Work began on Asia's largest biotechnology incubator in west Beijing on Monday.
China Biotech Research Center, the brainchild of the Ministry of Science and Technology, is a 250,000-square-meter building with laboratory and office space for at least 500 research groups and about 100 intermediaries.
The building will include offices for government department representatives who will provide administrative support to biotech start-ups, research entities, incubators or other R&D (research & development) facilities, and branch offices of financial institutes and global venture capitalists.
Wang Hongguang, director of the China Center for Biotechnology Development under the auspices of ministry, said: "We're going to provide a world-leading platform for biotechnological research and development, which can be used by hi-tech start-ups and even individual researchers."
Statistics show that more than 40 percent of senior-level biologists are working in the Great Beijing Area for some 40 percent of China's total national biological research programs. Another 40 percent of public funds for biological research are channeled annually to research academies based in Beijing.
However, many innovative technologies are commercialized in other cities because there is a shortage of high-quality incubators in Beijing.
"We are trying to streamline the value chain from powerful R&D capabilities into business profits," Wang said.
(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2006)