HOME > NEWS > MALAYSIA > Hyper Interdisciplinary Conference in Malaysia 2024: Spearheading the Agrifood Technology and Innovations for Sustainability and Resilience.

Hyper Interdisciplinary Conference in Malaysia 2024: Spearheading the Agrifood Technology and Innovations for Sustainability and Resilience.

Hyper Interdisciplinary Conference in Malaysia 2024: Spearheading the Agrifood Technology and Innovations for Sustainability and Resilience.

Subang Jaya – Leave a Nest Malaysia successfully organized the Hyper Interdisciplinary Conference (HIC) in Malaysia 2024, which was held at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus on 24th February, Saturday. The conference gathered more than 300 attendees, including 67 poster presenters, 15 HIC Splash presenters, and 12 panelists, as well as 9 exhibitors. HIC is a platform that brings together experts from various fields and sectors, from Malaysia and Japan, to create new ideas from discussions and initiate cross-border collaborations to explore innovative solutions.

Leave a Nest Malaysia expresses pride in having Taylor’s University Impact Lab Food Security and Nutrition as Strategic Partner, and Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) as University Partners for the event. The conference was able to bring together leading experts in the agricultural sector and technology developers to discuss the latest advancements in food security, sustainability, and resilience with the support of esteemed Main Partners Biovet International Sdn. Bhd and Real Tech Holdings Singapore, Session Partners Aerodyne Group, Sime Darby Plantation Research Sdn. Bhd., PtBio Inc., and Supporting Partners Euglena Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. and Biogenes Technologies Sdn. Bhd.. 

Prior to the conference, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony was held between Leave a Nest Malaysia and Taylor’s University Impact Lab Food Security and Nutrition to strengthen the collaboration of both parties. The ceremony was officiated by Emeritus Prof. Dr P.T. Thomas, Executive Dean of Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, Taylor’s University. The MoU between Leave a Nest Malaysia and Taylor’s University was signed by Mr. Abdul Hakim Sahidi, Managing Director of Leave a Nest Malaysia, and Emeritus Prof. Dr P.T. Thomas. The signing was witnessed by Dr. Yukihiro Maru, Founder and Group CEO of Leave a Nest Group and Associate Professor Dr. Chong Li Choo, Director of Impact Lab Food Security and Nutrition, Taylor’s University.

Leave a Nest Malaysia and Taylor’s University Impact Lab Food Security and Nutrition officials signed the Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen research and innovation collaborations

The project leader, Dr. Suzianti Iskandar Vijaya then welcomed the conference attendees in her welcoming remark and explained the relevance of the conference theme, which was “Tech-Powered Transformation for Malaysia’s Food Resilience”. Dr. Suzianti highlighted the importance of science bridge communication to close the gaps between various stakeholders in the agriculture ecosystem and other sectors. She also emphasized the importance of HIC as a platform in gathering people from different backgrounds and fields, and creating mutual understandings with each other towards realizing a common goal to improve Malaysia’s agriculture landscape. She urged the audience to team up and foster cross-border exchanges and collaborations to improve the entire ecosystem.

HIC opening remark by Dr. Suzianti Iskandar Vijaya, Project Leader of HIC MY 2024.

The session also included a short remark by the conference's main sponsor, Biovet International Sdn. Bhd., where Mr. Syed Naufal Putra Syed Ja’afar shared about his enthusiasm and excitement in joining HIC. He also shared a bit more about Biovet’s business and technology. 

Main Partner remark by Mr. Syed Naufal Putra Syed Ja'afar, Biovet International Sdn. Bhd.

The conference's keynote address, titled “Enhancing Agrofood Security Through National Innovation” which was delivered by YBhg. Datuk Azah Hanim Ahmad, Deputy Secretary General (Policy), Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security. YBhg. Datuk Azah highlighted the initiatives taken by the ministry to support the agriculture sector and ensure food security in the country. She also shared the progress of national agrofood through the implementation of the National Agrofood Policy 2.0 (2021-2030), emphasizing on the PINTAR Concept which focuses on innovation and re-engineering processes in all aspects throughout the agrofood sector’s value chain. She also highlights the ministry’s 4 main focus for 2024; paddy and rice, poultry and eggs, onions, and pineapple. YBhg. Datuk Azah expressed her support for the efforts from both government and private sector in improving the implementation of technology into the agricultural ecosystem of Malaysia, and emphasised the need for collaborations to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the agrifood system.

Keynote address delivered by YBhg. Datuk Azah Hanim Ahmad, Deputy Secretary General (Policy), Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

The event then proceeded with the 1st panel session, “Redefining Aquaculture Tech: A Symbiotic Venture for the Community and Sustainability”, featuring panellists Prof. Dato’ Dr. Aileen Tan Shau Hwai, Director, Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (CEMACS), USM, Associate Professor Dr. Murni Marlina Abd. Karim, Deputy Director, International Institute of Aquaculture and Aquatic Science (i-AQUAS), UPM, and Ms. Melissa Saw, Co-Founder and CEO, LuFloc Sustainable Aquatech Sdn. Bhd. During the session, the panelists discussed the definition of aquaculture and sustainability, and technologies implemented in the field.  

