Big business in oily palms
The contract, signed by UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay, Guthrie Group Chief Executive and UQ graduate Tan Sri Dato Abdul Khalid Bin Ibrahim, establishes the UQ-Guthrie biotech oil palm project.
Research team leader Professor Peter Gresshoff from the UQ School of Life Sciences said he hoped the linkage would expand through staff and student exchanges and extension into other aspects of oil palm production.
Guthrie is a major company in Malaysia that concentrates on the production of vegetable oil from oil palm plantations.
The oil is widely used in Asian cooking and is used in Australia for producing biscuits and cookies.
Tan Sri, the former head of the UQ alumni association in Malaysia, said he was proud the project represented not only an important scientific and technological collaboration, but that it had the potential to improve the income of many thousands of people in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Dr Hamidah Musa, a tissue-culture specialist, will supervise the biotechnology project in Malaysia.
Also involved in the project is Dr Bernard Carroll, an internationally recognised expert in plant biotechnology, with extensive research expertise in soybean, wheat, sugarcane and tomatoes.