8th International Biotechnology Competition and Exhibition 2022 Encourage Research and Development of Biotechnology

The 8th International Biotechnology Competition and Exhibition 2022 (IBCEx 2022) is an annual programme organized by the Bioprocess Engineering Students Society (BIOSS) from School of Chemical and Energy Engineering (SCEE). IBCEx had been held for 8 consecutive years since 2015.

The main objectives of this annual event are to encourage research and development of biotechnology, as well as to inspire and nurture the commitment to save the world by young generation of today through competition and exhibition.

With the theme “Greening The World Innovate The Future”, the organizer opened two categories, Undergraduate and Postgraduate, for the Innovation Project Competition.

Undergraduate category consisted of 2 subcategories: Biotechnology and Green Technology.

Postgraduate category consisted of 1 subcategory: Biotechnology / Green Technology / Waste Treatment.

Furthermore, there were also Poster and Video Competitions opened to all students from high school to undergraduate in which participants designed their own poster and video according to the theme and presented their work.

Our annual physical event was carried out virtually due to the pandemic. It was run via Cisco Webex and Facebook platform. However, there were several difficulties faced throughout online events like poor internet connection and difficulty to secure partners.

Thankfully, we gained enough experience from the previous two years during IBCEx 2020 and IBCEx 2021, which were also held virtually. Hence, we could easily overcome some of the problems.

The issue of internet connectivity posed a threat to the overall flow of our event. Implementing pre-recorded videos for participants who faced poor connection in their area, allowed them to provide a comprehensive presentation of the innovation to the judges.

The ongoing pandemic has made it difficult to secure partners as many businesses currently face problems in staying afloat themselves.

Thankfully, with ample effort and perseverance of our sponsorship team, we managed to overcome this issue and secured a few companies that were willing to partner with our event.

We also rehearsed before the main event days to ensure the flow of the event went smoothly. Any technical problems that happened during the live session had also been solved in time with quick thinking, spirit, passion of our team, and guidance from previous leaders.

For the postgraduate category, there were 17 teams: 15 local teams and 2 international teams. There were two teams from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), three from Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), two from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), two from University of Nottingham Malaysia, two from University College Sedaya International (UCSI University) and one team each from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), and Taylor’s University. The other two international teams were from Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU) and National University of Singapore (NUS). 

For undergraduates, there were two categories which are Biotechnology (BT) and Green Technology (GT). For Biotechnology category, there were 9 teams involved in this competition. There were 3 teams from Taylor’s University, two teams from UTM, and one team each from Asian Institute of Medicine Science Technology (AIMST University), Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak, UTP and University Malaysia Kelantan (UMK). 

The Green Technology category (GT) had 9 teams participating.There were 7 teams from local universities and 2 from international universities. There were two from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, and one each from Universiti Selangor, UTM, AIMST University, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) and Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak.

The champion for the Innovation Project Competition for the Biotechnology category was the team from UTP with their project titled ‘Biofilm Forming of Microalgae on Seaweed for Potential Biodiesel and Bioethanol Production’.

The first runner up went to team from Taylor’s University with their project titled ‘Fabrication & Mechanical Testing of Bismuth-PETG composite for radiation shielding’. The second runner up went to team from AIMST University with project titled ‘Inhibition of Porphyromonas gingivalis with Dual Promoter DNA Vaccine: Towards Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease(AD) In Mice Model’.

For the category of Green Technology, the winner went to project titled ‘Esterofoam: Biodegradable and Eco-Friendly Alternative for Styrofoam’, team from Universitas ‘Aisyiyah Yogyakarta.

The first runner up went to team from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman with the project titled ‘Photocatalytic Fuel Cell for Remediation of Environmental Pollutants and Sustainable Power Production’.

The second runner up went to team from UTM with the project titled ‘Ferticity: Fertigation System for Urban Farming Using Solar and Rainwater Harvesting’.

Meanwhile, for the postgraduate category of Biotechnology / Green Technology / Waste Treatment, the champions went to a team from UTP with the project title ‘i-ADAC for Circular Economy Creation’.

The first runner for this category was team from UiTM with project titled ‘Alternative Biomaterial: Experimental and Modeling of Hybrid-Treated 316LVM Stainless Steel’ and the second runner up was also team from UTP with project titled ‘Bioremediation of Crude Oil in Polluted Seawater Using Wastewater as Biostimulant’.

The winner of the template brochure design, with titled ‘Eco Art’, for the undergraduate category was team from Universiti Selangor, consisted of three-member: Aishwaryavathy A/P Muthu Kumar, Soundhria A/P Silvarajah and Susganiya A/P Subramaniam.

