RoK to spend 328 mln USD to develop bio tech in 2018 (Illustrative image. Source VNA)

Seoul (VNA)
– The government of the Republic of Korea said on January 2 that it will spend 349 billion won (328 million USD) this year to develop new bio technology, as part of efforts to become a global biotech and medical industry hub.

The 2018 budget, a 10.5-percent increase from a year earlier, is aimed at developing key biotech sectors, such as genomes and brain science, the RoK news Agency Yonhap quoted the Ministry of Science and ICT as saying.

Of the total, 59.4 billion won will be allocated to help develop new pills as the country is determined to become a global power in the pharmaceutical and health care fields.

In recent years, local bio companies have become more competitive on the global stage on the back of robust R&D spending and policy support from the government, the ministry said. However, the RoK still lags behind leaders in the development of new drugs, especially so-called blockbuster pills.

In addition, 25.3 billion won is earmarked for the development of medical instruments and 38 billion won to carry out research into brain science, according to Yonhap.

The ministry said it also aims to spend the budget to provide an environment where young researchers can freely focus on R&D in medicine and medical devices.-VNA