Hossain M. Masum is from Dhaka Bangladesh. He is co-Founder & CEO of BioBangla and has recently started agro-business by the name Kal_Agro .He was part of iGEM Peshawar first ever iGEM team from Peshawar at the same time he started a new community base research initiative with mansoor saleem, Biohacking Space Peshawar. He was also involved in starting new start-ups namely science on wheel , but couldn’t continue, as his studies came to an end in Agriculture University, Peshawar .Afterwards he pursued MS at INRA(french national institute of agriculture and research). Right after finishing the research work at INRA he moved to Berlin school of economics to learn more about start ups and business at Berlin school of economics and law .
Most funny story till now was my work on the happiness scale . It was my last semester project; still working on it. My main focus is to combine synthetic biology, psychology, nuroscience, electrical engineering, computer science and business knowledge to decode human brain’s thinking cycle to check how happy people are in their daily life. (Comment, the man got 98, and i am lost, like how ! it was …………… lol)
How’s your current startup Biobangla going, and what projects are you currently working on?
I started BioBangla 2017 when i was back to bangladesh During summer vacation . I knew no one for the first time in life science sector and it was really hard to reach people and for the first time i started having no experience . With the collaboration of Chinese University of Hongkong we started the journey arranging a conference that was related to biocomputing . This was the 3rd time i was selected for Global community bio summit at MIT-USA but was unable to attend due to visa issues.
Currently BioBangla is working on different pilot project; especially focusing crispr cas-9 technology, synthetic biology and BioE, open hardware , and Open Rice variety .
“My aim is to bring billion dollar biotech industry to Bangladesh. we started to solve our community problems already, that will initiate a new appraoch towards doing business, as there is already a hugemarket and the demand is really high .”
How would you compare developing and developed countries, when it comes to the educational culture?
last few year i had opportunity to work with the people from developing and developed country . What i have observed in developing country like Bangladesh and Pakistan is, that everyone is hungry to learn, including me, but there are very few opportunities . Our universities and colleges teach us how to be obedient students and how that,ll help us get a secure job, which curbs the creativity of students, and grades are given more weightage than true learning.
How do you think combining business and sciences shall help sciences, especially in the case of biosciences?
when we talk about BioE a question arises, why do life science student need the knowledge of Business . What i feel from my experience, business knowledge always provides a new dimension to human life, whatever background you are from does,t matter. New way of thinking and knowhow of psychology does matter if you are starting something new . knowledge from other backgrounds open your eyes , if you can add one more dimension in you life as business knowledge that will be a blessing in your life to see things in a different perspective.
We must focus on training of our students/researchers/faculty members about BioE along with cutting edge research in the sciences . I don’t expect everyone will get interested but few will, thats exactly what we need to change the life sciences sector to move on & challenge the developed world .
Whats the most nagging issue, that you think is hampering the development in science and technology in our region?
As a developing country we alway face funding problems to do science yet interestingly DIY bio movement started in 2008 . Since the trend has been replicated by our countries, I beleive it will change the world soon as we can always use alternatives that are cost effective. This open sharing of intellectual designs and knowledge is another way to bring forth new innovation in life science sector at a faster rate. But in europe or USA ecosystem are different they have a lot of resources but we can make it faster if we follow the alternative route, taking into consideration our resources.
INRA, Paris France
Berlin School of Economics