SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Korea Bizwire) – The lack of a network linking major companies, venture capital, and academia is an issue that must be resolved to ensure the viability of the South Korean biotech industry, experts have revealed during a conference.
During the 2017 Korea Bio Plus Global Conference, which was held on Monday at COEX by the Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization, David Flores, who is the head of international academic journal BioCentury, said that what the South Korean biotech industry needs most is to find a way to create a global network to be connected with the rest of the world.
“I have not seen much of Asia’s involvement in innovation clusters and networks. The key innovation network should include Asia, including Korea,” Flores said.
“Trust and credit are important to Korea because they can be obtained from the network,” he added.
An official who is part of the MIT Industrial Liaison Program (MIT ILP), an academic-industrial network program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also said that for South Korean biotech startups to be successful, they need to enter into a global network.
Through the MIT ILP, startups and pharmaceutical companies are tightly connected at MIT, which allows technology to be shared and helps to create business opportunities, with major companies including Pfizer and GSK on board.
During the opening ceremony of the conference, Seo Jeong-sun, president of Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization, said the big data-based information industry will grow rapidly over the next three to five years, while acknowledging that the biggest challenge facing the South Korean bio-health industry is to nurture the medical big-data industry.
Seo’s comments came amid growing calls for change in the biotech industry, as advanced medical services can not only treat disease, but also provide prediction and preventative measures that are based on personal information. Many in the biotech industry believe big data related to personal medical information can help artificial intelligence diagnose medical conditions with high accuracy and contribute to the pharmaceutical industry.
Korea Bio Plus has been held every year since 2015 by the Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization, with the goal of sharing ideas and seeking new business opportunities. This year’s conference kicked off with the theme of ‘big open innovation’, with a focus on how to best create a biotech startup-friendly environment and encourage open innovation.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)