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Characteristics of Bio Industry

Bio industry is an industry to tap into the functions and information of all bio organisms of animals, plants and microbes and produce and commercialize all kinds of materials doing good to human beings utilizing ferments as catalyst.
Bio Industry is comprised of: production utilizing bio engineering technologies, such as GMO technologies, cell fusion, protein engineering, cell culture, bio-process, and the processes.
Bio engineering integrates physical, chemical, mathematical, and computational sciences and engineering principles to study bio logy, medicine, behavior, and health. It advances fundamental concepts; creates knowledge from the molecular to the organ systems levels; and develops innovative bio logics, materials, processes, implants, devices, and informatics approaches for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, for patient rehabilitation, and for improving health.

Overview of Major Bionics Technologies

Fundamental Technologies
Fundamental Technologies : GMO, Cell Fusion, Protein Engineering
Type of Technology Characteristics
GMO A technology to modify the genes of molecules by transforming the genes in vitro and injecting the transformed genes through vehicles into the bio system to produce useful materials.
Cell Fusion A technology to fuse two cells of different characteristics into one to produce a complete cell carrying the useful characteristics of each cell.
Protein Engineering A technology that motify the molecule structure of proteins that carry amino acids sequences to produce proteins for special use. It is mainly used in enhancing the safety and efficacy of proteins.
Advanced Technologies
Advanced Technologies : Fermentation, Cell Culture, Bio Process, Bio Engineering
Type of Technology Characteristics
Fermentation A Biotechnology with the longest history of culturing microbes within a fermenter with a given temperature and humidity
Cell Culture
  • Cell culturing is comprised of animal cell culturing and plant cell culturing. This technology is used in producing advanced bio active materials or GMO proteins.
  • Recently technologies in massive culture of plant tissues and cells, massive culture of insect cells and massive culture of mammal's cells.
Bio Process A process that utilizes bio system in producing advanced bio active materials and include bio-reaction engineering and separation/ purification technologies.
Bio Engineering An integrated system engineering that industrialize and put to practical use the bio logical technologies. It utilizes bio logical methods in designing and building factories.

Current Status of the Korean Bio Industry

In 1998, domestic demands in Bio Industry amounted to KRW 508.5 billion and they have continued to grow by 31.9% annually since 1992.
In 1998 Korean Bio Industry production amounted to KRW 820 billion and continued to grow by 50% each year over the past five years.
Current Status of Domestic Supply/Demand in Bio Industry
Unit: ₩1 mil.
Current Status of Domestic Supply/Demand in Bio Industry : 1992,1995,1996,1998
1992 1995 1996 1998
Domestic Demand 96,543 251,611 328,462 508,500
Export 24,635 73,534 244,853 452,300
Production 82,749 238,786 468,145 819,800
Import 38,429 86,359 105,170 141,000
※ Source: Biology Association of Korea, [Annual Research on the Actual Condition of Domestic Bio Industry
Domestic demands in bio industry are expected to show high growth rate for the years to come: 34.5% on annual average over the course of 1997 to 2005; and 21.7% on annual average from 2006 to 2010.
With the bio industry-related market growing, domestic market is forecast to take up more than 5% of the world market by 2010.
The industry's exports are projected to reach USD2.8 billion in 2005 and USD7.9 billion in 2010, while its annual growth rate is expected to be 33.8% during the period of 199~2005 and 22.6% during 2006~2010.
And the imports are expected to grow 21.0% on yearly average from 2006 to 2010.
Domestic Bio Industry Supply/Demand Outlook
Unit: KRW 0.1 billion, 1 USD
Domestic Bio Industry Supply/Demand Outlook : 1997,1998,2000,2003,2005,2010
1997 1998 2000 2003 2005 2010
Domestic Demand 4,246 5,085 11,000 25,000 45,400 121,200
Export 278 300 700 1,600 2,860 7,920
Production 5,879 8,198 14,000 32,000 56,200 155,600
Import 120 168 400 900 1,760 4,560
Annual Growth Rate
(Unit: %)
연평균 증가율 표로 구분,1997~2005,2006~2010 정보 제공
1997 ~ 2005 2006 ~ 2010
Domestic Demand 34.5 21.7
Export 33.8 22.6
Production 32.6 22.6
Import 39.9 21.0
※ Source: Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade, [Biomedical Industry Development Strategies], 1999.
※ Note: Export, Import in US dollar
Korea's Bioindustry market size stood at KRW 508.5 billion in 1998: bio medicine accounts for the lion's share of 56.4% and bio process 12.5%, bio chemical 9.2%, bio agriculture 8.5%, bio food 7.2%, bio environment 6.2%.
As for exports in the industry, the growing exports of lysine and other amino acids boosted the export growth in bio chemical sector to 46.6%, while bio medicine and bio food follows with export growth of 38.6% and 11.9%, respectively.
For the years to come, Korean Bioindustry market is observed to follow the suit of the world bio industry market and keep growing, while bio medicine outstands and lead the upturn in the market.
While Biomedicine market is projected to grow by 25.1% on annual average for the decade from 1999 to 2010, its share in domestic market is expected to shrink down from 56.4% in 1998 to 50.0 by 2010.
Current Status of Domestic Demand & Export in Bio Industry(1998)
(Unit: ₩1 mil., %)
Current Status of Domestic Demand & Export in Bio Industry(1998) : Domestic Demand, Export, Biomedicine, Bioagriculture, Biofood, Bioenvironment, Biochemical, Bioprocessing, Total
Domestic Demand Export
Biomedicine 286,626 (56.4) 185,962 (38.6)
Bioagriculture 43,300 (8.5) 11,064 (2.3)
Biofood 36,535 (7.2) 57,197 (11.9)
Bioenvironment 31,783 (6.2) 50 (0.0)
Biochemical 46,863 (9.2) 224,847 (46.7)
Bioprocessing 63,404 (12.5) 2,374 (0.5)
Total 508,511 (100.0) 481,494 (100.0)
※ Source: Biology Association of Korea
Bioagriculture and biofood shares are expected to grow from 8.5% and 7.2% in 1998 to 9.8% and 9.3% by 2010, respectively. The two industries will eventually account for 19.1% of domestic bioindustry.
Bio Industry Domestic Market Outlook
(Unit: KRW 1 billion, %)
Bio Industry Domestic Market Outlook :1998,2000,2003,2005,2010,Annual Growth Rate (1999~2010)
1998 2000 2003 2005 2010 Annual Growth Rate
Biomedicine 2,866
6,050 13,750 22,700 60,600
Bioagriculture 433
946 2,150 4,449 11,878
Biofood 365
891 2,025 4,222 11,272
Bioenvironment 469
1,111 2,525 5,085 13,574
Biochemical 318
715 1,625 3,269 8,726
Bioprocessing 634
1,287 2,925 5,675 15,150
Total 5,085
11,000 25,000 45,400 121,200
※ Source: Biology Association of Korea, Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade.

