SunBio Tech received an official approval as the nation's number one research center enterprise from the Minister of Science and Technology. The Ministry of Science and Technology recently issued a green light to SunBio tech for becoming the number one research center enterprise according to the special law concerning Daedeok Research Development Special Zone.
SunBio Tech is an industrial-research joint venture company established by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) through a technology investment method.
With the approval, SunBio Tech is now entitled to receive a variety of government supports including tax assistance. This dramatically improves its competitiveness, Kim Chi-bong, CEO of the company, said. SunBio Tech is the first company to be designated as the research center enterprise since the special law concerning Daedeok special zone went into effect at the end of July 2005.
In February 2004, KAERI invested its advanced technologies, including bioengineering and nanotechnology, to set up SunBio tech with Kolmar Korea. SunBio Tech produces cosmetics, functional foods and materials for medical supplies, and posted 800 million won (US$858,000) in sales in 2005.
KAERI plans to establish number two and number three research center enterprises through appraisal of business feasibility as a means of growing the Daedeok Research Development Special Zone.
The following are excerpts from an interview with Kim Chi-bong, CEO of SunBio Tech -- Ed.
Q: What do you think is a desirable business model for research center enterprise
A: Major difficulties facing enterprises are the shortage of technology, lack of confidence in external technology and insufficient ability to cope with market needs.
To solve these problems, enterprises need to take charge of sales and management and research centers are required to be in charge of R&D and development of technology. I think it is a promising model.
Q: Would you comment on external conditions to be improved for active establishment of research center enterprises
A: First, merits of research center enterprises should be widely publicized. Secondly, the relation between research centers and enterprises should be clearly separated in such a way as not to interfere with each other.
Thirdly, ways to ease the burden in the case of failure and an incentive system to be given to R&D developers and project propellers in case of success should be prepared.
Q: What are the merits of research center enterprises in terms of commercialization of research results
A: Among the merits is the persistent development of technology, improvement of confidence in future technology, feed back of technology and a high success rate in technology development.
Q: HemoHIM, a composite designed to improve immune function, recently won individual recognition from the Food and Drug Administration. Is there any other project now in propulsion
A: Under the close cooperation with the research center, the compound HemoHIM that we developed was recognized as functional food material concerning immunity for the first time in the country. It will cost several tens of millions of won and a number of R&D researchers for a company to develop such product by itself. However, we succeeded in developing the product at an early date under active assistance from a research center.
Encouraged by such successful developments, we are now developing special nutritious foods for patients suffering from cancer atopic dermatitis and other functional cosmetics.