President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday inaugurated the National Biotechnology Research Park in Taipei’s Nangang District (南港), saying its opening marks a giant step in the development of the nation’s biotech industry.
The park houses the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Food and Drug Administration, the Ministry of Science and Technology’s National Laboratory Animal Center, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Development Center for Biotechnology, an incubation center, two Academia Sinica research centers and a bioinformatics center.
While some of the agencies moved in last year, the park’s inauguration had been put off several times.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
With Academia Sinica leading the project and a budget of more than NT$20 billion (US$646.4 million), the park was set up on a site that used to house the Ministry of National Defense’s 202nd Arsenal.
“Taiwan’s essential competitiveness in the next generation will stem from the biotech and biomedical industries,” Tsai said in her speech at the opening, expressing her hope that the park would be connected with the Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park to form an industrial corridor.
Aided by the passage of amendments to the Fundamental Science and Technology Act (科學技術基本法) and the Act for the Development of Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Industry (生技新藥產業發展條例) last year, the nation’s biotech industry should be able to attract more talented people, she said.
The project had been overseen by three former presidents — Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) — as well as Tsai and Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), Academia Sinica President James Liao (廖俊智) said, adding that two of the institute’s former presidents, Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) and Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠), also provided vital contributions.
Given environmental groups’ concern over the project’s potential impact on local species, the institution has restricted buildings to 3 hectares, while maintaining a 4-hectare ecological pool and reserving the rest for ecological restoration, Liao said.
The park is to be managed by a cross-agency committee, with Academia Sinica academician Andrew Wang (王惠鈞) serving as acting chief executive and National Taiwan University animal science professor Ding Shih-torng (丁詩同), who is also the director of the park’s incubation center, as its acting deputy executive.
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