Current Status of Gangwon's Bio Industry

As most of Gangwon provice except industrial districts are designated as the water supply protection zones and factory sites are not large enough, Chuncheon and Gangwon may not be a good place to do business in manufacturing industry. Therefore, Chuncheon chose and attracted bio industry as the main engine behind regional economic growth as the industry is pollution-free and heavily dependent upon R&D.
Chuncheon Bio Venture Support Center
Recently completing the "Bio Venture Support Center" in 1999, Chuncheon is putting all its efforts and resources in laying the foundation for bio industry.
Picking bio agriculture, bio environment, bio medicine and silver bio logy as its main industries, the city encourages business operations that are in line with its bio industry policy, supports developing business items and helps venture businesses to go independent.
Fast Facts of Chuncheon BioTech Venture Support Center
Fast Facts of Chuncheon BioTech Venture Support Center : Size, Facilities, Functions, Occupants
  • Site: 3,251.19 pyeong
  • Building Area: 1,132.50 pyeong
  • Building Gross Coverage: 3,010.21 pyeong (1F Basement, 4F above ground)
  • Infra business incubater room, Gangwon Patent Information Center, fine angel club, conference room, exibition room, lounge, library, etc.
  • Pilot Plant (234 pyeong): fermentation room, refining room, laboratories and depositary, etc.
  • 12 joint laboratories, 4 guest rooms, meeting room, lounge, day care, etc.
  • Providing incubating space to venture businesses and supporting public research facilities
  • Information-providing and consulting on tech innovation and management
  • Educating & training brains
  • Joint development · technology patent management & supporting quartet cooperation among industry·academia·research·administration
  • Start-ups, Bioindustry-related companies
  • Infrastructure companies (Analyzing agencies, Pilot Plant operators, etc.)
  • Venture financing companies, Bioconsulting companies
  • 14 occupants as of April 2000
※ Source: Chuncheon-si.
Choosing multimedia & animation, bio industry as regional main industries, Chuncheon established so-called "Knowledge and culture industry office" under direct control of the mayor and focuses all its resources to build nurther the industries
Chuncheon-si of Gangwon-do’s Bio Industry Promotion System
Please refer to the information below.
Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy
  1. Chuncheon-si
  2. Potato
  3. Future Founders of Venture Companies
  4. Bio Industry Venture Support Center
  5. Overseas branches
  6. Bio Industry Venture Technology Support Team (Kangwon National University, Hallym University, etc.)
Key Industries
  • Secure and manage rental spaces for startups
  • Install and operate common development equipment
  • Promote venture companies and investment
  • Provide administrative support for startups
  • Establish a technical support network
  • Form a bio industrial complex
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Central Government's Plan to Foster Bioindustry

