Posts tagged R&D
Malaysia’s BIO International delegation has announced four new deals, including two new investments into Iskandar Malaysia’s Bio-XCell technology park and two partnerships between BioNexus-status companies (see below) and foreign firms.
The two partnerships were: a Technology Licensing Agreement in the bio-refinery sector between Lestari Pacific Sdn Bhd and UK-based Arter Biofuel Products Ltd., and a memorandum of collaboration between Pristine Oil (M) Sdn Bhd and Norway’s Bio Protein AS. The latter deal will establish a new RM608 million (US$20 million) plant in Malaysia to produce a bio-protein to replace fishmeal in the aquaculture industry, according to Business Times.
Pharmaceutical company Agila Specialties (formerly Strides Specialties) Sdn Bhd Americas also announced it would set up a 3.2 hectare facility to produce biopharmaceuticals and sterile injectables at Bio-XCell park for the global market, costing up to $60 million. Meanwhile, Malaysia’s largest industrial gases supplier MOX-Linde also signed a memorandum of collaboration to establish a gas distribution facility at the park. The company plans to extend its facility to include an electronics specialty gases warehouse and separation plant should demand increase.
BioNexus is a government sponsored program awarding special status to biotech companies meeting specified criteria, allowing them to access tax incentives, support programs and a ‘Bill of Guarantees’. Its purpose is to promote international partnerships and commercialization of Malaysian-developed biotechnology. Only 3% of companies in the program have achieved ‘maturity’, determined by workforce and revenue figures, but the plan is to increase this to 5-7% by the end of its first phase in 2015. 188 companies have signed on to date.
Some big events this year are helping Malaysia build its reputation as a global hub for biotechnology research and development, providing the chance to show off Malaysia’s progress so far and assisting collaboration and networking opportunities with some of the world’s most major players.
Several Malaysian representatives attended the 2011 Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) International Convention, which ends today in Washington DC. The world’s largest conference of its kind, it brought together 1,700 attendees from world’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector and related policymakers. Malaysia’s delegation included the Malaysian Genomic Institute, Agro Biotechnology Institute, Malaysia Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Institute, Kulim HiTech Park and Invest Melaka.
Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was even given the honor of launching the convention with BIO President and CEO, James C. Greenwood, and Maryland State Governor, Martin O’Malley. The Deputy PM will meet with US based companies to highlight Malaysia’s latest biotech incentives and hopefully encourage them to invest in the local sector.
The other big event is the 8th annual BioMalaysia 2011 conference, from 21-23 November at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The region’s largest biotech event features a conference and exhibition, as well as the 2011 ‘BioInno Awards‘ to recognize gains made by Malaysians in the biotech sector who will then go on to represent the country in international awards competitions.
Malaysia’s event also includes the sixth annual 2011 Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy on 29 November, the first time the summit has been held outside the United States.
sources: MIDA, various conferences
The Singapore Government has launched a new initiative to encourage medical technology startups, offering a S$40 million (US$32.6 million) fund under the Biomedical Science Accelerator (BSA) Program.
Singapore’s entrepreneurship promoter SPRING Singapore said its investment unit SPRING SEEDS Capital will manage the program, identifying ‘high-potential med-tech startups’, investing in them on a one-to-one basis and assisting the sector to better commercialize the intellectual property it develops.
Biotech is a key contributor to Singapore’s economy, consisting of 10% of Singapore’s manufacturing output and employing 13,000 people. The BSA program acknowledges that startups in the field often struggle with its knowledge and capital intensive nature, and aims to help those with innovative ideas succeed.
source & article: Today Online
Malaysia’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector could grow by 7% if economic recovery and business confidence continues, says Malaysia’s Science, Technology and Information Minister Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili. ICT contributed as much as RM48 billion (US$15.8 billion) or 10% of Malaysia’s GDP in 2007, but only RM40 billion ($13.2 billion) last year.
Before the financial crisis ICT in Malaysia had been projected to grow 10% per year, one of Asia’s fastest, he said.
Ongkili made his comments at Mimos, a major R&D center for ‘frontier technologies’ and advisor to the Malaysian government, which focuses on technology that can be commercialized for growth. Mimos yesterday held a ceremony to transfer technology platforms to three local companies to be developed for market by the private sector: Jaring Communications Sdn Bhd, Mutiara.com and Smart Computing Sdn Bhd.
Six other Malaysian companies also signed deals to licence and develop Mimos’ technology: Disability Solutions Sdn Bhd, Alam Teknokrat Sdn Bhd, Innovision Business Solutions Sdn Bhd, Phytofolia Sdn Bhd, Quantum Beez Sdn Bhd and Fabtronic Sdn Bhd.
