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Taiwan's Translational Research (or lack thereof)

July 8, 2011
Brady Huggett concludes in this article that,
"... perhaps the biggest strike against Taiwan is a lack of translational research. There is no collective mindset that envisions products from research. And if biotech is to drive the future economies of countries around the globe, there has to be nationwide efforts to turn academic research and publicly-funded lab work into something that can benefit patients and be sold. We've talked about it before on this blog - getting that mindset into the universities and researchers is hard to do. I'm not quite sure how to do it, but it's proving a lot harder than convincing the government to throw a few millions at a biotech park."

I would also add that Taiwanese law (the Fundamental Science and Technology Act) also does not help.  As we documented in the BIO 2011 Special 301 Submission, Article 9 of this Act prohibits Taiwanese academic institutions from licensing to non-domestic companies without government permission which often takes two to three years to receive and is frequently refused.

The U.S. counterpart (the Bayh Dole Act) makes no domicile distinction but requires instead the licensee to substantially manufacture in the United States products that will be sold in the United States.  Foreign and U.S. companies have equal opportunity to obtain licenses from university research.

This seems to be a crucial barrier in the translation (or lack thereof) of Taiwanese discoveries.