In 2005, the National Biotechnology Policy (NBP) was launched with the aim to make biotechnology as a new economic engine for the country. Among the many initiatives taken was to upgrade the three biotechnology cooperative centers (BCC) set up in 2002 into national biotechnology institutes in 2006. The BCCs were then named as Malaysia Institute of Pharmaceuticals & Nutraceuticals (IPHARM), Agro-biotechnology Institute Malaysia (ABI), and Malaysia Genomic Institute (MGI).
In 2011 the Cabinet agreed that ABI, IPHARM and MGI be corporatised into a new autonomous not-for-profit body to enable the three institutes to be operated centrally, more effectively and efficiently. The entity is named as the National Institutes of Biotechnology Malaysia (NIBM). On 1 March 2014, ABI, IPHARM and MGI were officially transformed into NIBM. The main objective of NIBM is to enable IPHARM, ABI and MGI is to minimize or eliminate government procedural requirements and replace with a dynamic, fast & efficient decision-making process. Among the roles of NIBM are to set priorities and direction for R&D activities, to plan for commercialization of R&D outputs and to enhance the R&D ecosystem to drive Malaysia into a global biotechnology hub. The management of NIBM will be centralised by Corporate Management Office (CMO)