Panel Session 1; from left to right: Prof. Dato’ Dr. Aileen Tan Shau Hwai, Associate Professor Dr. Murni Marlina Abd. Karim, Ms. Melissa Saw, and moderator Dr. Izwan Zainol.

The conference then continued with the HIC Splash Session featuring 15 selected presenters (5 researchers, 4 local startups, and 6 Japanese startups). Each presenter had three minutes to present their technology and research breakthroughs in front of the audience. This session provided a platform for researchers to showcase their innovative ideas and multidisciplinary research findings related to agribiotechnology and food security. After the presentation, the poster session commenced in the foyer area, where attendees had the opportunity to interact more actively with the presenters and discuss their research in greater detail. This session allowed for the exchange of knowledge and ideas among researchers and attendees, promoting collaboration and advancing the field of agricultural technology.

Some of the HIC Splash presenters in action. Top left to bottom right: Ms. Ellyana Bustari (UiTM); Mr. Adrian Joseph (Biogenes Technologies); Mr. Yu Hatakeyama (Ridge-I); Mr. Tsubasa Saito (Soilook).

Knowledge exchange at its best! 65 posters were presented by universities and agencies from Malaysia and Japan, sparking engaging discussions during the poster session.

The afternoon session of the conference began with the second panel session titled “Sustaining Key Food Crops through Regenerative Agriculture” with Session Partners Sime Darby Plantation Research Sdn. Bhd. and PtBio Inc.. The panel featured Mr. Kumaran Rajagopal, Principal Agronomist, Sime Darby Plantation Sdn. Bhd., Dr. Kazuki Nakamae, Senior Researcher, PtBio Inc., and Prof. Dr. Jennifer Ann Harikrishna, Director, Centre for Research in Biotechnology for Agriculture (CEBAR), UM. The panellists discussed the potential of utilizing regenerative agriculture technologies in real situations and the limitations that might arise. The session provided valuable insights into the current trends and technological advancements in the field of sustainable agriculture including implementation of bioinformatics and digital breeding technology, as well as their pain points, from the perspective of startup, corporation and university researchers, paving the way for future collaborations and innovations in the field.

Panel Session 2; from left to right: Mr. Kumaran Rajagopal, Dr. Kazuki Nakamae,. Prof. Dr. Jennifer Ann Harikrishna,  and moderator Dr. Ilia Anisa Aris.

The conference proceeded with the third panel session entitled “Future-Proofing the Livestock Industry”. Powered by Biovet International Sdn. Bhd., the session featured Mr. Syed Naufal Putra Syed Ja’afar, Founder, Biovet International Sdn. Bhd., Mr. Jason Ng, Manufacturing Vice President, Cell Agritech Sdn. Bhd., and Professor Dato' Dr Quaza Nizamuddin, Head of School, School of Veterinary Medicine, Taylor’s University. The panel discussed the importance of improving the current technology for livestock production, including breeding, immunity, and sustainable animal feed, as well the necessity to deep dive into the world of cultivated lab-based meat.

Panel Session 3; from left to right: Mr. Syed Naufal Putra Syed Ja’afar, Mr. Jason Ng, Professor Dato' Dr Quaza Nizamuddin,  and moderator Dr. Hadi Akbar Dahlan.

After a short break, the conference proceeded with the final panel session of the day entitled “Space Science and Agriculture”, with Session Partner Aerodyne Group. The session featured Mr. Razwan Zakaria, Chief Product Officer of Aerodyne Group, Dr. Norilmi Amilia Ismail, CEO of SpaceIn Sdn. Bhd., and Dr. Kuhan Chandru, Research Fellow at the Institute of Climate Change, UKM. The session highlights the application of space technology in the agriculture settings, from pocket satellite technology to utilization of satellite data for precision agriculture, as well as the wider scope of how to bridge space science and agriculture in general.

Panel Session 4; from left to right: Dr. Kuhan Chandru, Mr. Razwan Zakaria, Dr. Norilmi Amilia Ismail,  and moderator Dr. Wan Nur Izzaty Ismail.

Overall, the conference was a great success, with attendees engaging in thought-provoking discussions and sharing their insights on how to create meaningful research and innovation for a more sustainable and resilient agrofood industry in Malaysia.  Leave a Nest Malaysia is committed to continuing to work with partners and experts to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Malaysia and beyond. Thank you to all the partners, panellists, presenters and conference attendees, see you again in November for the installment of HIC in Malaysia 2024!