Marching into foreign medical markets
S ment plans (2002-2006). amyoung Unitech is the nation's sole company directly manufacturing and producing cyclotrons for medical use.
Samyoung Unitech, which boasts of its advanced cyclotron technology, has been exerting strenuous efforts to improve the function of cyclotrons through persistent operation and tests, Jung Kyung-il, president of the company, said.
The company's possession of the technology has worked as an important variable in deciding the price of cyclotrons when Korean companies introduce cyclotrons through foreign companies. As the price of cyclotron technology has been set through negotiations between suppliers and consumers, unlike general industrial goods that carry decided supply prices, the cyclotron price is lowering in technology-possessing countries in general, whereas the price is going up in those countries with no technology. Meanwhile, Samyoung Unitech acquired ISO9001 in design, development and production and new excellent product (NEP) showing superiority of its products.
As a result, Samyoung is equipped with high international competitiveness in terms of both price and quality, Jung said.
Thanks to its advanced technology, Samyoung has attained chances to export cyclotron for medical use to Southeast Asia and the Middle East regions, in addition to its domestic sales, the top management of the company said.
Since its development of KOTRON-13 cyclotron and the success of its commercialization, a number of foreign countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Columbia, Chile, Cuba and Saudi Arabia, are showing very positive attitude in importing cyclotron.
Related to this, Samyoung Unitech is creating a foundation for exports of cyclotron based on its successful supply to the domestic market, he said.
The cyclotron market is very sensitive to the living standards of people in relevant countries and the degree of development of nuclear medicine.
In North America, Europe and Japan countries that lead the nuclear medicine technology industry at present, a number of cyclotrons for medical use were already supplied and stiff competition is expected to occur between Korean products and foreign goods.
On the other hand, in developing countries including most countries in Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Latin American regions, technology development in the nuclear medicine field has been made actively. As a result, the demands for cyclotrons in the regions are expected to rise at a rapid pace in the near future. Such developing countries have great concern about technology transfer, low-price equipment and accommodation of equipment for multiple uses.
Therefore Samyoung Unitech is expected to make an easy access to such developing countries by utilizing its rich experiences in the cyclotron projects. In line with this, Samyoung is planning to map out strategic export plans to advance into the foreign cyclotron market aggressively, he said.
"For the business success of KOTRON-13 cyclotron, whose commercialization was achieved successfully through Samyoung Unitech, the exploration of markets is necessary. However, considering the supply ratio of cyclotron against population, about 10 cyclotrons are expected to be supplied to the domestic market to the maximum. Accordingly, we should make preparations for advancing into foreign markets, rather than domestic markets," said the president.
As cyclotron, basic equipment for development of nuclear medicine and RT technology, has great technology ripple effects, it needs exact analysis of market demands and technology level. For advancing into developing countries, particularly, it is very important to enter the markets of relevant countries through international exchanges of nuclear technology.
For exports of cyclotrons, the government has been extending active supports. For strategic advancement of Korean-made cyclotron into foreign countries, there are two options: one is to build a cooperative system with relevant institutions in foreign countries by holding many overseas exhibitions and academic seminars and the other is to map out strategic methods, along with technology exchange between state-run institutions.
Korea's technology in the field of radioactive use has been developing noticeably during the past five years. Widely different from its past trend of concentrating on power generation, Korea has achieved strategic development of technology for production of radioisotope and technology for use of radiation in the medical, agricultural, environmental and industrial sectors though its ambitious radioactive technology (RT) develop- S ment plans (2002-2006).
The followings are excerpts from an interview with Jung Kyung-il, president of Samyoung Unitech.
Q: Would you make suggestions to accelerate development of Korea's nuclear power technology
A: Korea should diversify its export items, in addition to the existing export goods, including Tc-99m Generator and cyclotron equipment.
Among such new items include radioactive medical supplies now being produced by Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, including I-131, P-32, and Cold Kit, and portal monitor developed this time.
On a long-term basis, Korea should accelerate commercialization of RTrelated products produced by private companies and extend active supports to domestic RT-related companies for their advancement into overseas markets through a variety of state-run assistance programs.
Through private sector-led actual technology exchanges and securing basic technologies, Korea is able to improve its national technology competitiveness and promote its status as a nuclear superpower in the international community.
Q: Would you explain why the world's nuclear physics research centers pay keen attention to radioisotope production facilities for diagnosis of cancer
A: Among the existing companies supplying cyclotron are GE and CTISIEMENS of the United States, IBA of Belgium, Sumitomo of Japan and EBCO of Canada.
In case of South Korea, Korea Institute of Radiogical & Medical Sciences succeeded in developing 13MeV for the fifth time in the world. In 2004, Samyoung Unitech took over the technology and made a success in commercializing the technology through practical process.
The key reason that foreign institutions pay keen attention to KOTRON-13 cyclotron developed by Samyoung Unitech is the fact that cyclotron is an aggregate of many advanced technologies in various fields, including electromagnet, high-frequency generating equipment and ion generating equipment.
Q: Would you introduce characteristics and merits of cyclotron
A: KOTRON-13 cyclotron developed by Samyoung Unitech has superior functions than other competing products. In particular, it boasts of such merits as the application of an embedded system, study-purpose use by utilizing RF frequency and application of high efficiency target system.
At the same time, it is simple to keep and maintain the system through H-type design and it can save costs for operation substantially compared with other companies' products. |
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