The biotechnology industry is all set to enter the second phase of the National Biotech Policy from 2011 to 2015, which focuses on bringing scientific discoveries and innovations to market.
"The second phase is the most challenging phase and needs more collaboration with the stakeholders," Malaysian Biotech Corporation (BiotechCorp) chief executive officer Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood said Tuesday.
One of the most critical factors to efforts under the second phase is the commercialisation of Malaysian research and development (R&D), especially on a global scale, he said during a press conference on BioMalaysia 2010.
Iskandar said one of the efforts to achieve the second phase target successfully is the Commercialisation Assistance Programme (CAP), jointly developed with Larta Institute of the United States.
"The tie-up is to help advance the market readiness and potential of Malaysian biotechnology entrepreneurs in the fields of agriculture, healthcare and industrial biotechnology, which are related to the life science sector," he said.
Larta Institute is an independent, private, non-profit corporation and innovation hub. It provides professional services in designing and managing commercialisation programmes for public and private companies and universities.
In accelerating commercialisation, a key initiative of BiotechCorp is the development of Bio-Xcell in Nusajaya, Iskandar Malaysia.
The creation of this custom-built biotech ecosystem for R&D, manufacturing and commercialisation activities in the industrial and healthare biotechnology will take place in three phases over a six-year period.
Researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs will be able to excel under the conditions, and with facilities geared towards ensuring innovation and success in biotechnology, Iskandar said.
To date, there are a total of 173 BioNexus-status companies, he said.
Their revenue growth for the first quarter of 2010 was 46 per cent, a huge jump as compared with the growth rate for the industry globally between 17 and 22 per cent, Iskandar said.
"To date, total revenue generated by BioNexus companies amounted to RM1.121 billion with 50 per cent contribution from export earnings," he said.
Such achievement also reinforced the global status with multiple foreign investors in BioNexus companies, namely from Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States, he added.
BiotechCorp was recently honoured with the Excellence in Growth Award by Frost and Sullivan in the annual Growth, Innovation and Leadership Award in Singapore.
Iskandar said the biotechnology sector has grown from strength to strength in a short period and is also on track to contribute 2.5 per cent to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) growth.