131 ‘WiFi Villages’ for Sandakan
Meanwhile, in Malaysia’s far eastern city of Sandakan, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said it was halfway through a project to provide minimal-charge wireless internet access to 131 area villages, enabling urban and rural populations equal access to online services. MCMC has also distributed 49,800 netbooks to students in Sabah province on Borneo under the 1Malaysia project.
source & articles: The Star online, Mimos
Interesting things continue to happen in Malaysia’s science and technology sector. The country’s biotech industry has brought in RM5.4 billion (US$1.79 billion) worth of investments and created 54,776 jobs since the National Biotech Policy (NBP) was initiated in 2005. With NBP’s second five-year phase about to begin, Malaysian Biotechnology Corp (BiotechCorp) says the sector will draw another RM9 billion ($2.99 billion) in investments and RM50 billion ($16.62 billion) in revenue. A third phase will begin in 2015.
BiotechCorp said it was happy with the progress so far, despite the totals being under Phase I targets of RM6 billion in investment and RM20 billion in revenue. CEO Iskandar Mizal Mahmood said the ratio of private to public investments was “extremely favorable”, trends were in its favor, and it had built a platform for further growth. BiotechCorp had also developed a new model focused on commercialization and capacity-building, and had lined up four foreign direct investments (FDIs) this year totaling RM4 billion ($1.33 billion).
At the close of Phase I this year, Malaysia’s biotech sector contributed 2.2% of GDP. The NBP aims to increase that to at least 4% by the end of Phase II.
source & articles: Business Times
Drive north from Singapore across the Johor Causeway, into Malaysia’s second largest city Johor Bahru, and keep going. You’re now in Senai-Skudai, the heart of Iskandar Malaysia. Iskandar is the special economic region marked for rapid development as an Asian commercial hub and, like Guangdong did for Hong Kong and China, it wants to leverage its prime location and local skills base to fire the Malaysian economy over the coming decades. One development hoping to play a significant part in that progress is Senai Hi-Tech Park (SHTP).
Senai Hi-Tech Park, according to its developers, is “an integrated Science and Technology Park offering an ideal location, superb infrastructure with a service rich-environment”, matching Malaysia’s technological skills with innovative companies and research institutions from around the world. Part of the Senai Airport City development, SHTP will eventually form part of a vital technology and logistics hub connected almost instantly to major markets around the world.
At the moment it’s full more of promise and potential than activity, with Stage One of a three-stage project still under construction. But there’s an undeniable hum in the air and the Park has already signed on some major international investors: EQ Solar will build a US$500 million facility to manufacture monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar modules. MOX-Linde Gases will build an industrial gas manufacturing and separation plant, and South Korea’s STX Energy has launched a feasibility study into a solar cell facility. (more…)
The Singapore government spent a record $2.3 billion, or 0.87% of its GDP, on research and development in the past year, according to a report by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). The government has promised to increase that amount to 1% of GDP to make Singapore a global R&B hub and “Asia’s innovation capital” with an economy dominated by entrepreneurs.
Gross expenditure (including private sector spending) on R&D actually fell between 2008 and 2009 thanks to a reduction in the private sector’s capital expenditure from $2 billion to $712 million. Capital expenditure includes one-off purchases of fixed assets such as land, construction and equipment. The government, however, will prop up the shortfall with plans to spend a total of S$16.1 billion (US$12.2 billion) on R&D between 2011-15 as part of its Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2015 plan.
source & article: Straits Times
Malaysia’s healthcare sector become a ‘private sector driven engine for economic growth’ under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). The government aims to change the perception of healthcare from a wealth-consuming public service by exploring other facets of the industry, from pharmaceuticals and medical devices to more advanced innovations in services and research. One example is appealing further to health travelers from abroad, usually citizens of wealthier countries seeking quality healthcare at a lower price.
The ETP wants healthcare to generate an incremental Gross National Income of RM35.3 billion (US$11.4 billion) in the decade to 2020, and will divide projects into ‘quick wins’ for income generation in the immediate future and longer term ‘bets’ on future opportunities. The former consists of pharmaceutical research, insurance and hospital beds, while longer term proposals aim to develop Malaysia as a medical hub with a ‘health metropolis’ at Universiti Malaya and a ‘diagnostic service nexus’ to facilitate international outsourcing through telemedicine (eg; remote surgery where surgeons are not physically in the same place as the patient).
The government will establish a Health Industry Development Corporation to achieve its goals, estimating RM23.3 billion ($7.53 billion) is needed from 2011-20. Only 1% of this will come from the government, with the other 99% intended to come from private sector sources.
source & full article: Business Times
Singapore is building the world’s largest experimental power grid to meet the world’s complex future energy demands. The facility on Jurong Island and at Fusionopolis, built by A*STAR’s Institute of Chemical & Engineering Sciences (ICES) will perform research on ‘intelligent’ grids and distributed energy resources, creating a power grid that can easily incorporate a number of different energy sources and switch between them easily as demanded. Using this technology, future grids may source their power from traditional fuels as well as newer methods like microgenerators, solar, fuel cells and electric/hybrid vehicles feeding energy back into the system.
The research will hopefully produce energy grids that run more efficienctly and offer greater choice and control for consumers. ICES hopes to have the facility up and running by Q1 2011, and is looking to sign up to 10 large companies as partners in the process.
source & part-article: Straits Times