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Science Ministry to invest W420b in original bio tech

The Ministry of Science and ICT said Tuesday it will invest 420 billion won ($360 million) in 2020 in the development of original technologies in the biologics field.

The budget is 10 percent higher than the 380 billion won allocated last year, and above the 349 billion won in 2018.


This year, the Science Ministry will give more support to the domestic bio industry, to gain competitiveness in research and development for novel drugs, medical devices and precision medicine such as neuroscience. It will also prioritize convergence technologies, such as bio bigdata, the use of artificial intelligence in novel drug development and 3D stem cell organoid chips.

From Wednesday to Feb. 19, the ministry will seek out companies to participate in 45 new governmental projects.

The largest portion of the budget is being allocated to the project for development of portable detectors for drug-assisted crime (3.1 billion won); four projects seeking to suppress aging (2.2 billion won); 12 projects for structuring novel drug candidates’ validation and evaluation system (2 billion won); and three projects for gene modification technologies (1.5 billion won).

The government is increasingly focusing on the area of bio-health to foster it as a future growth engine for the country’s economy.

The Ministry of Science considers SK Biopharmaceuticals’ epilepsy treatment Xcopri’s approval in the US as an example of government support bringing about global success.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (