Korea emerging as bio-industry powerhouse in Asia

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Coimbatore, Oct 17 (UNI) Korea is emerging as a bio-industry powerhouse in Asia, according to Korean Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) Advisor T S Min.

Speaking after inaugurating the Indo-Korean joint seminar on ''Biotechnology research in the era of Globalisation'' at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) here yesterday, he said scientific discoveries in biotechnology were changing the world with new products and medical treatments, and more importantly, shaping existing industries into entirely new ones.

Dr Min said in the next 20 or 30 years, bio-applications might well become part of everyday life and it would play a major role in economic development.

He said of the total 21 projects being implemented in Korea for the last ten years with an average budget of 100 million dollar per project, eight projects were biotechnology related, covering various areas from microbial research to plant biodiversity and new drug development.

Stating that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of the Korean government has announced an ambitious ten-year plan, called ''Bio-Vision 2016,'' he said under it a total of 14.3 billion dollar investment would be made to create a 60 billion dollar market in order to become one of the top seven biotechnology powerhouses in the world by 2016.

Dr Min said Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical company has inked a deal with the Korean government in June last year to invest 300 million ddollar for jointly conducting Reasearch and Development of new drugs over the next five years.

The company also exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB) for joint research projects in developing new drugs as R and D partners, he added.


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