Biotech hub in Johor by 2015

JOHOR BARU: A National Biotechnology Development Centre would be built by 2015 in Johor that will feed the demand of the industry for skilled workers especially for research and development.

Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled said the centre would be a good platform in an effort to have human capital to boost the biotechnology industry in the country.

He pointed out that the centre is a joint cooperation between Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation Sdn Bhd (BiotechCorp), Johor Biotechnology and Biodiversity Corp (J-Biotech), and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP).

Mohamed Khaled added that through such joint effort between these three bodies, companies involved in biotechnologies would be able to work together with the centre to provide training for university students.

“In fact, through the centre, companies are able to increase their research and development that will see a significant contribution to the biotechnology industry in the country.

“It will be a challenge for the centre but I am sure they would be able to produce competent skilled workers for the industry which would see more foreign biotechnology companies interested in investing here,” he said.

He said this during a press conference after launching the Bio Johor 2014 Conference and Exhibition held here recently.

Mohamed Khaled also said that it was important to create such centre, as investors would always consider the capability of a country that is able to provide good skill workers.

Meanwhile, he also announced that J-Biotech and BiotechCorp would also be working together in a special community based agriculture project to see active involvement among the locals in the state.

“At the moment, the project will start in two districts - Segamat and Kota Tinggi.

“Through this programme, we will develop empty lots of land to provide honey, milk, herbs, and stevia, which is a sugar substitute that comes from a plant that has no calories,” he said.

Mohamed Khaled added that the both projects showed the special commitment by the state government to ensure Johor becomes the main player of biotechnology products in the country,” he said.

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