Embarking on research innovations between Diamond Gas Holdings Sdn. Bhd. and Sarawak Biodiversity Centre in sustainable and renewable energy production

Diamond Gas Holdings Sdn. Bhd. (DGH) and Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) are embarking into a new research agreement this year after the successful operation of the largest, and one of its kind outdoor Algae Cultivation Facility (ACF) in Southeast Asia, located at SBC.

Algae Cultivation Facility at Sarawak Biodiversity Centre
Algae Cultivation Facility at Sarawak Biodiversity Centre

DGH, an established Malaysian investing company for upstream development, midstream and GTL (gas to liquid) projects in Malaysia is wholly owned by Mitsubishi Corporation (MC). Under the new research agreement, DGH is channelling research funding over a period of 3 years, to support research and development (R&D) activities in developing microalgae towards various potential industrial applications.

Stemming from a long-term SBC-MC collaboration, this SBC-DGH partnership aims to open a new chapter in efforts to spur green technology innovations and offer alternatives to achieve sustainable renewable energy production, in line with this year International Biodiversity Day 2021 theme: “We’re part of the solution #ForNature” announced by the Secretariat of Convention on Biological Diversity in March 2021.

Biodiversity serves as the primary solution for various sustainable development challenges from nature-based solutions to climate, health issues, food and water security, and people’s livelihoods. Thus, through this partnership, microalgae will be the main bioresource to drive the development of decarbonization technology as the world transits to the use of renewable energy.

MC began a strong research partnership with SBC in 2012. They have been actively supporting the microalgae R&D in SBC and exploring initiatives to deploy green solutions. Amongst the major achievements that were established is a natural resource asset called Sarawak’s Microalgae library, and the construction of an algae production facility for industrial stakeholders to pilot their technology.

Monitoring of cultivation system by Sarawak Biodiversity Centre’s staff
Monitoring of cultivation system by Sarawak Biodiversity Centre’s staff

The Microalgae library has a collection of more than 650 strains covering 75 genera that are indigenous to Sarawak. More than half of these strains have known biotechnological applications, and some remain yet to be decoded in its function. Currently, the SBC research team has successfully demonstrated the cultivation of locally isolated Chlamydomonas and Spirulina as the feedstock for biofuel and aquaculture. The facility for these algae production is equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital network to enhance productivity.

Over the years, MC have been supporting different activities in Sarawak which include energy, automobile businesses, and tropical forest restoration conservation and protection of the environment are placed as one of their core responsibilities to the public.

Microalgae as viable alternative energy source show a high potential for the generation of fuel such as biohydrogen, bioethanol and biodiesel. Through this partnership, demands of both producing enough renewable energy to meet future needs while preserving the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved.

The SBC-DGH partnership agreement was formalized on 20th May 2021 in conjunction with International Biodiversity Day 2021 which is held on 22nd May annually. Diamond Gas Holdings Sdn Bhd was represented by the Managing Director, Mr Yasuyuki Suzuki and the Sarawak Biodiversity Council was represented by its Chairman, YB Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, Sarawak State Secretary. The formalization of the agreement was witnessed by Mitsubishi Malaysia Chief Executive, Mr Masashi Shiraishi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research, Sarawak and Deputy Chairman of Sarawak Biodiversity Council, Mr Kameri Haji Affandi and Chief Executive Officer of SBC, Dr Yeo Tiong Chia.

SBC seals Benefit Sharing Agreement with Indigenous Communities to develop and commercialize essential oil from the rainforest for human and veterinary applications

Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, October 17, 2020: The Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) today announced the signing of a Benefit Sharing Agreement (BSA) with the Bidayuh and Iban communities of Kampung Semadang (Padawan) and Rumah Simon (Lubok Antu), respectively, to partner on the development and commercialization of AdenoSara®, the essential oil of Adenosma nelsonioides (Bunga Ta’ang/Bangkit Engkerawan), for human and veterinary health and wellness applications.

A Second Benefit Sharing Agreement (BSA) scheduled in September 2020

The Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) will be signing its second Benefit Sharing Agreement (BSA) on the use of indigenous communities’ knowledge for R&D leading to commercialisation.

The BSA signing scheduled for September 2020, will be with the Bidayuh community of Kampung Semadang near Kuching and Iban community of Rumah Simon at Lubok Antu. The BSA stipulates the rights of the communities on development of Bunga Ta’ang or also known as Bangkit Engkerewan through Sarawak’s Traditional Knowledge (TK) Documentation programme. The essential oil of the plant will be commercialized under the trademark AdenoSara®.

This was revealed by the Chief Executive Officer of SBC, Dr Yeo Tiong Chia during a visit by Dato Sri Michael Manyin, Minister for Education, Science and Technological Research, Sarawak, to SBC on Thursday. The Minister was accompanied by Dr Annuar Rapaee, Assistant Minister for Education, Science and Technological Research, and a delegation comprising officers from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research (MESTR) and the Sarawak Research Development Council (SRDC).

Sarawak, through SBC sealed its first BSA in March 2019 with five indigenous communities for the commercialisation of the LitSara® essential oil.

Sarawak is the first in Malaysia to implement the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) which entails governance of genetic resources and traditional knowledge with benefit sharing channelled to indigenous communities for sustainable development and use of their biodiversity.

During visit, the Minister and his delegation were given an update on SBC’s R&D activities, and witnessed industrial and scale-up commercialisation on bio-based products during a tour of the Centre’s laboratories and algae cultivation facility.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
https://www.sbc.org.my/sbc-news/latest-news#sigProIdcb8fa999d7

Traditional Knowledge (TK) and its commercial potential: SBC’s TK seminar attracts largest participation from 17 ethnic communities

KUCHING – In conjunction with SBC’s 21st Anniversary celebration, a Traditional Knowledge Documentation seminar showcasing its ongoing and future commercialisation projects held on 06th December 2019 at Harbour View Hotel, attracted community leaders and representatives from 17 ethnic groups, from across Sarawak, namely, Bagatan, Berawan, Bidayuh, Bisaya, Iban, Kayan, Kelabit, Kenyah, Lun Bawang, Melanau, Melayu, Penan, Punan, Saban, Sekapan, Tabun and Tagal.

Sarawak Biodiversity Centre seals country’s first Benefit Sharing Agreement (BSA) with Five Indigenous Communities

Kuching: Wednesday, 20th March 2019 marks a milestone for Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) as it officially seals Benefit Sharing Agreements (BSA) with five indigenous communities under the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre Ordinance, 1997. Simultaneously, SBC breaks new ground for Sarawak becoming the first in Malaysia to implement the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing, a major landmark for governance of genetic resources and traditional knowledge, with benefit sharing for its indigenous communities through the sustainable use of their biodiversity.

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