BIOTECHCORP COLLABORATES WITH CRAUN RESEARCH SDN BHD TO TRANSFORM

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					   BIOTECHCORP COLLABORATES WITH CRAUN RESEARCH
  SDN BHD TO TRANSFORM SAGO AS STRATEGIC CROP FOR
                     SARAWAK
 INDUSTRIAL BIOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS WILL TRANSFORM SAGO
             AS THE ECONOMIC MAINSTAY OF SARAWAK

Kuching, February 25th 2011 – Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation Sdn Bhd
(BiotechCorp) and CRAUN Research Sdn Bhd today announced a strategic
collaboration to transform sago palm as an important element in the Bioeconomy
Initiatives Malaysia (BIM).


The Strategic Collaboration Agreement was exchanged by BiotechCorp’s Chief
Executive Officer, Dato’ Dr. Mohd Nazlee Kamal and CRAUN Research’s Chief
Executive Officer, En. Yusuf bin Haji Sobeng in conjunction with the Bio-Borneo
2012 in Kuching Sarawak, witnessed by Sarawak’s Chief Minister, YAB Pehin Sri
Haji Taib bin Mahmud.


The sago palm which is indigenous to South East Asia has long been used on a
subsistence basis in parts of Malaysia. At present, Sarawak is the world’s biggest
exporter of sago starch, exporting about 45,000 tons per annum to mainly Asia
region.


The collaboration will look into the transformation of sago into a strategic crop for
wealth creation and enabler for the bioeconomy space in Malaysia, while
identifying innovative platform technologies for efficient use of sago starch and
sago biomass as feedstock which will provide higher value-added output to its
entailing downstream products. Both parties will be involved in the creation,
development and enhancement of sustainable commercial access of sago as the
strategic   feedstock,   while   undertaking    activities   to   promote   technical
collaborations within the government bodies, academia and private institutions.
“Sago starch and its biomass represent vast opportunities in realizing the nation’s
high-income status. The BIM and National Biomass Strategy are the latest
strategic initiatives in which industrial biotechnology has set its sight to become
the backbone of these ingenuities. BIM presents compelling economic
development opportunities for Malaysia. Intensive awareness is being created
within industries and corporations to develop a whole new mindset based on
green chemistry and renewable and sustainable feedstock” said Dato’ Dr. Mohd
Nazlee Kamal, CEO of BiotechCorp.


Sarawak is currently the principal producer of sago locally and the world’s largest
sago exporter. The abundant starch processing industries and the effluent
produced is one of the objective behind this collaboration whereby both
BiotechCorp and CRAUN Research aim to also address the environmental
sustainability through effective waste management solution. This collaborative
effort looks to salvage a potential pollution of the rivers, where much of the
effluent of the sago mills is disposed.


Industrial biotechnology applications will transform sago as the economic
mainstay of Sarawak, capable of generating GNI of RM 1 billion by 2015.
BiotechCorp aims to accelerate the commercialization of converting sago and its
biomass to bio-based chemicals for use in various value-added across the value-
chain. The impetus from downstream industries with technology know-how and
product marketing capabilities are necessary to complete the Industrial
Biotechnology ecosystem.


CRAUN Research in this case has several works already being undertaken
ranging from bioremediation, biofuel generation, and hydrolyzing sago biomass
into fermentable sugar.


“With this strategic collaboration, we hope to enhance and expedite our R&D
activities in particular on the utilization of sago biomass to contribute to the
nation’s feedstock requirement for our industrial biotechnology ecosystem. With
the lure of attractive incentives from the SCORE development areas, we hope
this will attract more industrial players to invest in Sarawak with ready feedstock
from what was once a nuisance to the sago industry”, said Encik Yusup Sobeng,
CEO, CRAUN Research Sdn. Bhd.


Riding on the Bioeconomy initiative and National Biomass Strategy 2020
launched last year during BioMalaysia 2011, BiotechCorp and CRAUN Research
are focused on capitalizing the potential economic benefits of the entire
biotechnology ecosystem and related value chains through sago for the benefit of
Malaysians.


About BiotechCorp
BiotechCorp is the lead development agency for the biotech industry in Malaysia and
acts as a central contact point providing support, facilitation and advisory services for
biotech and life sciences companies in Malaysia. Since its establishment in 2005,
BiotechCorp has played a key role in building the biotech industry in Malaysia. To date,
BiotechCorp has facilitated the development of 210 BioNexus-status companies in
Malaysia with total approved investment of RM 2.146 billion. BioNexus-status companies
are international and Malaysian biotech companies that qualify for fiscal incentives,
grants and guarantees administered by BiotechCorp. For further details, visit
www.biotechcorp.com.my.

				
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