at developing networking and creating opportunities for collaboration and partnership between research institutes and the industry and to increase awareness among the public, students and practitioners towards the potential of biotechnology and biodiversity.

There were 40 booths exhibiting biotech research and development products from government agencies, government departments, research institutes, universities and private sector.

The organiser prepared a programme for students, MyBio@School including competitions, DNA extraction demonstration, dolly and biotech board games, career talks and giant dice game.

The public could also participate in the MyBio Carnival and learn how to make soap, identify essential oils and DNA extraction.