BIO AsiaTaiwan expo kicks off in Taipei

The BIO AsiaTaiwan Conference and Exhibition kicked off July 24 in Taipei City, highlighting the country's expertise and innovation in the biotechnology sector at one of the largest trade fairs of its kind in the region.

Coorganized by Taipeibased Taiwan Bio Industry Organization, the fiveday event is themed Biotech as the Next Growth Engine for Asia. It features 1,700 booths with 600 local and foreign exhibitors showcasing the latest products and technology in areas spanning biomedicine, genomics and health care equipment.

Minister Without Portfolio Wu Tsungtsong said at the opening ceremony that Taiwan's hosting of the expo for the first time represents a milestone for the local biotechnology sector. Strengthening the country's role in the global biotech supply chain is a key government commitment, he added.

The success of this approach was evidenced on the first day of the show. Statebacked National Biotechnology Research Park inked two memorandums of understanding with Japan's Shonan Health Innovation Park and the U.K.'s AstraZeneca PLC, respectively.

Under the pacts, NBRP will work with its counterpart in Japan on biotech R&D, and a startup accelerator will be founded alongside the Cambridgeheadquartered biopharmaceutical company to help local companies with international ambitions.

According to Taiwan BIO, visitors to the expo can take in a variety of pavilions like the one operated by Taipeiheadquartered National Applied Research Laboratories. Its eyecatching displays spotlight 21 innovations such as new cancer medications and postoperative and surgical equipment developed via the NARLabs SPARK Taiwan program.

Launched by the Ministry of Science and Technology and Stanford University in 2013, SPARK Taiwan assists local academics with cuttingedge medical products tap global markets. The initiative has to date facilitated the establishment of 29 startups.

Source: NGO