South Korea’s main biotechnology business body is looking to work in conjunction with the government to foster at least 10 local biotech companies with revenue of more than 100 billion won ($85.03 million) in 2017.
“Today, biotechnology is all about speed,” said Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization President Seo Jeong-sun during a New Year’s biotech industry meeting hosted by the government Friday.
“Currently, there are only 302 biotech companies which have reached the break-even point, which is only 32.6 percent of the total. Now, we must quickly move to build up 10 or more companies that generate over 100 billion won in revenue” Seo said.
The emergence of such high-revenue biotech companies that are publicly listed here will prove their competitive edge and innovation in the global market, said Seo, who is also the chief of Kosdaq-listed genome sequencing company Macrogen.
In addition, KoreaBio will work with the government to train and nurture more than 100,000 biotech workforce personnel over the next 10 years.
“For a country to possess more than 100,000 data scientists who can process and analyze medical information in the bio-health business holds immense meaning in the age of Industry 4.0,” Seo said.
KoreaBio, which already trains some 1,300 new biotech specialists through its own academy, will partner with the government to expand the scale of its training program.
Supporting the growth of promising biotech startups is another major agenda for 2017, Seo said, pointing to ventures such as personal genome sequencing firm GenStory, gene info platform MyGenomeBox, gene analysis service provider 3billion and Polus, a biosimilar developer.
Looking ahead, KoreaBio pledged to strengthen ties with its counterparts in Japan and China to offer more global business opportunities to Korean companies as well.