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Experts call for overhauling bio industry promotion policy
  • By Nam Doo-hyun
  • Published 2017.09.15 15:39
  • Updated 2017.09.15 18:42
  • comments 0

Before the announcement of the “third draft to enhance biotechnology,” experts put forth a slew of calls for more specific, practical action programs.

They voiced out the government has to change the environment of the bio industry, during a forum at the National Assembly Friday, organized by the Ministry of Science and ICT(MSIT)과학기술정보통신부.

Eight cabinet ministries are to announce the draft late this month to set up the government’s R&D policy for the next 20 years through 2026. Each ministry will set up specific plans to enhance the industry based on the draft.

In the forum, participants emphasized the importance of promoting the bio industry in preparation for “bio economy,” whose advent was predicted to come in 2030 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD).

The Ministry of Science and Future Planning holds a forum on bio economy innovative policy at the National Assembly Friday.

Experts said the “Mooncare” should not hamper the development of the Korean bio industry, just as the “creative economy” of the Park Geun-hye government did.

"Many professors had the complaint about ‘creative economy’ in the previous administration. They requested the practical research. The incumbent government has to support researchers to focus on their researches," said Kim Sung-soo김성수, a professor at Kyung Hee University, School of Medicine.

The participants pointed out that the government has to make realistic strategy by enhancing innovation and practicality.

“People predict the bio economy era will come, but we can’t feel the speed in the current plan. We worry the draft will be impractical. The draft has to reflect more urgency and desperation," said Lee Young-sik이영식, a professor at Hanyang University.

The participants proposed changes in assessing the government’s R&D businesses that consider characteristics such as the use of medical workforce and education in the industry.

"Korea has about 40 schools of medicines, but only 20 percent of them are engaged in R&D, and others have focused on clinical trials. We have to make use of the valuable human asset," said Professor Song Si-young송시영 of Yonsei University, College of Medicine.

Some in the audience also said the enhancement policy of the government has to encourage innovation.

They also pointed out the government has to change its concept of technology transfer that directly connects the success to the commercialization of new drugs.

“There is a formula to identify new drug development with technology transfer. Some think early transfers are good, but the value generated from the transfer is less than 10 percent," said CEO Nam Gi-yeon남기연, chief executive officer of Qurient 큐리언트.

"Korean companies have to create momentum to move to later stages. If they move from research to development in R&D, the demand for workforce will increase. Up to 85 percent of global drugmakers is related to development," Nam said.

To strengthen early-state R&D, the government has to connect the research conducted in academy and research institutions to the industry through a mediation h center funded by the government.

"Each country made the mediation research center to perform am incubating role. Korea has few to play the same role. We need the center to support real R&D and have the mediation role," Nam said.


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