Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for mutual growth and support with Merck Korea, a leading bio technology company, on November 14.
According to the IFEZ, the agreement aims to work together to promote the continued development and growth of the biotechnology industry of South Korea. Merck will strengthen its business competence and expand investment to help the IFEZ build a bio cluster, while the IFEZ will provide support for Merck’s investment to the Songdo district of Incheon.
On October 6, Merck inaugurated an M Lab Collaboration Center at the Songdo IT Center. The center is one of nine collaboration centers run by Merck across the world and it replaces a smaller facility in Pangyo. The M Lab Collaboration Center will provide domestic biopharmaceutical manufacturers with a shared, exploratory environment where they can closely collaborate with Merck Korea’s highly trained scientists and engineers to improve the productivity, raise the process efficiency and minimize the risks.
The M Lab Collaboration Center is part of Merck’s phased investment expansion in the biotechnology sector. In fact, Merck will expand its investment activities for biotechnology in in the IFEZ to research on biopharmaceutical process, logistics service, and production facilities with an aim to double its life science revenue by 2025. Details of Merck’s investment plan including new jobs to be created and exact amounts to be invested will be finalized by 2020.
Lee Young-Geun, the commissioner of the IFEZ, said, “With the investment, Merck showed that Songdo is the fastest growing biotech hub in Asia to the world. We will make every effort that the latest can lead to the investment of other global biotechnology firms in Songdo.”