In a corresponding relation with rapid technology development today, the global biotechnology industry has been experiencing a high average annual growth
rate of 11 per cent in recent years. Korea’s biotechnology industry is no exception – Korea has achieved over
21.5 per cent of annual growth rate over the last five years and now the country reveals its ambitious plan to leap into a technology superpower by 2012.
The Korean government specifically aims to become one of the top seven leading countries in the science sector by 2012 and to expand its gross expenditure on research and development to five per cent of the country’s total GDP.
As an external aspect of the plan, the Korean government intends to reposition its nation as the global leader in the biotechnology industry. In order to do so, the government is seeking to increase international exchange and participation in multinational cooperative projects. The government also plans to provide developing countries with official development assistance in science technology.
Opening the headquarters office of the Asian Federation of Biotechnology (AFOB) last year in Korea was one of the government’s measures designed to build cooperation with the biotechnology industries of other nations. The AFOB, established in 2008, is the only federation in the Asian region that is dedicated to the study of biotechnology. The organisation has over 1000 scholars from 13 nations, including Korea, China, Japan and India.
With the government’s strong belief in the biotechnology industry’s potential for driving the country’s future growth, Korea has established long-term domestic policies, securing an investment budget to strengthen its leadership in the international science technology field.
As result, Korea’s R&D budget is higher than other nations – it was the fourth-highest in the world in 2008. The country also has had successful achievements in the areas of research and patent applications in recent years.
These outcomes show the internal strand of the plan, which is to nurture human resources within the country. The Korean government attempts to secure its highly talented people in two ways: by injecting 124 billion won to encourage research-centred programs in universities and by generating more jobs in the science sector.
“The Korean government expects to post an annual growth of 19 per cent in the area of bio-medicine, artificial organs and chip industries by 2020”
The Korean biotechnology industry has accomplished a substantial level of growth since the aggressive sponsorship from the government during the early 1980s. Its worldwide famous IT technology and infrastructure has played a significant role in boosting the progress of biotechnology industry in Korea.
The biotechnology industry in Korea is centred on advanced biomedicines, bio-organs, cell therapy, tissue engineering and bio-chips. The government expects to post an annual growth of 19 per cent in the area of bio-medicine, artificial organs and chip industries by 2020.
Biotechnologies in Korea, in terms of the industry’s size and the amount of research produced, are still behind many advanced countries. However, if Korea utilises its well-developed information infrastructure and human resources to the maximum point, the future is bright for the nation’s biotechnology industry.