The biotechnology industry has been a strategic sector for South Korea since the technology emerged as a solution to the problems of aging, environment, and energy. By committing substantial investments to build suitable technologies and industrial infrastructure, South Korea has emerged as a global leader in the field. Since the 1990s, the South Korean government has increasingly invested in biotechnology R&D, resulting in a robust present day biotechnology sector.

The field of human and industrial biotechnology has rapidly moved in recent years. The enormous size of a market is expected to be formed and developed by (1) convergence with other industries such as Information Technology (IT) and nanotechnology (NT), (2) growth of biopharmaceutical and genomics industry, and (3) development of bio-based chemical industry, which reproduces environment and energy.

Market Facts

  • Korea is home to a strong biosimilar business.
  • In Korea, global collaboration and business are very active through technology license deals with cutting-edge technologies.


Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization (KoreaBIO) is a trade association which was established as a result of the merger between three different industry associations in the biotechnology field in November 2008. KoreaBIO promotes communication among national bio-related parties, and solves the bottleneck of industrialization to create a sustainable biotechnology industry ecosystem.

Now, KoreaBIO is a central organization with more than 300 member companies, including major Pharma & Biotechnology enterprises, representing the biotechnology industry of Korea. Also, KoreaBIO develops various training and policy-making programs to serve the member companies more efficiently and promotes co-operation, investment relations, and technological collaborations around the world.