Biotechnology will harness cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies to bolster breeding techniques, alter living organisms, make or modify products, improve plants or animals, improve plants or animals, or develop microorganisms for agricultural uses.
Biotechnology is recognised as one of the economic engines that will drive towards a progressive and high-income nation as the country’s conducive environment and growth potential presents a multitude of long-term opportunities for countries with mature biotechnology sectors.
Besides cost-competitive skilled labour market, excellent transportation networks, ICT infrastructure, strong government support, active public-private sector participation and cost-effective base of doing business, the exceptional richness of biodiversity has led to the development of biotechnology in the region.
The establishment of the National Biotechnology Policy is a clear indication of the government’s intense effort in making biotechnology as one of the main pillars of economic growth. Research has shown that the success of the US biotech industry is centred on nine leading biotech clusters. Biotech activities will naturally take place around centres that have a good connection with research institutes and universities.
Other key factors that contribute towards the success of the biotechnology industry are the availability of venture capital funding and a critical mass of highly qualified biotechnology graduates.
Continuous support from the government can be seen through the introduction of tax incentives for companies investing in the manufacturing of biotechnology products, which includes significant incentives such as Pioneer Status and Investment Tax Allowance. Eligibility for PS and ITA is based on specific priorities, including the level of value-added, technology used and industrial linkages.
Recognising the importance of a conducive regulatory framework to the success of this endeavour, the government has intensified the promotion of foreign and domestic investments and close collaboration with foreign entities to access new technology, expertise and markets. Efforts are also taken to improve the Intellectual Property (IP) policy and management framework to encourage innovation and safeguard investment in the biotechnology sector.