PlaTCOM Ventures and British Council Announce Winners of the Dengue Tech Challenge 2016

Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM), the Malaysian National Innovation Agency, and PlaTCOM Ventures Sdn Bhd, in collaboration with the British Council, announce the winners of the Dengue Tech Challenge 2016. The Challenge is a proactive approach taken to support proposals for collaborative projects that bring together experts from Malaysia and the United Kingdom to focus on commercialisation of dengue-related research and products in Malaysia. The aims are to: 
  • support commercialisation of Dengue research between organisations from Malaysia and United Kingdom;
  • provide proactive solutions to Dengue outbreaks in Malaysia; and,
  • provide a platform for industry-academia commercialisation collaboration activities in Malaysia and United Kingdom.
The Dengue Tech Challenge 2016 is the brainchild of Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) and PlaTCOM Ventures, deployed in collaboration with the British Council. PlaTCOM Ventures Sdn Bhd is the national technology commercialisation platform of Malaysia and a wholly-owned subsidiary company of Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) formed in collaboration with SME Corporation Malaysia under one of its six High Impact Programmes (HIPs) in the SME Master Plan 2012-2020. The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities spanning across 191 offices in 110 countries and territories.

This Challenge is funded through the High Impact Programme 2 (HIP2) of PlaTCOM Ventures and the Newton-Ungku Omar Fund of the British Council. HIP2 is designed to address innovation gaps through a holistic and 'market-driven' approach. It provides end-to-end facilitation aimed at assisting Malaysian SMEs to accelerate the development and commercialisation of innovative products/solutions/services in all sectors. The Newton Fund is a £375 million fund which, through science and innovation partnerships, promotes the economic development and welfare of poor people in partnering countries. It aims to strengthen science and innovation capacity and unlock further funding to support poverty alleviation. After stringent assessments, 4 teams were selected as winners. The total amounts approved are RM3,308,450 (for the Malaysian SMEs) and GBP552,017 (for the UK research institutes).

The winning teams and their projects are:
  • X-Vax Sdn Bhd and University of Cambridge with the project ‘RetroMAD1 Antiviral Drug as a Therapeutic and Prophylaxis for Dengue’;
  • RVR Diagnostics Sdn Bhd and University of Bristol with the project ‘Point-of-Care Molecular Detection and Serotyping of Dengue Virus’;
  • Flexilicate Sdn Bhd and University of Southampton with the project ‘Rapid, Point-of-Care Dengue Detection Device’; and,
  • One Team Networks Sdn Bhd-University of Strathclyde with the project ‘Lure-and-Kill Technology for Dengue Vector Control’.
In addition to the admission into the High Impact Programme 2 and the grant for commercial development, each of the winning organisations will receive access to Thomson Reuters’ products to support them in their continued efforts to commercialise their dengue-related technologies. Said John Langton, Sales Director of ASEAN and Hong Kong, Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters, “As a strong advocate of global research collaboration and partner of ASEAN’s research community, we are pleased to support the winners of Dengue Tech Challenge 2016 with reliable detailed information and biopharmaceutical news and analysis they can trust to support their dengue-related research and development which will benefit Malaysia and hopefully the wider life sciences community.”

We certainly hope that through this initiative, we can tackle head-front with dengue and defeat it. Thanks to the partnership between PlaTCOM Ventures and the British Council, we can now bring together the brightest minds from Malaysia and also the UK, and join hands in this fight for our country, Malaysia. It has always been and will be about 'Innovating A Better Future Together'.
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