Updated on 15 November 2016
Singapore: In a bid to transform Taiwan into a center of biotechnology and medical R&D in Asia, the government has approved a biomedical promotion plan budgeted at NT$10.94 billion (US$346.32 million) for next year. The move is a part of the government efforts to further advance President Tsai Ing-wen's five-plus-two innovative industries initiative to provide an impetus to Taiwan's biomedical industry.
As per the terms, the plan involves enhancing areas like human resources, finances and intellectual property. A key undertaking is drafting legislation on foreign investment, overseas talent recruitment, tax breaks and easing restrictions on the development and production of experimental medical devices and pharmaceuticals.
Few of the many objectives outlined include establishing a north-south biomedical corridor linking the main campuses of Taiwan's three science parks in Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan cities so as to enhance their research capabilities; tapping the international health care market, particularly in countries covered by the New Southbound Policy; and developing precision medicine, specialized clinics and health-related peripheral industries.
Mr Shen Jong-chin, deputy minister of economic affairs, said the Executive Yuan has passed an amendment to the Act for the Development of Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Industry. Once approved by the Legislative Yuan before year-end, the bill will help augment the production value and competitiveness of biotechnology through encouraging investment in new technologies for preventative and regenerative medicine products, he added.
Tsai Shaw-jeng, director-general of the Department of Life Sciences under the MOST, said, ""Our ambition is to place Taiwan at the forefront of the multitrillion-dollar biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industry in Asia." He added that the plan also contains the goal of releasing 80 niche medical devices and 20 new drugs in overseas markets, as well as establishing at least 10 biotech and health-related flagship brands, by 2025.