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UMT, Utokyo Collaborate To Unlock Potential Of Microalgae

Last update: 12/07/2017
KUALA NERUS, July 12 (Bernama) -- Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) and Tokyo University (UTokyo) are collaborating to unlock the great potential of microalgae species available in Malaysia.

UMT vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr. Nor Aieni Mokhtar said apart from studying on the diverse range of microalgae species in Malaysia, the collaboration was also to strengthen the cooperation between the two Asian countries.

"This cooperation followed the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signed on Feb 29, 2016 between UMT, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Universiti Selangor (UNISEL) for a technical collaboration with Japan Science Technology Research Partnership Strategy (SATREPS) in the Operation System for Microalgae Culture Optimised for Sustainable Tropical Aquaculture (COSMOS) project.

"Through this collaboration, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) had also contributed over 30 new high-tech equipment, which were placed at UMT Central Laboratory, for the project," she told a media conference here yesterday.

Also present were Soka University president, Prof Yoshihisa Baba and JICA representative Shinsaku Fukugawa.

The COSMOS project is headed by UPM lecturer Prof Dr Fatimah Md Yusoff, who also acts as coordinator for the Malaysian research group.

The Japanese research group is led by Prof Dr Tatsuki Toda from Soka University, who is also the coordinator for UTokyo, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) and Tokyo Institute of Technology (TITech).

"This five-year project is to develop a high quality energy-efficient microalgae culture system using recycled nutrients from aquaculture sludge," she said adding that products from the culture system can be used in the aquaculture, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

The COSMOS joint-venture project was signed by Higher Education Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Ir. Zaini Ujang, and JICA representative in Malaysia, Kojiro Matsumoto t the Higher Education Ministry in Putrajaya on March 25, 2016.