Taiwan’s Biotech Initiative – a case study

在文檔中 台灣經濟形貌: 增進公共政策效益之動態群聚模式 - 政大學術集成 (頁 153-160)

10. Cluster Analyses and Case Studies

10.2. Taiwan’s Biotech Initiative – a case study

The Biopharmaceutical and Medical Devices cluster has been one of six Taiwan’s Economic Development Policy since 2009. Although they are grouped into the same industry, but their clustering is different. The Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) has produced a white paper on the economic policy of Taiwan’s biotechnology industry (Industrial Development Bureau, 2015). The white paper provides a thorough research and planning details of each targeted industry. It pointed out one weakness which is the marketing. Taiwan has been focusing on research and development, but is short on marketing strategies from rolling out products to market acceptance. The recent plan believes Taiwan is ready for investments into the industries (Industrial Development Bureau, 2015, p. 324).

This industry may face development strategy issue against the international community.

One of the debatable issues is the genetic altering food although may claim to reduce environmental damage but may create health issues recently. The European policy has set clear goals, and one of them is food safety (Ding, 2015). “The Bioeconomy Strategy aims to improve the knowledge base and foster innovation to achieve productivity increases while ensuring sustainable resource use and alleviating stress on the environment.” states EU’s primary goal. (European Commission, 2012, p. 12) Different from Taiwan’s policy goals that EU starts to define the problem and tackling the problem with strategies by forming a clear goal request for initiatives to meet the goal. The EU Commission planning document starts with the statement “This strategy proposes a comprehensive approach to address the ecological, environmental, energy, food supply and natural resource challenges that Europe and indeed the world are facing already today.”

(European Commission, 2012, p. 6)

Taiwan’s white paper focuses on the technological research. It avoids the discussion on market demand and problem solving perspective. Part of document supports genetic engineering which is debatable nowadays. (Industrial Development Bureau, 2015, p. 4) If a product is ready for marketing, it may be rejected by the EU market if the product contains genetic engineering process. Both European and American white papers set goals to increase jobs as a top priority (National Bioeconomy Blueprint, 2012, p. 1), and


both have addressed the pathways to the workforce participation (European Commission, 2012, p. 14; National Bioeconomy Blueprint, 2012, pp. 33-38). Taiwan’s Bioeconomic plan puts more emphasis on elite incubation and has not addressed the workforce participation, nor has set clear goals of how to reach the employment mass. The recent cluster mapping data reflects the shortage.

Both Biopharmaceuticals and Medical Devices have workforce participation of 0.3% in overall workforce. Below charts display both cluster specializations in the cities.

These two clusters have different specialties, therefore, should be reviewed separately.

Figure 77 Biopharmaceutical’s Concentration in Cities.

Nine cities specialize in

Biopharmaceuticals, and two are highly specialized.

Source: Taiwan National Statistics Bureau

Below is the Biopharmaceutical Growth Composition.


141 Figure 78 Biopharmaceutical Growth Composition.


Source: Calculation from Taiwan Census Data, Taiwan National Census Bureau


Figure 79 Biopharmaceuticals Revenue-Compensation Ratio.

Source: Taiwan National Statistics Bureau

For Biopharmaceuticals, Taipei and Tainan are the two largest workforce with full growths, but Tainan is more specialized than Taipei. Hsinchu being one of three most highly specialized cities are facing a full decline in all rates. Yilan has revenue and wages decline. Other specialized cities (Taoyuan, Taichung, Changhua, Chiayi County) are growing healthy but with smaller rates. Miaoli is growing on high rates over 20% but employment decline which indicate labor shortage. Tainan remains strong among the highly specialized cities. The Biopharmaceuticals cluster is still early in the development stage. Unlike the IT cluster with a high profit, New Taipei, Taipei, Taoyuan, and Tainan are larger and have better revenue-compensation ratio almost equivalent to the

Production Technology cluster. Taipei appears to be more productive than Tainan.

Below is the discussion on the Medical Devices cluster.



