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Songdo Bio Cluster, the Future of K-Bio

A cluster of world-leading biotech companies is being shaped in the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ). Located inside IFEZ, Songdo International City boasts an annual bio-medicine production capacity of 560,000ℓ, which is the world’s biggest followed by San Francisco and Singapore. The City also owns the most product licenses in South Korea, including one for the world’s first antibody biosimilar licensed product. Global biosimilar developer and producer Celltrion, bio-medicine contract manufacturing organization (CMO) Samsung Biologics, and biosimilar producer Samsung Bioepis are all located in IFEZ, as well as biotech companies and agencies and their professional human resources including foreign-invested enterprises supplying pharmaceutical ingredients and equipment, research centers, medical centers, and supporting agencies. The combination creates a stable value chain within the cluster based on a seamless supply of raw and subsidiary materials.

The biotech industry is growing at a remarkable speed triggered by the recent spread of the coronavirus and the growth of ageing population. In order to lead the world’s biotech industry, there is a need to expand Songdo Bio Cluster, provide full support for businesses and strengthen the network.

In response, IFEZ plans to add infrastructure and build an ecosystem for bio innovation in order to attract foreign investors in biotech and healthcare and rise as a global bio cluster.

Location information

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Current(2021) Expansion plan(2030)
Location Songdo Zones 4, 5 & 7 Songdo Zones 4, 5 ,7+11 (Newly reclaimed area)
Area 920,000㎡ 2,000,000㎡
No. of companies 60 700
No. of employees More than 6,000 More than 20,000
Investment/Sales KRW 7 trillion (accumulated) /KRW 4 trillion (2020) KRW 15 trillion /KRW 10 trillion
Contact: IFEZ Emerging Industries Division (+82-32-453-7362, 7383, hjkimifez@korea.kr)

Status of investment attraction

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Major businesses operating in the Bio Cluster
  • Yonsei Univ·Incheon Nat’l Univ.
  • Ghent Univ
  • State Univ. of New York
Supporting agencies
  • Incheon Technopark
  • IFEZ Bio Analysis Center
  • Korea Institute of Industrial Technology
  • Samsung Bioepis
  • SCM Life Sciences
  • Utah-Inha DDS & Advanced Therapeutics Research
  • Voronoi
  • Rudacure
  • Celltrion
  • Samsung Biologics
  • DM Bio
  • Janssen
  • i-SENS
Process support
  • GE Healthcare
  • Merck
  • Sain Gobain
  • Ajinomoto

Key Highlights

  • Strengthening the value chain of research and production for the creation of a biotech industry ecosystem
    • With the joining of global bio-medicine manufacturer Samsung Bioepis, Songdo Bio Cluster’s global bio-medicine R&D capacity is expected to further improve.
  • Adding innovative infrastructure for the growth of K-Bio
    • Center for training biotech processing specialists: The opening of Thermo Fisher’s Bioprocess Design Center (BDC) is expected to improve the competitiveness of Songdo Bio Cluster by enabling access to state-of-the-art processing solutions needed for producing various types of vaccines including mRNA vaccines.
      ※mRNA vaccine: A vaccine that uses the messenger ribonucleic acid containing the genetic information of a virus
    • Incheon Startup Park: Supports tech startups of the fourth industrial revolution in their “technology demonstration, investment attraction, and global expansion” processes, provides operating spaces, and supports their R&D and commercialization efforts.
      • (Program for ecosystem vitalization) Laying the foundation for building the ecosystem through various support programs that offer spark networking support for the growth of startups, private-led training programs, and the assistance of a private advisory group.
      • (Demonstration program) Step-by-step commercialization support and supporting the commercialization of key areas with demonstration support programs, scale-up challenge labs, and big data, AI infrastructure and platform support programs.
      • (Investment program) Consistent investment support including the hosting of Spark IR Day, and follow-up support for tenant companies offered to innovative startups with high potentials
      • (Global expansion support program) Booster startup programs, training for global expansion including oil exploration, and programs devised to support market exploration.
  • Promotion of a win-win network based on open innovation
    • Creation of the Yonsei Science Park (by 2026): The construction of a general hospital with more than 500 beds, government-sponsored programs, and the attraction of private investment and more than 1,000 researchers will enable an innovative ecosystem based on the cooperation of industries, academic institutions, research centers and medical centers.