Building the Life Sciences

color = "#DF1F26"; Building the life sciences Poised for truly global influence, China’s life sciences industry demands and deserves the best possible service from global suppliers. By Peter Waterman China’s life science market has thrived over the last five years. Annual growth has consistently been in double digits, and it will continue to be one of the most rapidly developing markets in the world. The Life Technologies brand

Peter Waterman
Nov 30, 2009

Building the life sciences

Poised for truly global influence, China’s life sciences industry demands and deserves the best possible service from global suppliers.

China’s life science market has thrived over the last five years. Annual growth has consistently been in double digits, and it will continue to be one of the most rapidly developing markets in the world.

The Life Technologies brands of Applied Biosystems and Invitrogen have a long association with research in China. Over the past 10 years we have responded to significant changes in the needs of the research and development community here. There has been a growing need for high quality, guaranteed and well supported instrumentation and reagents. Our products have helped accelerate the discovery process, which ultimately contributes to the acceptance of publications, patents and approvals by regulatory bodies.

Since the mid-1980s, these scientists have been encouraged to return to China to transfer their skills...

China’s life science market has thrived over the last five years. Annual growth has consistently been in double digits, and it will continue to be one of the most rapidly developing markets in the world.

The Life Technologies brands of Applied Biosystems and Invitrogen have a long association with research in China. Over the past 10 years we have responded to significant changes in the needs of the research and development community here. There has been a growing need for high quality, guaranteed and well supported instrumentation and reagents. Our products have helped accelerate the discovery process, which ultimately contributes to the acceptance of publications, patents and approvals by regulatory bodies.

Since the mid-1980s, these scientists have been encouraged to return to China to transfer their skills and knowledge back to the local community.

The estimated number of scientists in China varies from 10,000–100,000 individuals, making this community significant in a global sense. And it is significant not just in size, but also in terms of ability. The government started to encourage their brightest talents to travel to various parts of the world to gain science qualifications and experience in the mid-1970s. Since the mid-1980s, these scientists have been encouraged to return to China to transfer their skills and knowledge back to the local community. The success of this approach was limited in the past—more China-born scientists today live and work outside China than do in China itself. However, in recent years, a growing number of “sea turtles” are returning to research institutions, multinational pharmaceutical companies, and local biotechnology start-ups. This reverse migration is contributing greatly to the development of a truly dynamic and exciting life sciences culture.

Applied Biosystems and Invitrogen will continue to support the growing needs of China’s researcher community. Life Technologies is committed to building the infrastructure, collaborations, and the scientific and business relationships necessary to accelerate the growth and success of the sector.

Funding from the Chinese Government continues to grow with every Five Year Plan. In addition to this growth of funds, there has been a considerable commitment made to counter any possible impact from the global financial crisis with 4 trillion RMB. The impact of this commitment in the life sciences industry will be seen over the next several years in the building of infrastructure.

Despite the increases, China’s funding in 2007 of research and development as a percentage of GDP is still low at 0.02 percent when compared to the United States’ 0.22 percent. To accelerate selective elements of the industry, China is making investments such as the Mega New Drug Development program, with a commitment of 10 billion RMB over 13 years and 6.6 billion RMB over the next 2 years. It is this scale of investment that will have a global impact.

The commitment from the Chinese government in supporting and stimulating this sector is clear. As this research and development community develops, so will their need for ever improving technology, support and assurance from suppliers of their systems and reagents. Life Technologies will be a partner in this vibrant development.

Peter Waterman is Asia Pacific Marketing Leader at Life Technologies.