Thursday, October 1

SBC told to commercialise research findings

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THE Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) has been directed to broaden its scope by commercialising its research findings.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the Sarawak government acknowledged that Research and Development (R&D), especially in biodiversity, is another potential source of revenue for the state to embark on now.

In delivering his winding-up speech, he said the potential of the state’s unexploited biodiversity is enormous.

He believes that collaboration with world class researchers and industries would enable Sarawak to produce medicinal, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products which are nature-based and in high demand globally.

He noted the global wellness industry; which includes key sectors in personal care and anti-aging, health and nutrition, and so on including wellness tourism; had a global market value of US$4.2 trillion in 2017.

The Chief Minister said SBC had so far documented 6,000 plants, including 25,000 plants and 29,000 microbial extracts kept in SBC’s Natural Product Library.

He noted that SBC in collaboration with indigenous communities of Sarawak has produced essential oil from Litsea tree, trademarked as LITSARA® that has been made into a range of natural-based personal care products such as soap, shampoo, air freshener and essential oil for aromatherapy.

“SBC is also collaborating with foreign partners on algae project since 2012. It has a collection of 653 microalgae for various applications.

“SBC is experimenting the scale-up production of algae in an outdoor facility using Internet of Things (IoT), smart monitoring and digital analytics to boost production,” he said.