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Curtin University

Bio Valley Park at Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia

The state-of-the-art BioValley costing more than RM50 million to be developed at the Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) campus by the Sarawak Ministry of Industrial Development in partnership with Curtin University will be the first of its kind in Sarawak..

It is expected to give a significant boost to R&D and knowledge accumulation in Sarawak to meet the State's technological needs, particularly in relation to the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), as well as contribute to the State Government's vision of making Miri a reputable centre of learning and research in the area of biotechnology.

This includes the establishment of infrastructure and facilities which will help generate higher value-added products through pilot scale production, product analysis, chemical composition, nutritional values of product, quality assurance and routine testing; increased total investment for the bio-based industry; and the enhancement of human capital leading to a higher-income society through training and exposure to state-of-the-art technologies and expertise.

Expected sources of income for the Park include the sale of phytochemical extracts, fine and bulk chemicals, biochemical and microbial inocula; sale of IP and product prototypes; contract research, rental of office space and specific equipment; and training of personnel.

It will be managed by Curtin Sarawak, which will provide necessary expertise and a critical mass of researchers to conduct research projects funded by the Government, Curtin University and other fund-providers, as well as ensure that the outcomes from the biotechnological research activities at the Park are relevant to the State's needs.

Site preparation works on the 10-acre site at the campus began as early as June 2009 and development of its first phase is expected to begin in early 2014 following a project tendering process. The facility is expected to be completed by mid-2015.

Phase 1 will involve the building of the R&D Complex - a two-storey building with an inner courtyard, and support infrastructure. The R&D Complex will have a total floor area of about 4,900 square metres and will house research laboratories on the ground floor and administrative and support offices on the first floor.

The BioValley Park was first mooted by Sarawak Chief Minister Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud who took a special interest in the project after reviewing an earlier concept for a technology park. A few locations in Sarawak were considered, but after much consideration, Miri was decided to be the best location given the presence of Curtin Sarawak and its proven track record in R&D.

The Chief Minister (centre) and others viewing a scale model of the R&D Complex

The R&D Complex