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Investments boost research and innovation at Universiti Sains Malaysia

25.06.2008
USM has signed 8 agreements with national and international corporations to further promote research. This includes commercialization of research, nanotechnology information transfer, biotechnology research, new products for the construction industry, clinical mass spectrometry services for the region and more.

On 22 June, Universiti Sains Malaysia launched their Science and Arts Innovation Space in a bid to stem the brain drain, boost local innovation and attract international collaboration.

They have now signed 8 agreements with national and international corporations to further promote research and innovation. This includes commercialization of research products, nanotechnology information transfer, capitalizing on biotechnology research, new products for the construction industry, clinical mass spectrometry services for the region and more.

Some information about these agreements and the corporations is given below. For detailed information, you may contact Professor Zainul F. Zainuddin, whose contact details are given at the end of this press release.

1) COMMERCIALISATION OF RESEARCH
The Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) presented a cheque for RM 24 million to Universiti Sains Malaysia for the commercialization of the following 8 research products:
. Innovative Technology for the Production of (S)-Ibuprofen
. Enzymatic Deinking as an Environmental-Friendly Solution for recycling of Printed Waste Paper
. Development & Production of OilZob- A Novel & Reactive Oil Absorbent from Various Rubber Waste
. Production of Dense Hydroxyapatite for Bone Graft Substitutes
. Production of Innovative Biomaterials for Developing Countries
. Single-step production of carbon nanotubes and hydrogen from natural gas
. Development and Production of Nitrocellulose Membranes
. Development and Production of Bioconjugates
The Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) was set up by the Government of Malaysia in 1992 to spearhead the development of technology businesses in Malaysia. MTDC has evolved to become a unique integrated venture capital solutions provider that not only provide venture capital but also grants and incubation facilities. MTDC, after a rigorous evaluation process, have selected 8 high quality research projects from USM for funding under its Commercialization Research Development Fund to prepare the products developed in these projects for commercialization in the near future. (MTDC was represented by Mr Norhalim Yunus, Chief Executive Officer)
2) NANOTECHNOLOGY
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation Sdn Bhd (BiotechCorp) to help disseminate a platform of nanoparticle technology acquired from Nanobiotix S.A in France to scientists in Malaysia.

BiotechCorp is an agency of the Government of Malaysia, entrusted to identify value propositions for the biotechnology sector in both R&D and commercialization as well as to nurture biotechnology ventures. BiotechCorp is acquiring a platform nanoparticle technology from Nanobiotix S.A.in France that has potential applications in a number of areas. USM through its Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM) and faculty members from various Schools will collaborate with BiotechCorp to receive and disseminate the technology to other researchers in Malaysia. This MOU sets out the general framework and intentions of both Parties to collaborate for facilitation of a definitive agreement. (BiotechCorp was represented by Dato' Iskandar Mizal Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer)

3) CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with IBS ICONSIS Sdn Bhd to explore options of using innovative building and construction products developed by USM scientists.

IBS ICONSIS, a subsidiary of United Engineers Malaysia (UEM), is a leading player in the area of industrialized building systems. USM researchers have over the years been developing innovative products for the building and construction industries. IBS ICONSIS and USM are exploring ways to work together on facilitating the use of USM's products in the business of industrialized building systems. This MOU sets out the general framework and intentions of both Parties to collaborate for facilitation of a definitive agreement. ( IBS ICONSIS was represented by Mr Rozali Osman, Chief Operating Officer)

4) BIOTECHNOLOGY
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Biotropics Malaysia Berhad to set up a herbal standardisation centre, utilise a USM developed software for identifying molecules with potential commecialiable bioactivity and to commercialize specific extracts and compounds from USM's natural resources research.

Biotropics Malaysia Berhad (Biotropics) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad and its main role is to explore, harness and develop high quality beneficial products from Malaysia's rich biodiversity for the global consumer. Biotropics and USM are exploring ways to collaborate towards the mutual benefit of both that will include among others, the setting up of a centre for herbal standardization, the use of a software developed in USM for analyzing and identifying molecules with potential commercialisable bioactivity and the commercialization of specific extracts and compounds from USM's portfolio of natural resources-based research products. This MOU will provide the foundation for both Parties to develop a definitive agreement in the near future. ( Biotropics was represented by Dr Nungsari Ahmad Radhi, Director)

5) COLLABORATIVE CLINICAL MASS SPECTROMETRY LABORATORY
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Amcare Laboratories International Inc. to set the foundation for Amcare and the Doping Control Centre of USM to explore the setting up of a Collaborative Clinical Mass Spectrometry Laboratory that will offer services in Malaysia and the International Market.

Amcare was formed as a private corporation in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine International ("JHMI") in order to create and establish next generation pathology and laboratory medicine services and facilities in international markets. JHMI is a part of the Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation and the School of Medicine of The Johns Hopkins University (Amcare was represented by Mr Paul F. Pasi, President for Asia Pacific).

6) CAPITAL INVESTMENT AND ANALYTICAL SERVICES
A Memorandum of Agreement was signed with First Solar Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. The MOA marks a collaboration in capital investment and analytical services between First Solar Malaysia Sdn Bhd and the Doping Control Centre of USM.

First Solar Malaysia Sdn Bhd is a subsidiary of First Solar, the largest manufacturer of thin film solar modules with its Headquarters in Tempe, Arizona, USA and manufacturing facilities in the USA, Germany and now in Malaysia (First Solar was represented by Mr Paul Durairaj, Plant Controller).

7) R&D DEVELOPMENT
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Khazanah National Berhad, the investment holding arm of the Government of Malaysia. The MoU sets the foundation for further opportunities to develop R&D, especially in the emerging life sciences sector.

Khazanah Nasional Berhad (KNB) is the investment holding arm of the Government of Malaysia and is empowered as the Government's strategic investor with the main objectives of promoting economic growth and manage strategic investments that contribute towards nation building. KNB and USM recognize that working together on exploring opportunities and establishing a cooperative relationship would benefit both Parties. This MoU provides the foundation for both Parties to establish collaboration and explore opportunities to develop, support and enrich each other, particularly in the emerging life sciences sector. The collaboration is expected to include enhancing research capabilities and capacities of USM, support for USM's postgraduate students in selected areas, enhancing linkages between USM and Government-linked Companies particularly in the commercial use of USM's research products and support the development of sains@usm. (Khazanah was represented by Dr Nungsari Ahmad Radhi, Executive Director)

8) SAINS@USM
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Scientige Sdn Bhd on the further development and implementation of Universiti Sains Malaysia's Science and Arts Innovation Space (sains@usm).

Scientige Sdn Bhd and USM have worked together on the development of the Master Layout Plan and Business Plan for sains@usm. This MOU sets out the general framework and intentions of both Parties to collaborate further on the implementation of sains@usm. (Scientige was represented by Mr Arifin Marzuki, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer)

For more information, please contact:
Professor Zainul F. Zainuddin
Director of USM's Innovation Office
Email: zainulfz@kb.usm.my or zainulfz@gmail.com
Mobile Tel: +6012-9006730

Mohamad Abdullah | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.researchsea.com/html/article.php/aid/3293/cid/4/research/
http://www.usm.my
http://www.researchsea.com

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