Emerging Technology

ASM carries out effort that identifies new technologies and recent breakthrough in science via horizon scanning. ASM excels in identifying these emerging science and technology which is deemed most relevant and suitable to the national S&T ecosystem.

  (i) Blueprint for Rare Earths Industries in Malaysia
In an earlier Study by ASM, it saw that there were many opportunities in rare earths, from the upstream exploration and mining of rare earths-based minerals in the country, to cracking and processing in the mid-stream sector and finally to the down-stream sector, comprising value-added industries using rare earths metals in green technology applications. The whole ecosystem of rare earths would eventually contribute to the enhancing the nation’s economic growth as well as providing many high-income jobs to Malaysians. A blueprint on the establishment of rare earths industries in Malaysia is in the pipeline and is expected to be published by mid-March 2014.


  (ii) Blueprint for Fuel Cell Industries in Malaysia
Fuel cells are the energy-converting devices with a high efficiency and low or zero emission. They have been attracting more and more attention in recent decades due to high-energy demands, fossil fuel depletions, and environmental pollution throughout. Advanced countries are currently in the race for the reality makeover of fuel cell technology in multiple fields especially in transportation, stationary power and micro-electronic devices. Fuel Cell technologies have considerable potential in the Malaysian future energy structure that might tackle the issues of depleting fossil-fuel resources, high demand in energy, and to overcome the adverse impacts on climate change. The Blueprint will identify technology, research and development, new energy funding and incentives, standards and policy development, cost competitiveness and market enhancement, and awareness and capacity building areas.


  (iii) Blueprint for Plant-Made Proteins
Plant-made proteins are generally understood to include proteins of high value which may have healthcare and veterinary applications (medicines, nutraceuticals, diagnostic reagents) or application in industry (enzymes and other protein based materials). They are developed using biotechnological means including plant transformation and regeneration and may be produced using whole plants, cultured organs or single cell systems grown in bioreactors. Their development and production encompasses a wide set of technical expertise including gene identification and isolation, recombinant DNA technology, plant and cell culture, biosafety, scale up, extraction, purification, GMP production through to intellectual property development and licencing and finally, marketing and sales. Recent industry reports suggest that the cost of production of therapeutics and other high value proteins in plants will be highly profitable given that the economics are driven by well-developed technologies giving high product expression yield; low proportional cost of biomass production using sunlight and soil as raw materials; supply security derived from the ability to store unprocessed seeds or other plant material long-term without loss of product quality; and efficient low cost processing facilities. The Blueprint will identify the best technical opportunities and needs areas in the value chain to create an implementation pipeline for the accelerated development of a PMP sector for the country. It will leverage on existing R&D investments and capacity of the country and accelerate industry growth & commercialization through strategic partnerships and acquisitions.


  (iv) Blueprint for Carbon Free Energy in Malaysia


i. To identify the major stakeholders involved in carbon-free energy, Research and Development;
ii. To identify the issues in implementing the carbon-free energy; and
iii. To develop a blueprint and road-map for a carbon-free energy programme in Malaysia including the proper funding, public engagement and awareness programme.


Malaysia’s gas reserves estimated to last for another 33 years and oil reserves another 19 years, thus the Malaysian government is strengthening the role of renewable energy (RE) as the fifth corner-stone of energy generation. Malaysia has identified key areas for investment under the Economic Transformation Programme. At the moment, a lot of support and largess is bestowed on the oil and gas industry. Studies reported that global CO2 emission has increased 30% and temperature has risen by 0.3- 0.6 °C during the 20th century. Presently, burning coal used in electricity generation and petroleum used for motor transport are identified as two main sources of CO2 emissions. According to a report from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE), Malaysia, CO2 emissions from energy usage in industries constituted the highest percentage (35%) followed by transportation (21%). Sooner or later, the climate will force government to slash carbon emissions, and that will mean demand for fossil fuels will plummet.