Each ministries of Korean government set aside and invest significant amount of budgets in bio Industry. In 1999, the Ministry of Science & Technology (MOST) spent KRW 99.4 billion, Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry (MAF) KRW 28 billion. And out of the combined KRW 160.8 billion from the two ministries, KRW 145 billion went to R&D and KRW 15.8 billion. was invested in supporting facilities and infrastructures.
Taking the current situation in the industry that lacks fundamentals, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Energy (MOCIE), for its part, plans to place its resources in enhancing infrastructure like venture support center and Korea Environment & Merchandise Testing Institute (KEMTI).
Ministrial Investment in Bio Industry (1999)
(Unit: KRW 100 million)
Ministrial Investment in Bio Industry (1999) : R&D, Infra, MOST, MOE, MAF, MOCIE, MOHW, ME, MOMAF, Total
R&D 772 186 268 133 28 28 35 1,450
Infra 22 - 12 84 19 18 3 158
Total 794 186 280 217 47 46 38 1,608
※ Note :
  • MOST: Ministry of Science & Technology
  • MOE: Ministry of Education & Human Resources Development
  • MAF: Ministry of Agriculutre & Forestry
  • MOCIE: Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Energy
  • MOHW: Ministry of Health & Welfare
  • ME: Ministry of Environment
  • MOMAF: Minostry of Maritime & Fishery
Since February 2000, MOCIE established the "Bioindustry Development Masterplan" in an effort to nurture bio industry as the main engine behind national growth, and is currently working on action plans.
Forecasting that an IT-integrated Bio Technology (BT) will emerage as the 21C main technology, MOCIE plans to expand its investment in laying the foundation for bio industry.
Aiming at
① forming a business environment for Bio Industry,
② building and clustering industrialization base,
③ establishing technology innovation system through competition and cooperation, the miniustry is working on action plans.
Since the Chuncheon Bio Venture Center is designated as a model for nurturing bio industry and will be provided with ministerial supports, if there shall be an additional support plan by the Province, bio agriculture and bio environment industries are highly likely to grow into the main industries of Gangwon.
Forming Business Environment for Bioindustry
Bio Venture Business Start-up Conditions
  • Establishing a bio-specific investment association supported by government, venture investment and bioindustry, bio support fund-raising and encouraging bio-specific investment association.
  • Strengthening workforce in appraisal of bio ventures and bio venture business establishment sessions, establishing start-up supporting booth and mending regulations and tax benefit systems.
Improved Bio Industry Support System
  • Enacting relative regulations like a tentatively named "Bioindustry Development Base Building Act" to establish the supporting system.
  • Separately establishing a "Bioindustry Development" part in the "Industrial Fundamental Technology Development Project"
  • Building a efficient and well-organized cooperative among MOST (fundamental R&D), MOCIE (commercialization, applied technology, infrastructure), MAF, MOHW, ME, MOMAF and MOE
Enhanced Comunity Recognition of Bio Industry
  • Launching “Bioindustry Award” and PR activities on bio R&D and industry including domestic bio industry, R&D centers and supporting agencies.
  • Holding bio industry exhibition, developing cyber education programs and launching a bio society civil council for cooperation between government and private sector.
Building and Clustering Industrialization Base
Laying Foundations for Industrialization of R&D Results
  • Completing the facility expansion in Chemical R&D Safety Center and BIOTECH Commercialization Center in Incheon Songdo Techno Park
  • Setting up and tapping into a researcher networks between industry-academia-research and establishing dielectric R&D center, Protiomics R&D centers to prepare for post-genome ear.
uilding and Clustering Bio Industry Regional Innovation Base
  • Characterizing and focusing on bio technologies that suits each regional characteristics through an organic cooperation among regional universities, research centers, industry and local governments.
  • Networking bio industry innovation strongholds in each region, technology information exchange, joint research.
Establishing Technology Innovation System through Competition and Cooperation
Maximizing Research Results through Competition and Cooperation among Industry, Academia, Research, and Administration
  • Encouraging cooperation among bio businesses and small-and-medium businesses/ventures, and building network system of bio research equipments.
  • Maximizing supports to technology development by check possibilities of overlapps and linkage in developments.
Efforts towards International Technical Cooperation and Foreign Investment Inducement
  • Expanding international cooperation with advanced bio industries of the U.S.A. and Japan and attracting foreign invesments.
  • As for technologies that are hard to develop within the country, encouraging joint R&D with overseas research institutions and efficiently coping with the changes in bio-related international conventions.
Expanded Governmental Support for Technical Innovation in Bio Industry
  • The Korean government has kept increasing the support ratio for bio industry out of its R&D budgets by 1% each year, eventually expanding the share from 5.4% in 1999 to more than 10% in 2005.
  • Dividing technology development field into two parts of short-to-mid-term and next generation, it prepared the “5 Year Bio Industry Technology Development Plan (2001~2005)
Promotion Strategies for Bio Industry
Please refer to the information below.
Foster the bio industry as a key strategic industry of the 21st century
  • Create Environment to Grow Sample Industries
    • Improve the condition significantly to establish bio venture companies
    • Strengthen the bio industry support system
    • Raise awareness about the bio industry among people
  • Establish a Foundation to Promote Industrialization and Integration
    • Establish a foundation to promote industrial research results
    • Build and integrate a hub for an innovative local bio industry
  • Establish a Technological Cooperative System Through Competition and Cooperation
    • Maximize the effects of research through competition and cooperation among the industry, academia, research institutes, and the government
    • Strengthen global technological cooperation and attract foreign capital
    • Expand the government’s support for technological innovation in the bio industry
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※ Source: MOCIE
Each regional autonomous governments joined in the efforts and establish and promote bio industry fostering strategies, while differentiatiated action plans.

