Shown above is the head office of the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience & Biotechnology (KRIBB), which has spearheaded the country’s growth in the biotechnology industry. Photo courtesy of KRIBB

State-backed outfit underpins Korea’s quantum jump

This is an article prepared in time of the Science Day, which falls on April 21. The Korea News Plus delves into the country’s representative entities in the science and technology industries every year on the occasion of the Science Day. _ ED.

In order to boost the country’s economic growth, South Korea has recently introduced a variety of state strategies in 12 segments, including advanced biotechnology.

In particular, Asia’s No. 4 economy strives to become one of the world’s top five biotechnology powerhouses on the back of practical research and development.

As the only state-backed outfit in the segment, the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience & Biotechnology (KRIBB) is expected to play a pivotal role in achieving the ambitious goal.

Since its foundation in 1985, the KRIBB has spearheaded Korea’s biotechnology industries, including such areas as basic biological research, public health, food productivity, and new biological substances.

The next-generation biotechnology industries are composed of four sectors of synthetic life biology, pandemic vaccine/treatment, gene/cell therapy, and data science related to digital health.

The KRIBB has put forth great efforts to chalk up tangible results in all four.

For example, the KRIBB has developed CRISPR-Cas12f1 technology designed to enable scientists to edit genes through hypercompact DNA scissors.

Last year, KRIBB researcher Kim Yong-sam developed a technology of editing DNA without having to cut it.

As a result, he set up biotech startup GenKOre to sign a joint research project with a global pharmaceutical company of which size is up to $350 million.

KRIBB President Kim Jang-seong said that the organization would continue to buttress the country’s advancement in the potential-loaded biotechnology.

“In line with the country’s long-term strategies, the KRIBB will improve our roles and responsibilities,” he said.

“In addition, we will do our best as the best partner for those in the biotechnology industry so that Korea will be able to become a genuinely advanced country in the field.”