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May 1, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 9)

Emerging Biotechnology Clusters

Experienced Management and VCs and a Serial Entrepreneurial Culture Provide Critical Keys to Success

  • France

    Lille capitalizes on ties to Lille University, where Louis Pasteur developed the purification process now known as pasteurization. The Pas de Calais area around Lille has some 800 healthcare and biotech companies. The Eurasante Bio-business Park, based in Lille, currently has about 30 biotech firms employing some 3,700 people. It is growing quickly because of its proximity to major universities, seven hospitals, the Pasteur Institute, and other international institutions. The region has a well-developed infrastructure to support life science research and development.

  • Japan

    Tokyo’s biotech cluster is patterned after the bionetworks in Chiba, Yokohama, and Tsukuba. Tokyo has a large concentration of companies focused on monoclonal research and also on stem cell research.

    Universities in the city include the University of Tokyo and the Tokyo Institute of Technology, which both have graduate-level biotechnology programs. Tokyo University of Science and a long list of other schools also contribute to the scientific acumen of the city, as does its strong IT industry. The three cities comprising the Tokyo Bay Biotech cluster are close by.

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