The government’s Innovation-Communication Open Network (i-CON) project has been helping Korea’s small and medium-sized bio companies expand their networks and improve the quality of their products, according to the Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization.
The organization is currently running the bio and health program of the i-CON project to support small and medium-sized enterprises to develop technology capabilities by using infrastructure and manpower owned by research institutes.
Recently, it wrapped up a seminar on introducing next generation smart hospitals as part of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups’ i-CON project at Kintex in Gyeonggi Province on Nov. 19.
The seminar follows a series of forums and discussions aimed at helping companies build relations with experts in the industry. The organization also serves as a window for receiving industry opinions such as new business proposals through i-CON events and delivering them to the government.
The i-CON project, launched in 2019, is aimed at supporting the development of new companies in the fields of bio and health, smart services, and smart systems for semiconductor manufacturing.
Through the i-CON project, the government has put efforts into setting up a network for companies to interact and cooperate with experts from universities, research institutes and venture capitals. The ultimate goal of the i-CON project is to lay down the foundation for innovation and growth for companies by communicating and working together.
Last year, the Korea Bio gathered on-site opinions from companies about improving regulations in the bio and health industries through the i-CON project. The organization also helped the emergency approval for COVID-19 test kits, supported the presentation of internal relations for companies and recommended research and development projects for the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.
The organization conducted networking events and uploaded videos of the activities on its YouTube channel.
This year, the organization has offered similar opportunities for stakeholders in the field of bio and health industries by providing networking events and relevant information.
Companies, for instance, had opportunities to learn about global investment trends, expanding their businesses and creating intellectual property. They got to meet with the heads of venture capitals and received feedback on how they can grow. In particular, it helped guide companies seeking to go public or attract investors with their application process.
In addition, the Korea Bio recommends well-performing companies it evaluated for the SME Ministry’s research and development projects.
Through the organization’s recommendations, four companies were selected by the ministry in the first half of this year and have benefited from governmental support. The companies developed functional cosmetics using natural extracts, cell culture and structure formation, cell-derived drug delivery systems and real-time tissue reading systems using artificial intelligence.
“Through the ministry’s i-CON project, we are building networks for various stakeholders in the field of new convergence industry and providing support to generate communication and cooperation among them,” said Shin Kwang-min, director of fostering industry division at the Korea Bio.
“Regarding the characteristics of the bio industry, we will push for a way that benefits both consumers -- medical institutions and workers -- and suppliers -- bio and health companies -- by backing up the network formation between them.”
By Kan Hyeong-woo (email@example.com