TaichungCity TainanCity

KaohsiungCity YilanCounty


HsinchuCounty MiaoliCounty

ChanghuaCounty NantouCounty



PingtungCounty HsinchuCity ChiayiCity


‐0.05 0 0.05 0.1 0.15

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Growth, 2006‐2011

(revenue/compensation) 2011; bubble=employment size

Biopharmaceuticals Revenue‐Compensation Ratio

143 Figure 80 Medical Devices Concentration in Cities.

Biopharmaceuticals and Medical Devices’

specialized clusters overlaps in five cities, and they are Taoyuan, Hsinchu County, Miaoli, Tainan City, Chiayi County with only one highly specialize cities fully overlap, Tainan.

Source: Taiwan National Statistics Bureau Figure 81 Medical Devices Growth Composition.



Taitung -7.3% -10.1% -6.2% 13 0.0% 0.1% 0.1 252

Penghu 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0 0.0% 0.0% 0.0 0

Kinmen 7.3% 24.9% 18.8% 14 0.1% 0.1% 0.3 640

Lienchiang 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0 0 0 0.0 0

Source: Calculation from Taiwan Census Data, Taiwan National Census Bureau Figure 82 Medical Devices Revenue-Compensation Ratio.

Source: Taiwan National Statistics Bureau

New Taipei and Tainan cities are the two largest workforce and with full growths. Other full growing cities include Taoyuan, Hsinchu County, Miaoli, and Chiayi. Many IT high growth cities overlap with the Medical Devices clusters such as New Taipei, Taoyuan, Miaoli, Hsinchu, Hsinchu City. Miaoli has a 43% growths on employment. Taichung and Changhua are also showing high growths on employment and revenue but not

specializing in the cluster, and the revenue-compensation ratio is lower than the Production Technologies and Tools (see Figure 82). This is an indication that the Production Technology industry is a supportive industry to this cluster. Out of the two largest workforce participation cities, New Taipei and Tainan, Tainan is much more specialized and profitable than New Taipei.

NewTaipeiCity TaipeiCity

TaichungCity TainanCity


YilanCounty TaoyuanCity




ChiayiCounty HsinchuCity




‐0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3

3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8

Growth 2006‐2011

(revenue/compensation) 2011; bubble=employment size

Medical Devices Revenue‐Compensation Ratio


To put the two clusters together, Tainan appears to be most specialized and profitable. Of course, New Taipei and Taipei are close in distance which has the most workforce

participation, it’s labor efficiency is not as good as Tainan. Tainan is a remote area, since these two clusters are still in an inception phase, more needs to be planned for the growth of Biotechnology industry. One of the weaknesses that Taiwan’s White Paper points out is the marketing specialty. This is an area that the industry needs a booster which the White Paper (Industrial Development Bureau, 2015, p. 270) is trying to address and lack of strategy for the development supports. The Business Services cluster is growing very rapidly in Taiwan, and education and training plan can be made to connect the clusters so that there are professionals trained workforce ready for these industries. Since the

Bioeconomy is new and in its infancy in Taiwan, it can borrow the traditional clusters’

strengths to help to develop its new strengths. Taipei and Tainan, each can be analyzed by its strengths and weaknesses.

Taipei and New Taipei have several medical research institutes which specialize in pharmaceutical research, and the international business support is stronger in the North districts. Taiwan is more suitable for the Medical devices since it is closer to the

Production Technology hub of the Middle district. Tainan can be in Nutraceuticals focus for the following reasons.

First, Tainan has been a traditionally farming and fishing region that provide researchers natural resources to some of the research. Second, Tainan has University Research Centers nearby focusing on medical research, and this can complement the research setup and knowledge transfer. Third, Tainan has one of the largest food processing companies, that the food processing technology can be utilized. Fourth, Tainan in the earlier time was famous for textile manufacturing and has developed Production Machinery specialty in case of needing to develop new production machinery. Five, the newly developed Tainan Technology Park provides policies and environment for innovation and research

development. With these advantages, the Biotechnology combing Food Processing can accommodate the new clusters by the available local specialties. Tainan can be a candidate to become a Bioeconomy cluster center; therefore, a cluster initiative can be formed to encourage stakeholders to participate in the regional development.


在文檔中 台灣經濟形貌: 增進公共政策效益之動態群聚模式 - 政大學術集成 (頁 153-160)