This chapter includes the following articles.
Malaysia’s R&D spending has skyrocketed over the past decade, albeit from a low base: funds for research grew at an average annual rate of 18% from 1996-2007. New government-led initiatives such as the Cradle Fund and the Malaysian Innovation Agency, are helping to improve the availability of funding, especially for small businesses doing high-value, high-risk research. Biotechnology is one of the emerging industries that has benefitted greatly from this investment, and it now employs over 150,000 people and contributes 2.2% of the country’s GDP. Malaysia’s unique biodiversity has also yielded benefits for entrepreneurs – providing rare natural compounds for pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies and allowing agribusiness firms to produce high-end rubber and palm oil products. This chapter includes interviews with Francis Gurry, Director-General, World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO); and Mohd Nazlee Kamal, CEO, Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation.