National Taipei University of Technology1.0
  • 2020 Apr 16
  • NTUST’s GLORIA Taps Cross-Industry Thinktank to Envision a New Golden Era for Taiwan’s Biomedical Industry
This year’s Secrets of Cross-sector Leadership: The ‘I Think, Therefore I Reengineer’ Moxie of Biotech Thinktanks seminar, sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and co-organized by NTUST’s Biomedical Materials & Surface Engineering Industry-Academia Consortium (BMSE-IAC) and the Global Research & Industry Alliance (GLORIA), successfully concluded several days ago. The seminar brought together experts from industry, the government, and academia to exchange experience and ideas and offer constructive insights on strategies that will power the biotechnology industry forward into a bright future.

The five heavyweight speakers at this year’s seminar included BMSE-IAC Director and NTUST Distinguished Professor Hsu-wei Fang, NCCU Department of Criminology Professor and Golden Bell Award winner Shen-feng Tai, CCU Department of Advertising Chairperson Tse-Hsun Niu, GLORIA Director Chia-hwa Lee, and Citibank Taiwan Independent Director Louis Chen. All spoke on the issue of cross-industry exchange in the biotech sector and on the long-term development opportunities and expectations ahead for Taiwan’s biotechnology industry.

Image 1: Industry-academia experts gather for annual exchange of ideas and insights

According to noted biomedical strategist and BMSE-IAC Director Hsu-wei Fang: “We succeed when projects succeed. Success begets success.”

Dr. Fang says that when people perceive good prospects for Taiwan’s biomedical industry, it is because of its peculiar cross-industry character and challenging nature. He has significant personal experience leveraging industry supply chains to build major new brands, move into the global marketplace, and tap the advantages of both industry and academia. His prime directive in developing any new business is, “define your objectives before starting any project, carefully assess opportunities for industry-academia cooperation, and do not give up easily in the face of problems. These are key to successfully creating new business opportunities together.” 

Golden Bell Award winner Shen-feng Tai opened with the question: “Is a ‘good’ drug maker one that gives you a high without the addiction?”
Shen-feng Tai cited a flurry of statistics encapsulating the current state of crime in Taiwan today. Prisons, he noted, are currently at 17~20% above capacity. Also, the 5-year recidivism rate for released criminals is 80%, with drug offenders the highest subcategory at nearly 90%. Moreover, while crimes committed by youth are on the decline, crimes by senior citizens have been climbing, with 6,600 senior citizens in jail today compared with 600 in 2016. From the perspective of criminals, Dr. Tai sees differences among criminal sociology, criminal psychology, born criminals, youthful anti-sociality, and lifelong anti-sociality. His discussion on the moral tradeoffs involved in using biotechnology offered the audience food for thought as they pursue future opportunities.

Marketing trend analyst and Advertising Department Chairperson Tse-Hsun Niu shared: “I PO therefore I am. Don’t popular topics always hitch a ride and toot their own horn?”
Dr. Niu sees presence, participation, and achievement as the three ‘keys’ to success in the age of Internet media. These, coupled with marketing monitoring and management by big data firms, are the critical ‘force points’ used by brands today to gain traction in television, chat rooms, blogs, social networks, and other news-sharing platforms. Biomedical brands must also take a similar approach to marketing if they are to attract and hold social media attention.
Industry leader and GLORIA Director Chia-hwa Lee underscored his opinion that “Taiwan is the ‘forsaken child’ of international medicine.”

Dr. Chia-hwa Lee boldly predicted that the draft Medical Device Management Act, now past its third reading in the Legislative Yuan, will give a strong boost to Taiwan’s medical device industry and that the steadily rising numbers of Southeast Asian medical students studying in Taiwan paint a rosy picture for the future of medical equipment made and sold under Taiwanese brand names. Based on his many years of industry experience, Dr. Lee sees the combined pressures of global aging, energy scarcity, and environmental change overwhelming medical budgets by 2030, creating strong new opportunities for growth in the medical monitoring and preventive subsegments. He also touched on domestic developments in AI and smart medicine, citing conceptual / mindset shortfalls, inadequate systems thinking, and a lagging legal framework that he hopes may be improved through a concerted and comprehensive effort.    

Global brand promoter and Independent Director at Citibank Taiwan, Louis Chen, urged all attendees: “Don’t work hard, do work smart.”
Seasoned brand manager Louis Chen noted that value co-creation is critical to the success of holding companies. He stated that the ‘big health’ industry represents a promising area of growth for Taiwanese MGB global brand-building strategies. Mr. Chen outlined the industry’s future vision and plans, including (step one) conducting a comprehensive inventory of the domestic biomedical industry, (step two) make the absolute best preparations possible, (step three) invest necessary capital (industry-wide), and (step four) develop international markets, build economy-of-scale advantages, and make strategic acquisitions overseas to create a strong and comprehensive force. Mr. Chen stressed the need for the larger and more experienced companies to train up their smaller and less-experienced peers and for the larger companies to commercialize new technologies and introduce them quickly into overseas markets. Combining advanced technology and well-trained human resources will be critical to creating a new and advantageous playing field for Taiwanese industry.

Image 2. The seminar was attended by around 70 people, who actively absorbed and engaged in the topics at hand.