For the postgraduate category was Tengku Nur Adibah Binti Tengku Hassan, titled ‘Gold Asset in the Advancement of CO2 Sequestration Paradigm via Novel Hybrid Membrane Comprising of Pebax 1657 and Hierarchical Linde Type-T Zeolites’ from UTP.

The best presenter for the undergraduate and postgraduate categories went to participants from UTP: Meyyappan Mahesh (undergraduate) and M. Devendran A/L Manogaran (postgraduate).

Aside from that, IBCEx 2022 also came with a Poster Competition with the theme ‘Rethink The Future: Rescue The Green World’ that was opened from high school to undergraduate students.

This year, there were a total of 60 participants taking part in the Poster Competition. 24 participants were high school students and 36 participants were college students.

Prizes of this competition were up to RM200 for the first winner, RM150 for the first runner up and RM100 for the second runner up. All the posters are made with the participants’ own creativity according to the theme.

The 1st place went to Loke Rui Kee from UTM with poster titled ‘Vast Active Living Intelligence System (VALIS)’, the 2nd place was Ariq Ahmad Bowo Leksono also from UTM with the poster titled ‘Biodegradable Polymers for Potential Greener Smart Material’ and the 3rd place was Lok Huey Kei from UTHM with the poster titled ‘Green Lane’.

The theme of Video Competition of IBCEx 2022 was ‘Sustainable Technology Prospect to a Greener World’. This competition also opened and involved a wide range of participants who are students from high school, matriculation, pre-university, foundation, diploma or undergraduate.

The objective of this competition was to encourage and expose the students to field of sustainable technology, boosting and expressing their ideas regarding sustainable technology by presenting creative videos. IBCEx 2022 received 12 participants in total.

The first place in Video Presentation Competition won by Keshavarani A/P Palaiswaran from SMK King George V with the video entitled ‘Lacto-fermentation The Evergreen Life Sustenance’.

The first runner-up was Afza Firzana Binti Aznizam from Sekolah Tun Fatimah, the video presented was ‘Waste Usage Change Life’, while the second runner-up was Muhammad Azim Bin Mustafa Khalil from SMK Seri Ampangan with the theme of ‘Sustainable Technology Towards a Green World’.

Meanwhile, prizes of RM200 have been awarded to the first place, RM150 to the first runner-up and RM100 to the second runner-up.

An online voting session that lasts for 6 days has also been conducted, to let the public vote for their favourite video and poster presented, showing support to the participants.

The online voting session also played a vital role in choosing the winner of the competition.

The forum session was organized on the first day of the event, which was on 15th April 2022 entitled ‘Reduce Footprint & Go Green’.

The speakers for this session are a well-known mechanical engineer, Ir. Santha Kumaran is also a former advisor of the Environmental Technical Division of IEM whereas Dr. Razam Abd Latip is the Industrial Advisor for UTM Bioprocess Engineering Programme. The moderator of this forum was Prof. Madya Dr. Dayang.

During the forum, questions such as the introduction of footprint, ways to reduce and how to go green. Besides that, participants also asked questions during the forum such as on how to reduce footprint.

Overall, the forum took around 1 hour to conduct. This forum was fruitful and knowledgeable for the participants.

On the 16th April 2022, Vice-Chancellor of UTM, Y. Bhg. Prof. Datuk Ts. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, was invited to officiate the IBCEx 2022 closing ceremony.

It was a pleasure to invite the Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Ts. Dr. Ruzairi bin Abdul Rahim and the UTM representative of 8th International Biotechnology Competition and Exhibition (IBCEx 2022), Prof. Dr. Mohd Ghazali Mohd. Nawawi, the Chair of School of Chemical and Energy Engineering UTM, Datuk Bacho Jansie, Sawit Kinabalu Group Managing Director, Dr. Yanti Maslina binti Mohd Jusoh, and the Advisor of Bioprocess Chemical Engineering Student Society as our VIP for the closing ceremony of the 8th International Biotechnology Competition and Exhibition 2022.

UTM appreciated the hard work of every committee for successfully organising this outstanding competition and exhibition.

They believe that this programme provides an excellent platform for people to generate and turn their ideas into valuable products related to biotechnology which can then be contributed to meeting the needs of the world and people.

Therefore, UTM hopes all the participants have seized this opportunity to learn something new and obtained new knowledge as well as useful experiences from IBCEx 2022.

Last but not least, UTM also hopes that this meaningful programme can be maintained and improved from year to year so that BIOSS is able to bring more exciting activities to the participants in the future.