The South Korean government will up subsidies to research programs in medical technology, brain science, genome and novel drug development by 10.5 percent this year from last year.
The Ministry of Science Technology and Information Communications announced on Tuesday it will bolster support to the biotech area with spending of 349 billion won ($330 million) this year, up from last year’s budget of 315.7 billion won.
The ministry decided to spend 59.4 billion won to back novel drugs this year, compared with last year’s 58.9 billion won. Its goal is to discover 32 candidate drugs in oncology and gene therapies. In the healthcare sector, 25.3 billion won was allocated to develop 43 promising medical technologies including cardiac monitoring device and mobile diagnosis system, up from 21.7 billion won last year.
The ministry also set aside 1.9 billion won to support research in artificial intelligence and robot convergence technology and 38 billion won in brain science. Research funds for dementia treatment almost doubled from last year to 9.7 billion won. About 24.9 billion won will be provided to research related to MERS and other infectious diseases and 5.4 billion won will be spent to support research on avian flu and foot-and-mouth disease.
By Won Ho-sup and Minu Kim
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