South Korea envisions global biotech hub development in Incheon

The Incheon Metropolitan City government has just announced its ambitious plan for developing the Songdo Global Biotech Cluster in the Incheon Free Economic Zone.

Aiming to attract global advanced biotechnology companies and research institutions, the City intends to expand the industrial complex by adding the 11th Songdo industrial block - with an area of 990,000 sq m - to the 4th, 5th and 7th Songdo industrial blocks that cover 910,000 sq m of area. The objective is to develop Songdo region as the global biotech hub by connecting the industrial complex with projected nearby Songdo Severance Hospital and a science park.

The City government has been focusing efforts on expanding investors’ base. In 2018, it conducted investor relations activities in Switzerland to look into technology and business trends of the biotech industry in the country. Representatives of the City visited Novartis, a global bio-pharmaceutical company, to discuss the possibility of investing in the biotech cluster.

Gudel Lineartec Co Ltd, a Switzerland-based industrial robot manufacturer, also established its facilities in Songdo region in 2005. And several Switzerland-based companies, including Roche, Novartis, and Bioengineering, already built partnerships with biotech companies in Songdo. In addition, biotech companies in the City took part in the Europe Biotech Forum.

The City government expects to analyse major tasks for expanding the Songdo Biotech Cluster and work out a feasible masterplan by the end of the year. It is reportedly conducting contracted research at the moment. This research includes ways of exploring demand for new investors, attracting major facilities, and fostering Korean biotech companies in the cluster.