Requirements for Nurturing Bioindustry

Industrial-Academic Cooperation on R&D
  • The source of competitiveness in bio industry comes from whether one has specific technology. Therefore, in need is a research cooperation function that can connect the R&D capability of universities and commercizlizing capability of businesses.
  • Especially in the regions that lacks bio industrial fundamentals, a networking system of R&D supporting projects and commercialization will help regional bio industry to prosper.
A sustainable bio industry requires brain pool and re-education system.
Appraisal & Approval Agencies
  • Saftey approval agencies are necesary for domestic bio products to advance into overseas markets.
  • Specifically in the fields of bio agriculture and bio enviroment, appraisal and approval agencies are required in Gangwon.
BioIndustrial Complex
  • Spaces are provided to the companies that grow out of the Bio Venture Support Center and relocate in the Complex and continue business activities of production/manufacturing.
  • Gangwon Bio Industrial Complex shall form the environment where bio venture companies can stablize and grow into manufacturing companies, while fueling regional economy by nurturing bio industry in Gangwon.
Support for Bio Venture Start-ups
Establishing venture incubating system and bio-related administrative service system for business start-ups in the laboratories or spin-offs

Gangwon's Bio Industry Fostering Strategies

By integrating bio industry comprehensive supporting function to the existing Chuncheon Bio Venture Support Center, Gangwon shall continue to foster bio industry workforce build-up and information provision and will additionally construct a Bio Town.
Assisting companies from the Bio Venture Support Center's incubation system to equip themselves with production facilities. Eventually, the industry can grow into a industrial complex and into the main industry of Gangwon.Since Chuncheon launched the Bio Venture Support Center for the first time in Korea, other local governments also has sought to come up with bio industry supporting strategies. Therefore, it is necessary that Gangwon-do nurture and expand bio industry into Chuncheon area and build a administrative cooperation system with Chuncheon.
As shown in the 1999 Gangwon Regiona lndustrial Promotion Plan, an administrative cooperation between the city and province has been in operation to build a Bio Industrial Cluster (Bio Town) and expand facilities in the Support Center. In the long run, benchmarking the administrative support system of Chuncheon city, the provincial government has built an effective administrative networking among municipal governments in pursuit of attracting and developing new industries.
Gangwon-do’s Bio Industry Promotion System
Please refer to the information below.
  • Building infrastructure for BioTech industry
    • Building up facilities of BioTech Venture Center(Central Government)
    • Providing land site(municipal government)
    • Providing regional infastructure and Buildings(provincial government)
  • Fostering BioTech ventures
    • BioTech Workforce Center
    • BioTech information Center
    • BioTech Bio Town
  • Griwong uto a well-established business-Bioagriculture,Bioenvironment(Chuncheon Area) Maritime BioTechligy(Gangneung Area)
    • Bio Fund raising(Angel Investment, Venture Capital,etc)
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