Taipei, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (???) said Monday that the government aims to transform the biotech industry into the next industry in Taiwan to have production value that will hit NT$1 trillion (US$33.67 billion).
Chen said the biotech industry is part of the government's efforts in industrial innovation, which is at the top of President Tsai Ying-wen's (???) agenda on industrial restructuring.
"The government aims to transform the local biotech industry into the next industry with production value at NT$1 trillion," as the government is pushing its "5 plus 2 Industrial Innovation Program" to boost the country's global competitiveness.
The "5 plus 2" industries refer to seven development projects proposed by the government to transform Taiwan's economic and industrial structures. The program includes projects related to the "Asian Silicon Valley" development, as well as the biotech, green energy, aviation, smart machinery and defense industries.
Chen made the comments in an address at the inauguration of an R&D and training collaboration program between the government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and Germany-based pharmaceutical and life science giant Merck.
According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), the production value of the local biotech industry stood at NT$315 billion in 2016, up from NT$298.6 billion recorded in 2015. The 2017 data was not immediately available.
The ITRI and Merck signed a memorandum of understanding for the R&D and training collaboration program in March to set up an innovation campus located in the ITRI's complex in Hsinchu.
The partnership, which will continue for 18 months, is aimed at cultivating 120 high-end biotech professionals in one year, Chen said.
In the ceremony, Chen expressed thanks for the efforts made by several government agencies, including the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the ITRI.
He said he has faith in the cooperation between the ITRI and Merck, adding that such a partnership is expected to help Taiwan live up to international standards in biotech development and boost the country's visibility in the global biotech market.
The MOEA said the program is expected to help Taiwan's biotech industry cut its R&D time by three to five years and lower financial losses caused by R&D failures by US$200 million to US$500 million.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel