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S. Korea crafts midterm strategy on bio industry

According to Yonhap News,

(SEOUL=Yonhap News) South Korea mapped out a three-year comprehensive plan Wednesday to boost the bio sector by investing more in research and development (R&D) on stem cells and gene therapy.

In the coming three years, the government will also strive to resolve "structural" problems in efforts to promote the industry, widely viewed as the nation's next growth engine after IT.

The decision was made at the second Bio Special Committee meeting chaired by Hong Nam-ki, vice minister of science, ICT and future planning.

The panel, composed of 20 senior government officials and civilian experts, serves as the "control tower" of South Korea's bio-related policy. Its inaugural session was held in March.

"Bio is the next key industry to lead South Korea's growth after IT," Hong said. "We will make joint efforts with other related ministries to make the results of today's meeting effective in creating a new future growth engine."

The ministry pointed out that South Korea has a long way to go to enhance the competitiveness of its bio industry despite sharp growth in R&D investment, technology and market size.

It admitted some structural setbacks, such as lack of a coordinated strategy and overlapping projects by government offices and relevant institutions.

The government has decided to focus on three main fields -- developing new medicine and medical devices, and preventing the spread of infectious diseases, the ministry said.

It will expand the R&D budget for the development of stem cell and gene therapy, and create funds with 80 billion won (US$67 million) to support bio startups.

It also plans to lower the bar for local bio firms to be listed on the tech-heavy KOSDAQ market.

Copyrights Yonhap News. All Rights Reserved.

Source Text

Source: Yonhap News (May 25, 2016)
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