Economic Value Analysis for a Government Funded Research Program in Green Fertilizer Technology Development

By Lai, Fong-Woon; Shad, Muhammad Kashif et al. | Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal, January 2017 | Go to article overview

Economic Value Analysis for a Government Funded Research Program in Green Fertilizer Technology Development


Lai, Fong-Woon, Shad, Muhammad Kashif, Wahab, Hasnida Abdul, Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal


Introduction

The world-wide concern about worsening environmental conditions necessitate the need for eco-friendly agriculture products. Academic institutions play an important role to research eco-friendly products and bring the inventions into commercial application. Nevertheless, there are few successful collaborative research focusing on technology transformation and product commercialization between the academia and government (Salleh and Omer, 2013). The 2015 budget speech by the Malaysian Prime Minister stated that the active collaboration between the universities and the industry will have significant positive impact on economy. To this end, the Malaysian government, through the Ministry of Higher Education's Long-term Research Grant Scheme (LRGS), provides grants to institutions of higher learning to support research programs of fundamental nature in niche areas such as global warming, infectious diseases, tropical medicine, energy and water security, adequacy of food, advanced manufacturing and value added, as well as information and communication technology (Salleh and Omer, 2013; Lee, 2000). It is through this initiative that OneBaja research program came into existence in 2011. OneBaja research program comprises a group of researchers from several public and private universities in Malaysia to embark on a research on developing green fertilizer technology. This OneBaja research program received a grant worth (Ringgit Malaysia) RM12 million from the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) of Malaysia. The ultimate objective of OneBaja research program is to produce a green fertilizer technology by featuring a green production of ammonia in the form of Control Release Fertilizer (CRF) mechanism of urea for paddy farming fertilizer. The research program is broken down into seven sub research projects as shown in Figure 1. Project 1 to 6 are related to technology developing, engineering and sciences, while Project 7 of the OneBaja research program relates to stakeholders communication strategy as well as social and economic analysis. This paper highlights the economic value analysis of the OneBaja research program whose grant is provided by the MOHE Malaysia by developing a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) model for four out of the seven projects within the OneBaja program. As such, this paper develops a 5-stage CBA model for the computation of the costs and benefits for the projects under examination.

Literature Review

Government-Universities Collaboration

The support and funding from the government is beneficial and crucial to higher learning institutions to develop the technologies and push outward the frontier of knowledge (Lee, 2000). Apart from the contribution to the economic development, the government research grants contribute much to the universities helping in the development of new technological products, training of staff and students, product commercialization, creating new scientific instrumentations and methodologies, forming networks and stimulating social interactions, creating new firms and increasing the capacity for scientific and technological problems solving practices (Salter and Martin, 2001). In the Tenth Malaysian Plan (2011 2015), MOHE announced four types of grants that have been initiated for the growth of research and development activities, such as the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), Long-term Research Grant Scheme (LRGS), Exploratory Research Grant Scheme (ERGS) and Prototype Research Grants Scheme (PRGS) (Lee, 2000). All these grants are available to universities, researchers, engineers, government research institutions, as well as corporations that focus on product innovations and development.

In the light of the above, "OneBaja" research program receives RM 12 million grant from the LRGS to advance knowledge in green fertilizer technology development by featuring a green production of ammonia as well as a controlled--release mechanism of urea in the paddy fertilizer. …

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