Pagoh, 15 September: – Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) will develop the Centre in Agro Technology for Advanced Bio-Processing (UTM-ICA) in a 50-hectare area near Pagoh.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Datuk Ir Dr Zaini Ujang said, the center will conduct research and develop agro-based innovation. It is part of the Education Hub which is officiated by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muyhiddin Yasin today.

As a Research Center, UTM-ICA will accommodate 200 students and 50 postgraduate research specialists especially in research and innovation focused on agriculture.

Research conducted will incorporate cross-disciplinary expertise, a combination of the strength of various disciplines, faculty and Research Alliances (RAs).

UTM is committed to implement a comprehensive innovation to develop, promote agriculture and food industries through the application of engineering and technology in agriculture.

The technology developed is expected to effectively enhance productivity, as well as modernise and add value to the agricultural sector.

The main purpose of the establishment of this center is to develop high-value bio-product available for commercialisation in addition to focusing on advanced bio-processing technology development to meet the needs of downstream agriculture.

Advanced bio-processing technologies aimed at adding value and diversifying agricultural products include functional foods, nutrasutic, cosmesutik, bio-fertilizers and biomaterials.

In addition, the center will conduct specific studies on sustainable farming and sustainable agriculture methods in intelligent biotic as well as taking into account the interests and the hydrological cycle in the farm ecosystem.

Agriculture is a combination of intelligent biotic in biotechnology, telecommunications networks and advanced control systems. The “bio-refinery” strategy is the method of processing agricultural materials into an integrated bio-product.

The combination between intelligent biotic agriculture and strategic ‘bio-refinery’ will help in adding economic value to the agricultural sector.

UTM-ICA will be equipped with research laboratories, bio-product development labs, ‘bio-refinery’ plant, greenhouse and farm intelligent biotic. It is expected to be completed and operational by 2015.