Johor Corporation to develop Malaysia's own 'Silicon Valley' with GDV of RM980mil [BTTV]

KUALA LUMPUR: The global biotechnology (biotech) market is poised for a remarkable surge, projected to reach nearly four times its 2020 value by 2030.

With an anticipated 16.7 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2022 and 2030, the Asia Pacific area is firmly establishing itself as the centre of biotechnological advancement.

With this exponential growth in mind, Johor Corporation (JCorp) is gearing up to establish a biotechnology hub in Johor, aimed at generating an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM980 million.

Positioned as Malaysia's very own 'Silicon Valley' for biotech, this hub is expected to play a pivotal role in the nation's technological advancement.

JCorp's real estate and infrastructure arm, JLand Group Sdn Bhd (JLG), has inked a memorandum of understanding with biotechnology giant, ALPS Global Holding Bhd (ALPS), for the realisation of this ambitious project.

The collaboration between JLG and ALPS is envisioned as Malaysia's strategic move to capitalise on the unprecedented growth trajectory of the biotech market, positioning the nation as a key player in the global biotechnology landscape.

Datuk Sr. Akmal Ahmad, the director of real estate and infrastructure at JCorp and deputy chairman of JLG, expressed his anticipation of exploring further opportunities alongside ALPS.

''We believe this collaboration will signify a momentous milestone in biotechnology innovation on the global stage, fostering a thriving ecosystem conducive to pioneering research, knowledge exchange, and economic advancement," he said in a statement.

Encompassing vaccine manufacturing and development, genomics, regenerative medicines, immunotherapy, and gene editing, this biotech hub, located within the 7,290 acre Ibrahim Technopolis (IBTEC) in Sedenak, is poised to become a comprehensive centre for biotech and life sciences in the next decade. 

Akmal highlighted that the biotech hub will revolutionise the sector and complement the establishment of the group's data centre hub and upcoming artificial intelligence (AI) hub.

It will bring together forward-thinking industrialists, digital innovators, and lifelong learners in an advanced environment designed for sustainable growth, in alignment with the New Industrial Masterplan 2030 (NIMP2030) and the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR).

AI is anticipated to play a pivotal role in advancing biotech, impacting research, drug discovery, diagnostics, personalised medicine, and cutting-edge treatments

The biotech hub will be built in three stages across 500,000 square feet of campus-style architecture. A clinical trial centre and a medical tourism hub will be part of it.

Phase 1 will give first priority to the construction of essential infrastructure, such as a molecular laboratory, a cell processing center, and a vaccine manufacturing factory.

Phase 3 will comprise residential complexes, while Phase 2 will support academic institutions, research and development (R&D) centers, and start-up incubators to further strengthen the ecosystem.

With JLG's experience and Johor's favourable investment climate, group chief executive officer of ALPS Global Holding Bhd Datuk Sri Dr. Tham Seng expressed confidence that these joint efforts will establish the biotech hub as the leading destination for biotechnology solutions, drawing top-tier industry leaders and talent.

"Together, our dedication is focused on driving innovation and excellence across the entire biotechnology value chain, from upstream processes to downstream activities," he said.

Through the partnership, JLG will play a pivotal role as both landowner and developer, while ALPS will serve as the anchor tenant and operator.

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