31 August 2022 | Analysis | By Hithaishi C Bhaskar
Incubators and accelerators are driving small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Asia through the development of novel therapeutics and encouraging innovations and commercialisation. Biotechnology incubators provide a stimulating environment that attracts investors, talent, and companies to collaborate on research, thereby fostering industry growth. While the appetite for laboratory space is constantly growing among biotech ventures, countries in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are actively investing to construct life science hubs that foster innovation strategies and strengthen R&D capabilities. Let’s explore prominent startup incubators and accelerators in key APAC economies that are cultivating biotech innovations to create unicorns.
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The development of innovative clinical therapeutics involves a complex transition from drug discovery to clinical trials to manufacturing and marketing. The APAC region is experiencing an increase in the demand for R&D facilities which can incubate innovative startup ideas in a cost-effective space. In national interest, state-maintained incubators are offering infrastructure and R&D facilities to meet the high-specifications while maintaining environmental standards and biosafety requirements. Many early-stage R&D and late-stage therapeutics developments are supported by government funding and initiatives, which incubate research endeavours before they become commercially viable. Further, Accelerators can reinforce the incubator through mentoring and network-building opportunities to propel the startup's growth and strengthen its value proposition.
The governments in the APAC region are making efforts to promote biotechnology activities in their countries by setting up biotechnology parks, incubators, as well as pilot projects through public-private partnerships. The gradual emergence of co-labs and incubator programmes strengthens R&D capability while governments facilitate financial and tax incentives to foster a startup ecosystem. In addition to providing experimental space and equipment, personnel exchange and support programmes help researchers translationally advance their ideas, to help spin out businesses. In short, incubators are crucial avenues to unlock the commercial value of startups through commercialisation.
APAC biotech companies have demonstrated substantial business process understanding and innovation strategies. A collaborative network involving public-private partnerships, biotech companies, and academia is essential for the APAC startup ecosystem to flourish. The biotech incubators are thus shaping the industry by building up the pipeline of promising projects creating an entire orchard of opportunities. A government-academia-industry collaboration framework can assist in creating launch pads and growing high value diversified biotech business ventures, while creating ample opportunities for knowledge sharing, collaboration, networking and partnerships to help startups succeed in the marketplace.
APAC countries, notably Australia, India, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea have cultivated startup ecosystems by nurturing promising innovations through a series of R&D, collaboration, innovation, grants, venture capital investment, R&D tax credits and more. Here are some APAC biotechnology and life science clusters that are contributing to the growth of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) by fostering early-stage development and assisting spinoffs.
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