MPOB’s Efforts To Commercialise Technology Pay Off

The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) has created a market value of RM2.04 billion through commercialisation of its technologies for the palm oil industry over the past 10 years.

Its chairman Datuk Seri Utama Shahrir Abdul Samad said the agency received the research funding from part of the RM1.5 billion cess collected from the palm oil industry, based on RM9 a tonne, during the same period.

MPOB, which has a commercialisation rate of 30.6 per cent, holds the highest record in technologies compared with other research institutions in the country.

“The launching of another 34 new technologies and 20 services this year will further increase the number of our technologies launched to 475,” he told a media briefing after launching MPOB’s 30th palm oil familiarisation programme in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Products such as red palm oil, palm tocotrienol, fertiliser, planting material, biological and oleochemical based pesticides, cosmetics, soap and plant/machinery/equipment like the continuous steriliser, Rolek nut cracker, Grabber (mechanical fresh fruit bunch loader) and the the Cantas (mechanical harvester) have been commercialised by MPOB.

Earlier in his address, Shahrir said the key to sustain current and future markets for palm oil lies in product innovation.

MPOB strives to innovate and produce new products not only in food, but also in the non-food and oleochemical sectors,” he said.

Research efforts in the utilisation of waste materials are also given strong emphasis, he added. For instance, biomass generated from oil palm, through its fronds, trunks and empty fruit bunches are also being studied.

Under green energy, the homegrown MPOB palm biodiesel has led to biodiesel plants being built in South Korea and Thailand and is being introduced in countries outside Asia.

The market value under green energy is estimated at RM1.63 billion, which includes technologies such as briquettes, gasification technology and palm-based additives.

MPOB’s contribution to the small- and medium-sized industries has also risen, with the launch of 20 technologies in varying stages of commercialisation.

This year, 39 participants from 24 countries are taking part in the palm oil familiarisation programme that is sponsored by the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

MPOB’s Technical Advisory Services Unit, which organised the week-long programme, has five regional offices worldwide and maintains close networking with research and other institutions to generate new findings from research projects.

“Findings from some of these projects have been taken up on a commercial basis by companies in the importing countries,” Shahrir said.

Projects have been carried out in several countries namely China, Egypt, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Oman, Kuwait and the UK.

Source: Business Times by Rupa Damodaran



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