Johor Bahru, 14 April, 2019 – The signing and exchanging of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) document, involving research collaboration between the Centre of Lipids Engineering and Applied Research (CLEAR), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Eco Bee Shop Sdn. Bhd. was held at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Johor Bahru, this afternoon. UTM was represented by UTM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation), Prof. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail and Eco Bee Shop Sdn Bhd, Madam Tan Ah Tee, who is the Director of Eco Bee Sdn Bhd.
In her speech, Madam Tan Ah Tee said that Eco Bee is the first bee farmer that practices Mobile Bee Farming (Eco Bee Farm) in Malaysia. Eco Bee has its own bee farm, factory and retail outlets and producing first Malaysian Halal Propolis. She also has mentioned that their first acquaintance with UTM was in 2016, when they visited INATEX exhibition where Assoc. Prof. Dr Mohd Azizi Che Yunus and his team were showcasing SFE Green Technology to extract Misai Kucing. Then, her company so excited and expressed her interest of using this method to extract Non-Alchohol Halal Kelulut Propolis. Eco Bee Shop Sdn Bhd had signed the first Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the Centre of Lipids Engineering and Applied Research (CLEAR), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) since 14th November 2017. This is the first local Malaysian propolis from stingless bees using green technology of SFE, which is clean, green and safe to be consumed. The unique and chemical free benefit of SFE cannot be matched by conventional techniques, and thus meeting important consumers’ demand for chemical free “natural” products. With regard to the collaboration, Eco Bee Shop Sdn Bhd has won the “Islamic Innovation Challenge (IIC)” Award under HIP2 competition organized by Platcom Venture Sdn Bhd under the Malaysian Innovation Agency (AIM). The research grant won by Eco Bee Shop Sdn Bhd through the IIC was amongst 15 winners who have won the competition with a total of RM8 million research grants awarded. Eco Bee Shop Sdn Bhd is currently collaborating with universities such as Universiti Technologi Malaysia (UTM), Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) & Monash University Malaysia for research-based study and many more in the future. She quoted “To save the bees, we can’t do it alone, we need your hands together to make things happen”
Prof. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi in his speech mentioned that the ultimate goal of this memorandum of agreement is to establish collaboration in matters pertaining to research; development and training that will ultimately benefit both parties. With the signing of the MoA, it is also seen to be able to open a wider space for both parties to formulate more strategic and structured academic and research cooperation plans. Some research initiatives have been designed as matters relating to the production of high quality and premium propolis products by using green technology of supercritical fluid extraction. He added that with the signing of the MoA, many other areas of research will follow when various faculties in UTM are given the opportunity to be involved. The relationships between these kinds of organizations are truly needed to deeply integrate the relevancy of university as a problem solver to the current needs of the industry. The signing of this MoA is in line with UTM’s goals to promote excellence in Research and Innovation. This event is also definitely in tandem with UTM’s
commitment towards excellence in innovation and high value as an innovation-lead Research University. Through this MoA, it will be helpful in terms of space offerings to conduct joint research to address issues related to the enhancement of the process efficacy by using pilot scale supercritical fluid extraction to produce propolis extract, especially experts and administrators / managers experienced that can generate useful inputs in these efforts. On behalf of UTM, he hoped that with the signing of the MoA, it would be the starting point for future partnerships in the sharing of expertise, especially for further research activities in the country. It will also further enhance the level of knowledge and skills of the various parties involved and are confident that this will put the university to a higher level in the world. He hopes that the signing of MoA between UTM and Eco Bee Shop Sdn Bhd would set the impetus for further collaboration and sharing of expertise with the view of promoting UTM’s experts and research expertise. He strongly believes that the engagement with Eco Bee Sdn Bhd is a step in the right direction to propel UTM to greater heights towards becoming a world class university that focuses on innovative education, leading-edge technology development and innovative human capital development.