The biotechnology and bioeconomy landscape in Malaysia.
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New biotechnology, ISSN: 1876-4347, Vol: 40, Issue: Pt A, Page: 52-59
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- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; Chemical Engineering
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Since 1990s Malaysia aspired to make biotechnology and bioeconomy as her engines of economic growth to utlise the abundance of natural resources and biodiversity. The public sector plays an integral role in developing the sector and various incentives are in place for the private sector to be actively involved and to forge collaboration with the public sector. The country launched its National Biotechnology Policy in 2005 and later launched its National Bioeconomy Programme in 2010 to become the first country in South East Asia and second in Asia after China to have such an initiative. Malaysia is also very proactive in its biosafety law and regulations and has most of the related legal instrument in place. A lot of success has been recorded since the inception of the National Biotechnology Policy in terms of job creation, contribution to GDP through biobusinesses and investment from foreign companies, but the sector is not spared from challenges too. Due to the nature of the discipline that is multidisciplinary and that requires huge amount of investment, expertise and political will, there are a lot of barriers before the country emerges as a bioeconomy player. This paper discusses the public policies, initiatives and funding mechanisms in place in Malaysia that drive its research, development and commercialisation in the area of biotechnology and bioeconomy. The authors also discuss the challenges faced in Malaysia in implementing the policies.