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2023-06-20| Asia-PacificSpecial

Taiwan’s Biotech Brilliance Shines at BIO 2023: Unveiling Cutting-Edge Discoveries and Strategic Partnerships

by Richard Chau
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BIO International Convention is the world’s largest international biotech industry exhibition and forum organized by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in the U.S. every year. It is the annual main event of the global biopharma sector that brings together industry leaders, top-notch scientists, leading investors and venture capitalists from around the globe, together with representatives of research institutes and universities, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and patient advocacy groups.

With the theme “Stand Up for Science” that honors and recognizes the true value of the breakthrough work biotech performs for society, the BIO 2023 Convention (BIO 2023) took place from June 5 to 8 in Boston, one of the world’s premier biotech hubs. The 4-day on-site event hosted 150 sessions featuring 800 speakers and attracted over 15,000 delegates from more than 60 countries and regions, getting together to network, learn and collaborate on the latest trends and innovations in the industry. 

Members of the Taiwan delegation participating in BIO 2023 at the Taiwan Pavilion

Related article: BIO 2023 Coming to Boston, with Over 60 Taiwanese Organizations to Share their Achievements

Uniting Government and Industry Elites, Taiwan’s Delegation Made a Remarkable Appearance at BIO 2023

Under the leadership of Dr. Wu Tsung-tsong, Minister of Science and Technology Council, a large Taiwan delegation with about 250 members traveled to Boston to attend BIO 2023. The executive team consisted of consisted of the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries Promotion Office (BPIPO) and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), along with representatives from the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), National Science and Technology Council, Council of Agriculture, National Development Council, Academia Sinica, Ministry of Health and Welfare, and the Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB).

The delegation also featured over 80 participating companies and 51 exhibitors, with the aim of bringing the most promising technologies and products of Taiwan’s biotech industry to the international stage. Not only did they organize the Taiwan Biotech Forum prior to the opening of BIO 2023, they also hosted the “Taiwan Pavilion Happy Hour” on June 6.

Taiwan Pavilion at BIO 2023 Showcased the Excellence of Taiwan’s Biomedical Development

Following the success of previous years, the Taiwan delegation continued hosting the “Taiwan Pavilion” during BIO 2023 to showcase the diversity and excellence of Taiwan’s biomedical development, establishing connections with world-class manufacturers and investors, creating an international R&D cooperation network, and enhancing Taiwan’s exposure in the international biotech community.

In BIO 2023, the total number of exhibitors at the Taiwan Pavilion jumped from 33 in 2022 to 51, ranking ninth in size among all participating countries and regions and covering various fields such as biopharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, nucleic acid therapeutics CDMO, regenerative medicine, agriculture biotechnology, precision medicine, small molecule drugs, and smart health. In addition, the pavilion featured many notable innovative technologies and services, including an AI platform for rapid ECG interpretation and diagnosis of 20 cardiovascular diseases, a 3D pathology tissue processing and imaging technology, a tumor organoid culture system, and a one-stop manufacturing service for novel protein-based drugs. 

Furthermore, on display were the Taiwan Smart Healthcare Solutions, from the back-end hospital information system to the front-end medical AI diagnostic tools and the image streaming technology for minimally invasive surgery, all jointly created by hospitals, ICT businesses and biomedical professionals, potentially creating a brand new trend in Taiwan’s future healthcare. 

Taiwan Pavilion Yielded Great Results with Participation of U.S. Delegates

At the opening and Happy Hour of the Taiwan Pavilion on June 6, in addition to members of the Taiwan delegation, Rachel King, CEO of BIO, Jonathan C. Y. Sun, Director-General of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston, Yvonne Hao, Secretary of the Executive Office of Economic Development, Wesley Mathews, President and CEO of Choose New Jersey, along with representatives of industry associations from Switzerland, Japan, Rhode Island and Massachusetts were also present to extend a warm welcome to Taiwan biotech companies. 

Dr. Chung-Hsun Wu, Director of BPIPO, CEO of DCB and Chairman of the Taiwan Bio Industry Organization (Taiwan BIO), emphasized in his address during the Happy Hour that Taiwan is an excellent partner for international biotech and pharmaceutical companies looking for opportunities in Asia. With its excellent geographical location, Taiwan is within 5 hours of major Asian cities and is a key player in connecting the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. 

During the event, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and Taiwan BIO announced the renewal of their cooperation for three years from 2024 to 2026, and a contract exchange ceremony was held between the leaders of two organizations. They will continue to co-organize the annual biotech event BIO Asia-Taiwan, and through their joint promotion activities, it will provide more opportunities for participating companies to gain access to international cooperation not only in Asia but also around the world. BIO’s CEO Rachel King pointed out that Taiwan’s biotech market has great potential, with world-renowned advances in recent years. It is anticipated that Taiwan’s biotech industry may shine in the future.

In an interview, Mr. Chih-ching Yang, IDB’s Deputy Director General, mentioned that Taiwan’s industry excelled in integration and capitalizing on its strengths in software and hardware to develop technologies needed for the international supply chain. The delegation this year is diversified in terms of domains and company size, with services covering precision medicine, CDMO, and smart healthcare, and exhibitors also include start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, and mature biotech companies, showing that Taiwan’s biomedical industry is highly dynamic and energetic.

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and Taiwan BIO announced the renewal of their partnership to co-organize the annual biotech event BIO Asia-Taiwan during the period 2024-2026

Taiwan Reaches New Heights in the Start-Up Stadium and Shines at Global Innovation Hub Presentations

Since its debut in 2017, the Start-Up Stadium at the BIO International Convention provides biotech start-up companies with an opportunity to showcase their technologies and engage key members of the investment community, venture philanthropy groups, strategic partners, and non-dilutive capital. In BIO 2023, the number of Taiwanese biomedical start-up teams enrolled in the contest increased from 14 last year to 20. Further, after the first appearance of Taiwanese teams in the finals in 2022, five companies were selected as finalists this year, compared to two teams last year.

This year, Taiwan was once again invited to participate in the Global Innovation Hub Presentations program, where Taiwan BIO’s Chairman Dr. Chung-hsiun Wu made a presentation that illustrated related facts that Taiwan is an “Ideal Partner for Precision Health in Asia Pacific”, highlighting Taiwan’s competitive edges in terms of innovation, business environment, ideal application, high-tech industry development and strong government support. 

Overall, companies that attended the BIO 2023 shared their overwhelmingly positive experience at the event, meetings with business leaders and investors from around the world brought invaluable business opportunities, while government representatives gained impressive insights into global biotech trends to better adapt policies to encourage research and business developments.

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