BOSTON, June 20 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Bioeconomy Initiative, which will outline a comprehensive plan to encourage more commercialisation in the biotechnology industry, is expected to be announced at the next MSC Malaysia Implementation Council Meeting (ICM) meeting.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the meeting, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, is scheduled to be held either in July or August.
Apart from the initiative, at least six new Entry Point Projects (EPPs) on biotechnology are expected to be announced during the meeting.
"The framework has been announced during last year's bio convention and now the content including the EPPs, we hope that the Prime Minister will announce it at the ICM meeting," he told Malaysian journalists after launching the Malaysian Pavilion at the BIO Boston 2012 Tuesday.
Among the focus areas include medical biotechnology, production of vaccines, medical devices and biopharmaceuticals; industrial biotechnology like energy and bio based chemicals; and agricultural biotechnology, largely involving genome.
The Malaysian Bioeconomy Initiative, which will also capitalise on the entire biotechnology ecosystem and related value chain, is expected to generate 20,000 job opportunities by 2020.
Ongkili is currently leading an 80-member delegation to BIO International Convention-BIO Boston 2012, the world's largest gathering of 15,000 participants comprising biotechnology professionals, business leaders, scientists and policy makers.
The delegates also include Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang; Terengganu State Secretary Datuk Mazlan Ngah; Malaysian Investment Development Authority Director of Life Sciences Industry Division Jaswant Singh and East Coast Economic Region Development Council Chief Executive Officer Datuk Jebasingam Issace John.
Meanwhile, Ongkili said so far, eight foreign biotechnology companies have expressed their interest to invest in Malaysia.
"They are US, European and French based companies, that are largely involved in manufacturing vaccines, medical devices, bio based chemicals. Well, we are firming up, so we don't want to say too much about it first," he said.
Further development on the discussions are expected to be disclosed at the end of BIO Boston, which ends this Thursday.