Marine Biotechnology in Malaysia

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National strategy for biotechnology

Malaysia’s New Biotechnology Policy was announced in 2005, covering the period to 2020. The NBP includes agricultural and industrial biotechnology.

National strategy for marine biotechnology

There is no obvious national strategy for marine biotechnology.


The Ninth Malaysia Plan 2006-2010 allocated almost US$550M to biotechnology industry development, some of this funnelled through the Malaysia Biotech Corporation, part of MOSTI, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Centres of marine biotechnology research

The School of Biological Sciences, University of Malaysia, Penang has departments of Aquatic Biology and Biotechnology [1]. There is also a Faculty of Biology at the National University of Malaysia, Selangor [2]. Although the School of Biosciences and Biotechnology at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia [3] has study and research programmes in molecular biosciences and biotechnology, there is no mention of marine science. The School of Engineering and IT [4] at the University Malaysia Sabah has some work on engineering of algal biofuels and there is an Institute of Biotechnology [5].


There is no evidence of any directed towards marine biotechnology.

Private investment

The biotechnology industry overall is projected to contribute c. US$75B to Malaysia’s economy by 2020. BiotechCorp expects to establish over 100 new companies, many through a programme called BioNexus, with about 30% of its investments going into agricultural companies, th0ough none appear to have a marine focus. Algaetech International is based in Kuala Lumpur, selling microalgal products for nutrition and health supplements, and is also developing algal systems for biofuels, waste water management and CO2 sequestration [6]. Current demonstration projects include a CO2-trapping system installed at a power plant in Indonesia, using photobioreactors for algal cultivation; current development projects focus on biofuels and high-value products such as astaxanthins.



This draft country profile is based on available online information sources and contributions from various country experts and stakeholders. It does not aim nor claim to be complete or final, but should be considered as a dynamic and living information resource that will be elaborated, updated and improved as more information becomes available, including further inputs from experts and stakeholders.

The information on this page is based on information initially compiled by Meredith Lloyd-Evans (BioBridge) as part of the CSA MarineBiotech Project activities (2011-2013).