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Let's Get Down to Business Shall We?

We can no longer ignore the fact that Asia will be the new economic powerhouse with China and India leading the way. Not only that, Asia is on its way to becoming the bioscience industry powerhouse as well with an increasing number of Big Pharmas setting up regional headquarters in Asia, if not moving operations here altogether. The bioscience industry in Asia grew by 11%, raking in $154.4 billion in revenues in 2012.

Singapore has been ranked the 3rd most innovative country in biotech, according to the Scientific American Worldview Scorecard. Singapore comes far ahead of her other Asian peers like Hong Kong (13th), Taiwan (21st) and South Korea (22nd). It stands to reason why then the entrepreneurial spirit hasn't been reflective of this ranking. Singapore has yet to see a rise in the number of bioentrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is after all characterized by innovation and risk-taking. It is essential to rouse entrepreneurship in order to succeed in this increasingly competitive landscape.

Singapore isn't the only country facing this problem. In Taiwan, many experts are much more willing to divulge in academic writing than partake in the creation of a pharmaceutical product. Mr. Simranjit Singh, Chairman of BioSingapore, aims to push Singapore's biomedical industry to the next level by developing the entrepreneurship culture here.

Perhaps Singapore can work towards setting up an institution akin to the Supra Integration & Incubation Centre (SIIC) dedicated to promoting and educating bioentrepreneurship. Another organization holding similar programs in Taiwan is the ASCENT program by Academia Sinica introduced by Dr. David Ma to build a strong innovative and autonomous entrepreneurial ecosystem within academia.

In this edition, we kick off with an article written by Dr. James Garner of Takeda who highlights the growing importance of Asia and why it is become more crucial to have a presence in this region. Mr. Simranjit Singh of Quintiles outlines the lessons Singapore can learn from her neighbours despite being front runners in the bioscience field. Finally we have Dr. Erwin Chia and Dr. Chia Boon Tat to answer the question of the makings of a bioentrepreneur and the kind of character one must possess in setting up a bioenterprise. Both of them are pioneers in cultivating the spirit of entrepreneurship in Singapore from the student level up.

Sulastri Kamis
Asia Pacific Biotech News

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