Malaysia Science Endowment Aims To Raise RM2 Billion To Boost Govt Funding For R&D

The Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI) is actively developing a fundraising mechanism to establish the Malaysia Science Endowment (MSE), with the goal of raising RM2 billion endowment fund.

Its Minister Chang Lih Kang said MSE played a crucial role in reducing dependence on government funding for the country’s research and development (R&D).

“The proposed model is a sharing of contributions by the government, corporations, and high-net-worth individuals… MSE is more than an alternative R&D funding for the nation. The working model is to utilise its interest, which will be generated from the investment.

“The fund will be optimised further through a matching fund mechanism, bringing quadruple helix stakeholders together to focus on solution-driven R&D and prioritising based on the nation’s needs,” he said at the 2023 Dr Ranjeet Bhagwan Singh Research Grant Recipient Announcement here today.

The proposed establishment of MSE was passed by the Parliament on Aug 4, 2022, with the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) as the implementing entity under the purview of MOSTI.

Chang said the implementation of this initiative would complement the current R&D funding landscape, propelling the nation’s gross expenditure on research and development (GERD) to a gross domestic product of 3.5 per cent by 2030, aligned with the MADANI Economy Framework and also envisioned under the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2021-2030.

“By contributing to this noble cause, corporations and high-net-worth individuals will be recognised for their commitment to corporate social responsibility and have the opportunity to shape the trajectory of mission-oriented science, technology, innovation and economy (STIE).

“In collaboration with experts and stakeholders, the government will ensure transparent governance, effective utilisation of resources, and prudent investment strategies,” he said.

At the event, senior lecturer at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Dr Fazren Azmi, was named the recipient of the 2023 Dr Ranjeet Bhagwan Singh Research Grant.

Dr Fazren was awarded a grant worth RM50,000 to further his research titled “Bioengineered-Microalgae Oil Droplet as a Production Platform of Advanced Immunogenic Protein Particles for Intranasal COVID-19 Nanovaccine Formulation.”

Since its inception in 1997, the Dr Ranjeet Bhagwan Singh Medical Research Trust Fund has funded 27 research projects and 11 technical workshops.

It was an initiative by the late Dr Ranjeet Bhagwan Singh, an extraordinary visionary and philanthropist in the medical and health sciences field.

Earlier, Professor Te Yik Ying, Dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore, delivered a Memorial Lecture titled “Promise (and over promise) of Precision Public Health”.

The lecture explored the promise of precision technologies through a public health lens on implementation science, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness, highlighting the multisectoral partnerships necessary for precision methods to be successfully adopted.

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