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      20 September 2018  

SEDIA discusses collaboration with Nuclear Malaysia

Bangi (Thursday) - A delegation from the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA), led by their Chief Executive Datuk Dr. Mohd Yaakub Johari today met with the Malaysia Nuclear Agency (Nuclear Malaysia) at their office. The SEDIA delegation was received by Dato' Dr. Zulkifli bin Mohamed Hashim, the Nuclear Malaysia Deputy Director General in the Research and Technology Development Programme.

  SEDIA Chief Executive Datuk Dr. Mohd Yaakub Johari (seated second from right) with Malaysia Nuclear Agency Deputy Director General Dato' Dr. Zulkifli bin Mohamed Hashim (seated, centre) and other representatives of both agencies

During a discussion between the visiting SEDIA delegation and representatives of Nuclear Malaysia, it was proposed that the two agencies collaborate to jointly organise a seminar on application of nuclear technology in Sabah with a special focus on the agro industry, tentatively during November. It had been recognised that the two agencies can synergise and leverage each others' strengths in the agro industry; SEDIA has implemented various initiatives to encourage downstream agro-activities, while Nuclear Malaysia offers several unique nuclear-related services that benefit agriculture products. The title of the seminar has yet to be finalised, while a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SEDIA and Nuclear Malaysia will be prepared for the purpose of this collaboration.

SEDIA has been actively promoting the development of the agro-industry, particularly through initiatives at the Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct (SAIP). Located at Kimanis, in the district of Papar with an estimated area of 215 acres, SAIP is envisaged to become a new centre of excellence in agro-biotechnology that optimises the state's biodiversity and abundant natural resources to produce higher value-added food and specialty products based on botanicals, aquatic plants and animals. As one of the key economic clusters under SDC, SAIP will serve as a test-bed for carrying out biotech-driven research and development (R&D) and to develop biotech-driven businesses. Unlike other existing science and technology parks (STP) in other states in Malaysia, SAIP has a distinct focus on Specialty Natural Products (SNP), agro-biotech, cosmetics and health food products.

One of the initiatives available at SAIP is the Agro-SAIP Training Programme, which was established with the aim to empower technopreneurs in the agri-based industry, by giving the necessary exposure and transfer of knowledge, especially on the processing of agri-food and SNPs. Through the training programme, participants are given access to experienced speakers and industry representatives in various sectors; speakers well-versed in pharma-herbs, Controlled Environment Farming, post-harvest handling technology, agro-organic and agro-food industries, business and marketing through e-Commence, and bio-science and biotechnology had been invited to come and share their experience and expertise with participants. Designed to be a part of the SAIP pre-incubation initiative, the programme also screens and selects potential agro-technopreneurs, thus preparing them to operate under a conducive incubator business environment.

Following the discussion, the SEDIA delegation was given a tour of the Nuclear Malaysia facilities. The tour included a visit to the TRIGA PUSPATI (RTP) nuclear research reactor, the only one of its kind in Malaysia, as well as the SINAGAMA irradiation plant. RTP is a pool-type reactor that was designed to effectively implement the various fields of basic nuclear science and education, incorporating facilities for advanced neutron and gamma radiation studies as well as for application. Initially designed as a multi-purpose pilot facility for research and development purposes, SINAGAMA diversified from just plant activities to later offer services to the public for the sterilisation of medical products and packaging materials, decontamination of food, pharmaceuticals, herbs and animal feeds, and the disinfestations of insects in agricultural commodities, including for quarantine purposes. The plant also provides tissue and bone sterilisation services by gamma radiation for tissue banking purposes to relevant authorities such as hospitals and National Tissue Bank. - Media SEDIA

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