NanoMalaysia and IBM partner to develop nanotech for healthcare

  • New programmable polymer nanoparticles will allow for more efficient healthcare
  • IBM Research to also train Malaysian scientists at its Almaden Research Centre

NANOMALAYSIA Bhd and IBM Corp have signed a joint development agreement to create nanogel star polymer-based materials that they said would ease access to antimicrobial coatings and drug delivery applications in the healthcare industry.
IBM Research will also provide training for Malaysian scientists at its Almaden Research Centre in the United States, IBM said in a statement.

The agreement follows the collaboration that both parties entered into in November 2012 on research and development of nanotechnologies in areas such as energy storage, electronics, healthcare and computational science; with specific outcomes for intellectual property development, commercialisation and industry partnerships.

The partnership agreement signing was witnessed by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the 3rd Global Science & Innovation Action Council (GSIAC) meeting held in San Francisco.

NanoMalaysia and IBM partner to develop nanotech for healthcareThe development and application of the nanogel star polymer class of nanoparticles for antimicrobial coatings and drug delivery vehicles could be a critical innovation in the medical and healthcare sectors, IBM said.

“Antimicrobial applications can be used as part of a comprehensive infection control programme in hospitals and other public healthcare settings,” said NanoMalaysia chairman Prof. Emeritus Dr Zawawi Ismail (pic).
“This development in drug delivery application will have a major role in disease treatment, especially for cancer therapy,” he said.
NanoMalaysia was incorporated under Malaysia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to be the lead agency for nanotechnology development in the aspects of intellectual property, commercialisation and industrial enablement.

IBM will partner with NanoMalaysia’s research and development programme over three years, with focus areas divided into three phases of engagement, each lasting 12 months. Most of the cost of the joint research programme will be funded by the Ministry of Education, and coordinated by NanoMalaysia.

NanoMalaysia will also select up to 30 researchers to participate in this programme on six-month rotations at IBM's Almaden Research Centre in an exchange programme that will provide researchers with a platform to increase their skills, gain first-hand knowledge in an international market as well as gain crucial experience in research areas which are critical to industrial need and the advancement of technology in Malaysia, IBM said.

The first team of five researchers are already at the IBM research laboratories in Almaden and due to return in March 2014.

“We are pleased that our initial engagement with NanoMalaysia has progressed to the second stage where technology transfer can take place,” said IBM Malaysia managing director Paul Moung.
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