On the theme of increased participation of developing countries in biological technology, Rik Wehbring pointed me to a Reuters story, "Low Cost Spearheads China Drive Into Biotech". As I have written previously here, in addition to investment by Western companies China is putting considerable effort into developing both domestic R&D and domestic clinical expertise.
The Reuters story notes that
China already boasts more than 20 biotech parks dotted around the country and 500 biotech enterprises. Some 300 of these companies are focused on medicine, with the balance mainly targeting agriculture. The Chinese government and local governments have both been active in supporting the sector, with total state funding last year reaching the equivalent of 270 million euros ($325 million).
Because "the cost of biomedical research in China is only about 20 percent of the cost in Western countries", that $325 million goes quite a long ways.
We can expect drug development and biomedical research to take off in India as well. A friend of mine with investments in the U.S., Europe, and in India cites cost figures for India identical to those for China.
So I ask you, without considerably greater investment in education and domestic R&D, how are either the U.S. or Europe going to compete? What is it going to take for policy (politicians) to catch up to reality?