February 6, 2006

Taiwan's government is to invest TWD15bn (US$467.46mn) by 2010 developing the country's biotechnology industry. Officials will channel funds into the industry, encourage technological exchanges, and help biotech firms establish alliances with foreign firms.

In 2005, the government unveilled plans to help turn Taiwan into a "biomedical island." Measures include setting up a National Health Information Infrastructure programme, the Taiwan Biobank — a facility that contains 200,000 pieces of human genetic data — and a system to conduct clinical experiments.

The biotech industry is forecast to grow rapidly in Taiwan in the coming years and in 2004 was worth US$1.07bn. Approximately 70% of Taiwanese companies in this field are focusing their efforts on human technologies such as biopharmaceuticals. In addition, Taiwan has state-of-the-art facilities and many local scientists are trained in innovative areas of biotechnology such as genetic engineering, biochemistry and nano-biotechnology.