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Bio Technology : July 2009
AusBioINTERNATIONAL Our neighbouring industries BNAP INDUSTRY OVERVIEW: Taiwan and United Arab Emirates Previously, overviews of neighbouring biotech industries have been provided, looking at New Zealand, Malaysia and Korea. In this second part of the series, we look to Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates. For a detailed overview of each industry and contacts in the region, refer to www.bionetasiapacific.com. Taiwan By DCB Taiwan Taiwan’s biotechnology industry has total annual revenue of approximately NT$48.3b that comes from 294 biotechnology companies, each with average revenue of NT$164m. Their business scope covers genomics, drugs, diagnostics, agricultural biotechnology, environmental biotechnology, protein drugs, contract research organisations, biochips and bioinformatics. The biotechnology workforce is estimated to be 40,794. In biotechnology, Taiwan ranks 14th in the world and fifth after Singapore, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong. The Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB) of Taiwan is a non-profit organisation established with the support of the Department of Industrial Technology (DOIT), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to shape and develop Taiwan’s biotechnology industry through R&D, infrastructure-building and training programs. Taiwan is keen to ensure its biotechnology industry becomes its ‘star’ industry in the 21st century. In recent years, the government has implemented several major measures to ignite the industry. Core capabilities include: • The government assigned a dedicated unit, e.g. the Center for Drug Evaluation, which has ten years’ experience, to engage in the establishment of a regulatory environment on par with international counterparts and provide services. • cGMP international validation standards have been carried out comprehensively with domestic pharmaceutical manufacturers experienced in developing generic drugs. • Rich accumulation of patient data and related health-insurance information. Key opportunities include: • There is room and provision for developing the R&D industry and the high value-added precision processing industry. • Biotech products are high value-added with a long product lifespan and a long value chain. • Biomedicine R&D service industries are flourishing. • The cross-strait political relationship has been greatly improved, with the consensus on “putting aside disputes for creation of a win-win situation.” The dense Chinese population is advantageous in the development of related biotech industries for Chinese-exclusive diseases. Taiwan’s well-developed legal framework and protection of intellectual property rights makes it an ideal place where the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries can flourish. In order to improve the environment for these industries, in recent years the government has approved the amendment of related laws and regulations, demonstrating the importance the government attaches to intellectual property rights. Moreover, amendments have been made to related tax-benefit and incentive measures for investment and allow R&D results to be more easily transferred between academia and industry. To promote the development of the local biotech industry, the government has included many incentive and aid programs, including: • The biotech and pharmaceutical industry development statute; • The Statute for Promoting Industries, rules for encouraging pharmaceutical technology research and development; and • Incentive measures for emergent and important strategic industries belonging to the manufacturing and technology sectors. 44 Australasian BioTechnology Volume 19 • Number 2 • July 2009