Prepared by: Dr. Mohd Helmi Sani & Dr. Siti Pauliena Mohd Bohari
The 3rd Asian Federation of Biotechnology Malaysia Chapter International Symposium (AFOBMCIS) 2021 was conducted virtually by the Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
The symposium was jointly organised by AFOB Malaysia Chapter (AFOB MC) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) with other universities (Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM), Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UNIMAP), USCI University, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and research institutions (MPOB and MARDI). The symposium was chaired by Dr. Mohd Helmi Sani (UTM) and co-chaired by Dr. Rozaimi Abu Samah (UMP).
The opening remarks were given by the patron of AFOBMCIS 2021 cum President of AFOB MC, Prof. Ts. Dr. Suraini Abd Aziz (UPM) and officiated by UTM Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Datuk Ts. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail. The theme, “Biotechnology toward Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Circular Bioeconomy”, was according to the current biotechnology trend and focused on the significant contribution in sustainable development, renewable biological resources and management and circular bioeconomy.
The symposium was successfully attended by 151 participants from Malaysia and international delegates from the United Kingdom, Germany, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, India, Czech Republic, and Nigeria.
The first plenary speaker, Prof. Dr. Jo Shu Chang, had shared remarkable progress and output of microalgae research and commercialisation activities that significantly contribute to the bioeconomy. Meanwhile, the second plenary speaker, Dr. Christian Patermann shared his view on bioeconomy if it still fits in the next decade. The keynotes, invited speakers and participants also shared their impressive findings, which directly and indirectly contributed to the sustainable development goals and circular bioeconomy.
The recent trends of the bioeconomy around the globe had also been discussed in the symposium. Based on the symposium, suitable strategies that include the bioeconomy content can be implemented in primary and secondary schools. Moreover, the best-selected papers presented at the symposium were invited to publish in the journal of Frontiers in Microbiology, Food Research and Malaysian Applied Biology.
Through the symposium, there was also a signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) extension between the Asian Federation of Biotechnology Malaysia Chapter (AFOBMC) and Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering Society of Taiwan (BEST) for the international collaboration and networking between Malaysia and Taiwan researchers in the Biotechnology field.