Modern Biotechnology in Japan and China – Challenges and Opportunities

Dienstag, 18 Februar, 2014 - 17:30

Die Vorträge finden im Rudolf-Plank-Hörsaal, Geb. 40.32, statt.


Japan is a major power in science and technology, with a focus on products and processes of high added value. The infrastructure of the country concerning S&T is excellent, both in terms of private and public R&D. Japan contributes about 10 % to the global output in publications and patents, and is the leading Asian power in S&T. Recently, Japanese companies have internationalized to a significant extent. A considerable part of manufacturing is already done abroad, mostly in Asia, thus eroding to some extent the home base. Korea, and recently China, have become powerful competitors of Japan, and the government is increasing her funding of national R&D efforts, in spite of a highly strained household situation.

Within a few decades, China has become a major global power in manufacturing. Compared to its two Asian neighbors, Japan and Korea, the country has abundant space and resources, including human skills, but many of her industries are in an early phase of their life cycles and still “catching up” with “Western” (including Japanese) technologies.

As much as her neighbors, China regards biotechnology as an important cross‐sectional discipline to promote progress in medical supplies, agriculture, environmental sanitation, energy supply and manufacturing. As industrial R&D is still lagging behind, it is mostly by governmental stimuli and foreign technology transfer programs that issues of modern biotechnology are being addressed. The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) with its China National Center for Biotechnology Development (CNCBD), the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) and their interactions through State Key Laboratories play an important role in these developments, as do public‐private partnerships with the Chinese world abroad (e.g., Singapore, Taiwan, Hongkong, USA) and Chinese repatriates. However, Chinese industry is catching up in areas such as stem cell research, biopolymers or diagnostics.

The lecture will provide a survey of Japanese and Chinese products and stakeholders related to modern biotechnology, highlight ongoing bio‐related programs in both countries and outline opportunities for cooperation.