President Tsai Ing-wen said Oct. 15 that the inauguration of the National Biotechnology Research Park in Taipei City marks a major step forward for the local biomedical sector and key milestone in the advancement of Taiwan’s R&D prowess.
The park is expected to serve as a hub for upstream, midstream and downstream companies, creating a clustering effect and driving innovation in the field, Tsai said. By connecting with the Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park in northwestern Taiwan, the facility will help form a comprehensive industry supply chain as well as attract, develop and retain world-class biotech talent, she added.
Tsai made the remarks at the launch ceremony for the NBRP in Taipei’s Nangang District. The event was attended by some 500 officials, scholars and industry experts, including Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee, Minister without Portfolio Wu Tsung-tsong and Academia Sinica President James C. Liao.
Spanning 25 hectares, the NT$20 billion (US$648 million) park comprises seven buildings including a bioinformatics facility, incubation hub and translational medicine research center.
Operated by an interagency management committee comprising AS and the Ministries of Economic Affairs, Health and Welfare, and Science and Technology, the NBRP also hosts the headquarters of the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration under the MOHW, the National Laboratory Animal Center under the MOST and the Development Center for Biotechnology under the MOEA.
According to Tsai, the park will increase the scale and scope of local biomedical R&D as well as encourage leading foreign companies and research teams to set up bases in Taiwan. It is expected to draw enterprises in such fields as analytical instruments, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and testing and evaluation services.
Government commitment to supporting the sector is also demonstrated by recent regulatory amendments aimed at improving the business and legal environments for biotech firms, the president said.
Alongside the establishment of the park, these revisions to the Fundamental Science and Technology Act and the Act for the Development of Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Industry have laid the groundwork for this sector to become the future engine of Taiwan’s economic growth, she added.
The promotion of biotech is a core component of the government’s five-plus-two industrial innovation initiative. A key plank in Tsai’s national development strategy, the economic revitalization program also targets the high-growth sectors of green energy, national defense, smart machinery and Internet of Things, as well as two core concepts: the circular economy and a new paradigm for agricultural development. (KWS-E)