KOTA KINABALU: A total of 488 companies with BioNexus and Bio-based Accelerator (BBA) status had successfully generated profits totalling RM20.4 billion as of last year, said Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Mohammad Yusof Apdal.

He highlighted that these companies have also successfully attracted approved investments totalling RM8.3 billion, concurrently generating close to 15,000 job opportunities nationwide.

Mohammad Yusof added that since 2021, more than 1,800 candidates have been registered under the BioAgrotech and BioPharmaceutical Employability and Entrepreneurship Specialised Training programme (BeST 2.0) to be placed and trained under these companies, thus creating more skilled workers in the field.

“We want to give them a chance to explore business opportunities in bioeconomy while creating job opportunities for our graduates, and this is an important initiative by the Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (Bioeconomy Corporation).

“We hope that industry players will seize the opportunities presented by the Bioeconomy Corporation so that our joint efforts will always be fruitful, thus creating an advanced bioeconomy business ecosystem,“ he said.

Speaking to reporters after launching the Bioeconomy Roadshow 2024 here, which was also attended by Bioeconomy Corporation chief executive officer Mohd Khairul Fidzal Abdul Razak, he said the roadshow aligns with the objectives of the National Biotechnology Policy 2.0.

Mohammad Yusof said the roadshow aims to tackle prevalent challenges encountered by industry players, such as limited access to financing, certification and accreditation difficulties, market accessibility constraints, and the scarcity of knowledgeable workforce.

“I encourage entrepreneurs, companies, and stakeholders in biotechnology and biology-based industries, particularly those in Borneo, to actively participate in the programme and leverage the support provided by the Bioeconomy Corporation,“ he said.

Meanwhile, Mohd Khairul Fidzal disclosed that the Bioeconomy Corporation is setting its sights on recruiting 65 companies nationwide to join the BioNexus and BBA status programmes, along with enrolling 120 candidates for the BeST 2.0 programme through this year’s Bioeconomy Roadshow series.

“The Bioeconomy Corporation conducts follow-ups with these participants and ensures they are provided with access to facilities and assistance.

“With the theme ‘Bioeconomy For All’, we believe the Bioeconomy Roadshow will produce a generation of entrepreneurs, companies, and talented individuals who are innovative and competitive,“ he added. - Bernama