Chilibangi Poised for Nationwide Cultivation
By Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Shahiddan Saidi
KUALA LUMPUR, 27 June 2012 – A subsidiary company of The National University of Malaysia (UKM) is to supply seedlings of disease resistant chilly known as Cilibangi, an R&D product developed by its researcher, Associate Prof Dr Ahmed Mahir Mokhtar Bakri for nationwide cultivation and distribution.
An Investment Business Opportunities (IPO) agreement for this was signed by the company, Serotech Sdn Bhd with Sero Ventures and Mozad Resources under a programme organised by the Malaysian Innovation Agency (AIM) at the Malaysian Innovation Expo here this afternoon.
Serotech’s CEO, Sharifah Nur Rahimah Syed Alias, Sero Ventures’ Director, Rusnah Muda and Mozad Resources Director, Mohd Zahuri Ahmad signed the agreement. Serotech hopes to provide consumers with a convenient chilli-based end-product using cilibangi that will be launched soon.
Cilibangi is the product of over 30 years of breeding by Dr Ahmed Mahir that led to the development of the disease-resistant strain.
Serotech is tasked to handle the production and distribution of cilibangi to the market while Sero Ventures and Mozad Resources will distrubute the seedlings to farmers.
It was one of 14 agreements signed under AIM’s programme at the event. A National Technology Commercialisation Office (NTCO) has also been set up by AIM together with 26 top public and private universities including UKM, research institutes and companies.
The NTCO is a centre to assist universities and public research institutes commercialise their innovations by providing industry players and investors with a collective library of innovations to bring to the market.
UKM was represented by its Vice-Chancellor, Prof Tan Sri Dato’ Wira Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin.
Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak witnessed the signing for the formation of NTCO, in which all the public universities were represented.
Dato’ Sri Najib said that innovation is the key ingredient to a country’s prosperity and growth and there should thus be close links between the government, the private sector, universities and the people in order to bring about innovations developed to commercialisation.
AIM Chief Executive Officer, Mark Rozario said the NTCO would speed up the commercialisation process of intellectual properties developed by Malaysian academia by enabling potential investors to find innovations they would like to commercialise and create wealth for the country.