IBD and OPCW collaborates in organizing the natural product development programme

Institute of Bioproduct Development (IBD) & the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) collaborates in organizing the natural product development programme for the African region member states

Participants from from the African Region member states attending  Natural Products Development Program.

12, July 2012, UTM Johor Bahru – In another initiative towards global branding, IBD together with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) headquatered in The Hague, Netherlands have collaborated in conducting the first ever Natural Products Development Program attended by professionals from the African Region member states.

The program commenced from the 2nd until 17th of July 2012 at our Pilot Plant here in the Johor Bahru Campus, and is fully funded by the government of Norway.

IBD’s association with OPCW began back in 2008, when IBD was invited to bid for the 3 month Associate Programme organized annualy for professionals and engineers in the chemical engineering field originating from member states.

IBD was then asked to propose a special program focussing on the peaceful use of chemistry mainly on the natural products development with a case study on Malaysia’s natural resources.

IBD with its expertise and facilities was able to captivate the officers from the International Cooperation Branch of OPCW during their 3 visits here in Malaysia.

Third time’s a charm, as this year we are able to organise the first ever intensive program focussing on the development of bioproducts with commercial value that would eventually assist with the economic development of the participants home country.

11 scientists hailing from Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Cameroon, Mauritious, Botswana, Tunisia, Kenya, Swaziland, Seychelles and Nigeria have been chosen as the pioneering participants for this programme.

The  scientists held prominent posts in their home country and are mostly expert researchers in the field of biochemistry and natural products chemistry development. They will be here to work together with our experts in an interactive knowledge sharing on fundamental research and hands on projects towards the development of bioproducts.

IBD’s Director, Prof Ramlan is pleased with the outcome in assuring OPCW that IBD is the best place to train 158 member countries in using natural product chemistry as a way to develop a vibrant industry that creates economic opportunities and promote wellness by using their traditional knowledge on herbs.

Ten years experience in developing Malaysian herbal industry will be shared with the participants so that similar policies and effort can be adopted and tailored to the individual country’s landscape.

The programme was visited by Dr Boitemolo, the Senior Manager of the International Cooperation Branch who was present on the first day of the course in which  we have gained positive feedback as OPCW is looking forward to a sustainable strategic collaboration in the scope of training and research especially targetted for those coming from countries in transition with UTM.

And through the success of this program, UTM will have the opportunity to send their scientists for training in other member state countries and utilizing a similar grant. This programme has been endorsed and co-organized with the National Authority of Chemical Weapons Convention, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia.