Kuala Lumpur, 21 November 2011 – UTM and Malaysian Bio-XCell Sdn Bhd have established a strategic collaboration to strengthen biotechnology ecosystem in the country through various initiatives including Graduate Placement, Specialised Training, Shared Facilities and Strategic R&D Programmes identified to expand services and facilities at the Ecosystem Hub.
A Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) was signed and exchanged between Rizatuddin Ramli, Chief Executive Officer, Bio-XCell and Professor Dato’ Dr Zaini Ujang, UTM Vice Chancellor in the presence of YAB Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak at the Opening Ceremony of the BioMalaysia 2011 and the 2011 Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy Conference and Exhibition at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
“There will be over 2,000 job opportunities within Bio-XCell by 2015. We need to secure a substantial number of graduates in biotechnology and also other disciplines to fill the human capital requirements of the global MNCs which will be housed in Bio-XCell,” said Rizatuddin Ramli, CEO of Bio-XCell.
“We have also identified potential shared facilities at the UTM Institute of Bioproduct Development (IBD).The pilot plant facility and incubation services will expand the services that we can offer our clients,” Rizatuddin added.
“We have an established infrastructure for biotechnology at UTM. The university produces outstanding graduates in bioprocess engineering and life sciences annually. This partnership with Bio-XCell will facilitate graduate placement and industrial training for UTM students and graduates. The academic programmes offered plus our specialized short courses like cGMP Facility for the Production of Biopharmaceuticals and Bioreactor Operation, Maintenance and Troubleshootin will prepare the industry with skilled manpower and expertise to drive growth for the local biotechnology sector,” said Professor Dato’ Dr Zaini Ujang, Vice Chancellor of UTM.
The UTM IBD Bioprocessing Pilot Plant is an integrated multipurpose facility on campus to provide a wide range of services from primary bioprocess optimization in small scale bioreactors of 16 liters to a larger scale manufacturing in 1500liters bioreactor.
In addition to the fermentation equipment in the pilot plant is equipped with a complete integrated downstream platform to complete the process development and production chain. Meanwhile, the Herbal or Phytochemical Pilot Plant focuses on the development and formulation of high quality herbal products for the local and overseas markets.
At present UTM is granted with 5 Bionexus Partner Status Laboratories by BiotechCorp which have specialization on Metabolic Profiling, Herbal & Phytochemical Processing, Bioprocessing, Wastewater Treatment and High Temperature Laboratories. These laboratories were set up to provide services to the biotech industry.
IBD has also recently conducted Specific Training on Critical Areas (STCA) in collaboration with Biotechcorp in the scope of Bioprocessing and Herbal Extraction & Production whereby 22 graduates specially selected based on their excellent academic standing have successfully completed the programmes.
Bio-XCell is a managed biotechnology park and ecosystem hub being developed in Nusajaya, Iskandar,, Johor. It is being developed in 3 phases over a span of six years. Biocon of India, Metabollic Explorer from France and Glycos Biotechnologies of the USA are the early entrants into the Bio-XCell ecosystem. The site is supported by a network of five seaports and two international airports, all within 59km from the park. The ecosystem at Bio-XCell is designed for industrial and healthcare biotechnology with a focus on manufacturing and R&D&C.
International investors appreciate the infrastructure, logistics, accessibility and connectivity that support Bio-XCell. Our manufacturing focus will place us as a bio processing and bio manufacturing hub – apt for international biotechnology players looking for expansion in Asia. This is a launch-pad to unlock the potential of the Asian market.
The partnership engaged between UTM and Bio-XCell supports the government’s aim to move into a knowledge-based economy. The strategic initiatives from the partnership will strengthen the biotechnology ecosystem in Malaysia.