Bio Industry Expo Osong Korea 2014 will be held at Osong Biovalley (near Osong KTX station) from September 26 to October 12 with the theme of “The Secret of Life, Beautiful Future.”
Chungcheongbuk-do has established a foundation to nourish the biotechnology industry by successfully hosting “Osong Industry Expo Osong Korea,” the first comprehensive international biotechnology expo, since 2002. Osong, Chungcheongbuk-do has become the center of the biotechnology industry in Korea since it has been designated as the first specialized complex for the biotechnology, hygiene, and medical industries in Korea in 1997. Since then, a life science complex was formed in 2008, an advanced and integrated medical complex was brought in August 2009, and six national health organizations, including the Korea Health Industry Development Institute, moved there in December 2010.
In total, 165 biotechnology and information technology companies as well as life science research organizations moved into Ochang Scientific Industrial Complex, which was completed in 2002. An additional 60 biotechnology companies moved into Osong Biovalley, which was completed in 2008. Osong, Chungcheongbuk-do aims to become an international biomedical hub by forming the Second Osong Biovalley (3.29 million m2), creating Chungbuk Free Economic Zone early, upgrading to advanced and integrated medical complexes, and expanding infrastructure.
The biotechnology industry inside and outside of Korea was US$900 billion in 2009, but is expected to grow over 50 percent to US$1.4 trillion in 2014. In Korea, the market size of the biotech industry tripled in the last six years, from 2005 (2.62 trillion won, US$2.56 billion) to 2010 (6.15 trillion won, US$6.01 billion). The government is intensively nourishing the biotechnology industry by selecting it as a growth driver for future, and Osong is becoming the essential stronghold for the national biotech industry.
Lee Cha-young, secretary general of the organizing committee of the Bio Industry Expo Osong Korea 2014, said, “Since the international bio exposition first started in Chungbuk, Korea, in 2002, the biotechnology industry in Korea showed rapid growth for ten years. Thanks to this, Osong has a vision to become a center of the national biotechnology industry and ultimately one of the world’s three major biovalleys soon. I believe that 2014 is the best time to prepare the growth driver of Chungbuk through nourishing the biotech industry.” The foundations for Osong to predominate the biotechnology industry in the mega-regional economy will soon be put into place. First, a Free Economic Zone was designated around Osong in 2013. Then, then Cheongwon and Cheongju were unified into one city in 2014. Next year, a junction station of KTX Honam will be opened, and then in 2016 the Second Osong Biovalley will be completed.
Exceeding the Target of Corporate Invitations
Bio Industry Expo Osong Korea 2014 aimed to invite 233 companies for booth participation including 60 foreign companies and 700 buyers (300 foreign buyers). However, the Organizing Committee announced that 346 companies applied for booth participation by August 20. 71 Korean companies were eliminated by the selection council. Even without these companies, the number of domestic and overseas participants exceeded the original target of 223 by 23.3 percent, or 52 companies.
In Korea, 140 big and small enterprises, including LG Life Sciences, Meta Biomed, Medytox, Biotoxtech, Optipharm Solutions, Cospharm Bio, Pion-ch, and Aribio, applied to participate. Merck of the U.S., a global pharmaceutical company; Siemens of Germany; SinoPham, number one sales in China; and ShanghaiParma, the biggest medical device company in Shanghai, applied as well.
By type of company, 84 cosmetics related companies registered. Twenty-four devices and materials companies, 17 medical and pharmaceutical companies, 17 food companies, 15 process machinery companies, seven research and inspection service companies, six beauty devices companies, and four beauty companies followed.
On the other hand, the Organizing Committee is trying its best to invite 700,000 visitors, including 665,000 from Korea and 35,000 from overseas, to Bio Industry Expo Osong Korea 2014.
Major Exhibition Programs
There are various attractions for both adults and children at the exhibition booths of this expo. A bio future hall, a theme exhibition hall, will present an understanding of the biotech industry, progress trends and performances, and visions and outlook.
Major and issued products of the domestic and overseas biotech industry, a genome play in which genomes of humans and various animals and plants will be analyzed, the first cloned dog, Snuppy, and another symbol of this biotech expo, “Donggyeong,” will be introduced here.
The bio health experience hall will provide information on the healthy life that the biotech industry, targeting middle-aged people, can bring. Various experiences such as the diagnosis of a “Sasang constitution” and mobile health care will be available. Futuristic treatment technologies including health information related to cause of death, gene therapy, customized cancer therapy, and biochip diagnosis will be introduced. Also, massages and total sensory health experiences will be introduced to heal the body and mind.
At the beauty experience hall, future K-beauty experiences including biotech and convergence cosmetics will be available. Starting with a hologram image concert by the K-pop group “Sistar,” K-beauty as a part of Hallyu will be introduced. In addition, various beauty secrets such as the makeup secrets of Hallyu celebrities will be available to experience.
In the customized skin solution section, skin diagnosis and consulting based on new devices will be available, and customized cosmetics according to the diagnosis results will be provided. Moreover, beauty experiences using beauty applicators integrated with electronic devices, edible cosmetics that enhance beauty through being ingested, and wearable cosmetics that improve skin elasticity and textures and reduces body fat when worn will be exhibited.
The education experience hall, primarily targeting students, will deliver basic knowledge of life sciences and introduce experience programs related to school curriculum. Students can check cells and DNA through hologram images, and create their own mini-holograms. Various biology experiments that are not available in school, including genetically modified and multicolored fluorescent zebra fish, DNA extraction, and the observation of bacteriophagy are available, together with 3D scanning and printing experiences. Future promising jobs in the biotechnology industry will also be introduced through fingerprint checks.
Supporting Biotech Companies to Expand Overseas
There will also be events to help participating companies to expand overseas and increase sales. The Organizing Committee, in cooperation with KOTRA, will trade consulting sessions with foreign buyers such as Novartis, Pfizer, Amgen, and Johnson & Johnson twice on September 26 and 30.
The Division of International Trade and the Biotechnology industry of Chungcheongbuk-do also plans to export consulting meetings six times by inviting 200 foreign buyers. Chungbuk plans to provide partnership opportunities, including joint investment, with small and medium-sized companies in Korea, by inviting three of the major global pharmaceutical companies.
Lee Cha-young, secretary general of the Organizing Committee, said, “We will make sure that actual business opportunities are created during this expo with the participation of major bio companies and buyers worldwide. This expo will be a great change to upgrade the biotechnology industry of Chungbuk as well as Korea to the next level.”
He added, “Chungbuk will be able to have global competitiveness to become a center of the biotech industry in Korea and the world through the successful hosting of the international bio event held for the first time in the last 12 years. We encourage everyone including civilians and corporate professionals to participate so that Osong, Chungbuk becomes the heart of the biotechnology industry and compete with advanced biotech countries worldwide through Bio Industry Expo Osong Korea 2014.”