20th June, 2012
BOSTON: State governments and economic corridors are encouraged to focus on niche areas in the biotechnology industry which can provide them with a competitive edge to attract more foreign investments, says Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal.
He said companies were not the only ones that were pitching for investments as governments were also aggressively pursuing investments in order to develop the biotechnology industry in their respective countries.
“Most countries, cities or states are pitching for investments based on their capabilities.
“We need to transfer this capabilities to respective states in Malaysia or the economic corridors, if not everybody will be doing the same (business),” he told Malaysian journalists on the sidelines of the BIO International Convention-BIO Boston 2012, which started on Monday.
He said this was the first time agencies in charge of developing economic corridors were part of the Malaysian delegation to the international convention.
The participating agencies included the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority, Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority and East Coast Economic Region Council.
BiotechCorp is participating in the international convention, the world’s largest gathering of 15,000 participants comprising biotechnology professionals, business leaders, scientists and policy makers, for the eight consecutive year.
Mohd Nazlee said several significant collaborations between Malaysian and foreign parties in agriculture, healthcare and industrial biotechnology, would also be the highlight of the international convention.
He said five memoranda of understandings are expected to be signed during BIO Boston, which is being held between June 18 and June 21.
The first memorandum of understanding was signed Monday between BiotechCorp and California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) to facilitate the establishment of a QB3 satellite programme in Malaysia.
The exchange of documents between Mohd Nazlee and QB3 Director Dr Regis Kelly was witnessed by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili who is leading a 80-member delegation to BIO Boston 2012.
Commenting on the new collaboration between the two parties, Mohd Nazlee said it would create a platform to encourage or establish more entrepreneurship among graduates in the area of biotechnology.
QB3 is a consortium of more than 200 laboratories from University of California’s campuses, armed with world-class researchers, state-of-the-art facilities and entrepreneurial resources.
He said through continuous efforts to achieve the National Biotechnology Policy, which had entered its second year of commercialisation, the country has recorded RM7.58 billion in investments, between 2006 and 2011.
The international investors were from the United States, Italy, New Zealand, Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, India, China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Australia and Hong Kong.