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An Analysis of Korean Bio-clusters and its Implications

Author Moon, Hyeseon et al. Date 2018.12.07 Page

As the Korean economy has changed into an aging society, much interest has been put on the bio industry including the pharmaceutical industry and the medical devices industry. The bio industry is expected to grow faster than ever and to be the most profitable industry in the global market. However, competition between bio firms in the global market is getting tougher. Moreover, more R&D investment and risks are needed for innovation in the bio industry. Therefore, bio companies as well as universities and research institutes have constructed bio-clusters in order to share risks and costs for innovation and to create new knowledge by sharing information and knowledge between actors. Many successful cases in the U.S. and European countries show that clustering is the effective strategy for bio companies to grow and succeed. From this perspective, Korea has also constructed bio-clusters and support their growth. However, Korean bio-clusters now face with difficulties in their growth because of the lack of fund and human resource.


Therefore, this study intends to analyze the status of Korean bio-clusters and to derive factors which impact on their growth, and then to discuss some useful suggestion for future government policies. For this purpose, indicators to evaluate Korean bio-clusters were developed and then applied to diagnose the status of each bio-cluster in Korea. Next, the main factors to impact on bio firms’ innovation performance and business performance were derived. Finally, on the basis of the evaluation of bio-clusters and the analysis of main determinants of innovation and business performance, this study suggested the effective way of government policy to foster bio-clusters in Korea.


The results of this analysis imply that now is the time for the Korean government policy to change its main focus from supporting physical infrastructure to raise the efficiency of policies. When it comes to supporting methods of government, Korean bio companies showed different demands for a variety of policy supporting system by the type of companies. Therefore, future government policies need to be customized by the type of companies based on their demands. ?