Lim Chong-Yoon, the Chief Director of Korea Bio Association, “New Government Should Support the Establishment of a Public-type Bio Cluster.”


There are growing calls for the new government, which will be launched on the 10th, to provide full support led by the president for the development of the domestic bio industry. The industry expects that the innovation should be made commensurate with this, as the Yoon Seok-youl administration made the rapid development of the bio-health field a national task.

In a written interview with eToday, Lim Chong-Yoon, the chief director of the Korea Bio Association (CEO of Hanmi Pharm), said, “the new government should come up with a support plan for the establishment of a public-type bio cluster, and tax and legal support is necessary for participating companies, research institutes, and universities to focus on research and technology development for non-profit purposes.”

Many havestressed that it is necessary to lay the foundation of professional training to improvethe R&D environment to take the bio industry to the global level. This requires supporting medical personnel and medical scientists and cranking it up a notch with multidisciplinary research.

Chief Director Lim said, “Korea’s human resources are 1/40th that of advanced countries and material resources are 1/100th the level.” He also said, “With this amount of resources, it is very difficult to nurture potential medical scientists and it may lead to the depletion of human resources, putting the Korean bio industry in a crisis situation.”

When a public-type bio cluster is established, technological competitiveness will be strengthened. It is also expected to become a new growth engine for domestic bio companies by accelerating the discovery of future food. In addition to preparing public health and safety and securing vaccine sovereignty in preparation for various infectious diseases that may occur in the future, it can ensure a smooth supply to emerging countries that lack the capacity to develop vaccines. It will serve as an opportunity to strengthen Korea’s presence in the world bio industry.

Chief Director Lim said, “As seen in cases such as Kendall Square, the center of Boston’s bio cluster, or OWS (Operation Warp Speed) led by the US government from development to production and transportation of COVID-19 vaccine, we need government-led support solution rather than individual companies or private initiatives." He also said, “A policy focused on the public interest is urgently needed so that the bio cluster can focus on its role as a public good.” He added, “Given Korea’s institutional characteristics, top-down reform should be undertaken by the President, who is the ultimate decision-maker.”

The Yoon Seok-youl administration aims to achieve economic growth and job creation by nurturing the bio-health sector, which converges industry, science and technology, and medical care, as the ‘second semiconductor’. It plans to strengthen bio-health governance in which basic researchers, hospitals, companies and related ministries collaborate together by creating the Pharmaceutical Bio-Innovation Committee, the industry’s long-awaited desire. In addition, it has announced that it will actively support companies that develop vaccines and therapeutics from a 'health and security' perspective.

Previously, Chief Director Lim envisioned KHUB to prepare for future infectious disease pandemics and is currently executing the master plan. He established KSP (KHUB Science Park) in Pohang Bio Cluster in preparation for establishing an infrastructure such as diagnosis and vaccine development and production to prepare for a pandemic. Currently, he is pursuing a strategy to develop new substances and secure intellectual property rights byutilizing British R&D researchers who are at the forefront of vaccine development.

Chief Director Lim expects KHUB to become a global platform like CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), a multinational private foundation, WELLCOME, a British private foundation, and NIH (National Institutes of Health) in the United States. He pointed out that adequate support from the new government is needed to do so.

He said, "There are too many legal and tax obstacles, so a re-examination is urgently needed and a special law for support should be enacted.” He also emphasized, "Considering the quantitative and qualitative level of employment as well as the added value of the bio industry, I am confident that it will serve as a catalyst for the Korean economy struggling with low growth.”

Source: eToday