By: Hafliza Hussin
KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 – Three researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) won a gold medal, two bronze and a Special Award at the R&D Bioeconomy Innovation Awards.
The awards were presented by Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Madius Tangau at an event held in conjunction with BioMalaysia & Asia Pacific Bioeconomy 2016 Exhibition which took place from May 31 to June 2 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).
Prof. Dr. Maznah Ismail from the Laboratory of Molecular Biomedicine of Bioscience Institute (IBS), received the Gold award as well as “Bioeconomy Innovation of the Year” Special Award through her innovative product “Extraction of Fixed Oil & Thymoquinone Rich Fraction (TQGOLD, a production of bioactive thymoquinone (TQ) compound which can be found in Nigella Sativa seed, also known as “habatussauda” using a Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) method.
This TQ innovation is known for its effectiveness in the prevention of and as an alternative treatment for degenerative diseases such as cardiovaskular and cancer, in addition to maintaining optimal health as it is rich in antioxidants.
Prof. Dr. Raja Noor Zaliha Raja Abd Rahman of UPM Enzyme and Microbial Technology Research Centre, meanwhile, was named the recipient of the bronze award through her innovation, Thermostable Organic Solvent-tolerant Protease.
Protease is an enzyme derived from Bacillus subtilis sp. Rand and organic in nature. This enzyme is applicable in food industry, beverages, detergents and others as it is heat-resistant, tolerant to organic solvents and has high resistance to sweetness.
Prof. Dr. Zulkifli Shamsuddin from the Department of Land Management, Faculty of Agriculture, won a bronze through his product, Bacto 10: Liquid Biofertizer which took the form of bio-fertilizer liquid containing micro-organisms that is not pathogens and isolated from the root of an oil palm tree, and could produce phytohormones to promote root growth and increase the rate of water absorption and nutrients.
This was the first time that Bioeconomy Innovation Awards was introduced in the event, organized by MOSTI and Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) with focus on improving and creating demands for value-added and sustainable bio-based products and industrial services through science, technology and innovation policies.
The categories contested were Agriculture/Agro-based Industry, Bio-Industrial Technology, Health & Wellness and Green & Renewable Technology, of which the main criteria of evaluation is that they could generate income through commercialization of these technologies.
Among the universities that participated in this exhibition were Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Malaya, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and the National Defence University of Malaysia. – UPM.
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