BC engages Sabah

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The participants at the Gathering of Rising Entrepreneurs, Act Together (GREAT).

Bioeconomy Corp (BC) on drive to generate bio-based entrepreneurship in Borneo state

KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Bioeconomy Corporation (BC), is forging a formidable cooperation with Sabah to boost bio-based entrepreneurship in the state in conjunction with the Gathering of Rising Entrepreneurs, Act Together (GREAT).

Over the years, the organisation has been collaborating closely with various state and development authorities including the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (Sedia), Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP), Rural Development Corporation (KPD), Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC), the Sabah Biodiversity Centre (SBC) and Yayasan Sabah to create a conducive ecosystem for the creation of bio-based entrepreneurs in Sabah.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of BC, Tuan Syed Agil Syed Hashim said that the organisation has also been collaborating with joint-venture partners, investors, universities, corridors and land authorities to provide facilitation in terms of land, funding, infrastructure, technology, joint R&D projects and uptake models for bio-based entrepreneurs to grow in Sabah.

“Bio-based entrepreneurs in Sabah have a huge potential to transform the Malaysian economy but challenges such as regulatory issues and trained personnel having to meet certain standards in the industry pose as high barriers for these entrepreneurs to enter the market.

“Bioeconomy Corporation’s presence in GREAT today underlines our support for entrepreneurs as we provide various facilitation for them to address these issues, including connections to multiple grants and soft loans, access to laboratories and facilities, as well as business matching facilities for R&D opportunities and commercialisation.

“With continued support and cooperation from the stakeholders in Sabah, we can encourage the growth of more entrepreneurs to strengthen the state’s bioeconomy,” he said.

GREAT is a collaboration between the National Blue Ocean Strategy, the Ministry of Finance and in partnership with the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre to build, grow and fund local entrepreneurship growth.

On the first day of GREAT, BC presented the opportunities in wealth creation and social entrepreneurship through bioeconomy in Malaysia, before the organisation held a discussion on “Entrepreneurship Opportunity in Bioeconomy” with presenters from Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti), POIC, PlaTCOM Ventures and National Institutes of Biotechnology Malaysia (NIBM).

The following day, BC also provided a bio-based technology perspective during a panel session that discussed opportunities and challenges in incorporating technology with business and how this could increase productivity.

BC has trained over 70 bio-entrepreneurs through programmes like QB3 and Technology Preview to develop a pool of bio-entrepreneurs and start-ups that can enrich Malaysia’s bio-based industries.

In 2016, University of Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and UMS Holdings presented a total of 11 bio-based innovations for the BioInnovation Awards and BioPitching.

In this programme universities, research institutes and companies showcased their bio-based innovations to increase their visibility as entrepreneurs to other business entities and to accelerate the development and commercialisation of their products.

As of February 2017, there are 11 BioNexus Status companies based in Sabah from sectors including aquaculture, crop biotechnology, lifestock, bioremediation and natural product discovery and commercialisation.