10 biotech EPPs launched

  • Bioeconomy Transformation Program (BTP) launched earlier this week by Malaysian PM Najib
  • BTP aims to boost GNI by US$1.2bil, attract US$3.2bil in investments and create 16,300 jobs

10 biotech EPPs launchedFOLLOWING the recent launch of the Bioeconomy Transformation Program (BTP) by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Sri Najib Tun Razak, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) and Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) announced 10 Entry Point Projects (EPPs).
These projects will boost the nation’s biotechnology sectors covering the three focus areas of agriculture, healthcare and industrial, Mosti and BiotechCorp said in a joint statement.
“The BTP strategy is seen as a catalyst to enhance and complement the Economic Transformation Program (ETP),” Najib had said earlier. The ETP is his administration’s program to transform the nation into one with a high-income economy.
“It is a continuation of the focus area discussed at last year’s ICM (Biotechnology Implementation Council Meeting) to increase private sector investment and reduce the industry's dependence on public funds," he said.
The 10 EPPs announced are Industrial Bio Inputs, Bio-based Chemicals, Biomaterials, Bio-based Farm Inputs, High Value Bioingredients, High Value Food Varieties, Biosimilars, Drug Discovery and Preclinical Services, Molecular Screening and Diagnostic and Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine.
With 20 trigger projects identified under the 10 EPPs, the BTP is collectively set to increase Malaysia’s Gross National Income by RM3.6 billion (US$1.2 billion) by 2020, attract investments worth RM10 billion (US$3.2 billion) into Malaysia’s biotechnology industry, while creating 16,300 high-quality job opportunities.
Three projects under the BTP are ready for implementation:

  1. The production of isobutanol chemical from renewable biomass resources by Gevo Incorporated, to be used for the production of bio-based products such as biochemistry, biomaterials and biofuels;
  2. The plantation development, extraction, and commercialization of the mangosteen fruit by Furley Bioextracts Sdn Bhd, to produce high value bio-based products; and
  3. The production of bio-fertilizer from industrial waste through integrated treatment plants by InnoIntegrasi Sdn Bhd, to increase crop yield and soil remediation.

Also announced is the provision of infrastructure and financial mechanism of soft loans for industry players and BioNexus companies involved in the BTP projects.
The Biotechnology Commercialization Fund (BCF) amounting to RM61.5 million (US$20.2 million) will be offered in the form of soft loans to eligible BioNexus companies to undertake biotechnology commercialization activities that are in tandem with Phase II of the National Biotech Policy, that is, “Science to Business.”
Meanwhile, in line with the National Biomass Strategy, BiotechCorp, in collaboration with Malaysian Debt Ventures (MDV), will implement a pilot project known as 'MY2GEN', which offers a soft loan scheme to qualified palm oil millers for the creation of a bio-infrastructure aimed at converting palm oil biomass into high-end second generation raw material (feedstock) through collaboration with selected technology providers.

The first phase of MY2GEN involves the participation of 20 oil palm millers for the production of 200,000 metric tons of second generation cellulosic sugar. A total of RM200 million (US$65.6 million) has been allocated by MDV under this pilot project.
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