The innovations strategy of the South Korean government is focusing on the healthcare sector. The life science industry in South Korea is expanding continuously, against the background of a demographic and technological transition that pre-dates that occurring in Germany. In the course of a four-day business tour of South Korea Bochum succeeded in making an impression as a location with a growing healthcare industry. The aim of the trip was to present the healthcare campus in Bochum together with representatives of the industry in Bochum, also seeking to acquire the Koreans for partnerships with Bochum-based companies and involvement in the Ruhr metropolitan area.
Bochum firms present included AirMedPlus, Stapleline, Physec and the nascent 3D bioprinting company Nydus One of Ruhr University Bochum. During the course of the business trip the participants also had the opportunity, in the scope of the “Germany at its best: Nordrhein-Westfalen” campaign, to address a Korean trade audience of around 200 representatives from the fields of business, science and politics on the subject of “Healthcare industry/medical technology in Bochum”. In addition, they were also able to offer direct links for bilateral collaborations for Korean industry. Organised by NRW.INVEST GmbH, the event also informed South Korean companies about the business region NRW and the Ruhr metropolitan area, with the healthcare hotspot of Bochum. There were intensive bilateral discussions between the Bochum delegation and South Korean medical and biotech firms in the Chungbuk technology park, one of the leading establishments for the healthcare sector in South Korea.
Facts and figures
In recent decades the healthcare sector in South Korea has evolved into a highly promising market, thanks to increasing prosperity and the challenges of demographic transition. The Korean medical technology market grew by 7.4 % in the space of just one year (2013-2014). In 2014 total market volume stood at 3.6 billion euros and is set to rise to 6.25 billion euros by 2019. In 2014 Germany was the second most important trading partner for medical technology, with a 17% share, after the US (44%). The sector will also offer good opportunities for German-made products in the coming years: The basis for this is a rapidly ageing and prosperous population, increasing requirements of medical care and intense competition among private hospitals to attract wealthy patients.
In 2016 the key market of healthcare in the Ruhr metropolitan area grew to encompass 321,500 full-time employees (+3.4%). With this it assumed the position of most significant leading market in the region with regard to employment. With a share of around 19.2% of total employment, the healthcare sector is now ahead of the industrial core (19.1%). For example, around 400 jobs could be added in the field of medical technology (+11.3%). Turnover increased by 4.3%.
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