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Seoul to set up online data platform to fight viruses

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki speaks at a meeting with economy-related ministers on June 11, 2020. (Yonhap)
Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki speaks at a meeting with economy-related ministers on June 11, 2020. (Yonhap)

The government said Thursday it plans to establish a so-called “bio data station” -- an online data platform for biotechnology -- in a bid to accelerate research and development in the emerging sector.

Minister of Economy and Finance Hong Nam-ki mapped out the plan for the biotech platform at an emergency economic meeting in Seoul.

All the data linked to results of state-run research projects will be registered at the online hub for drug development and research projects including ones utilizing artificial intelligence technology.

“The government will restructure the current 274 research resource centers run by government agencies to build data clusters for 14 different sectors, including stem cells, neuroscience, and microorganisms,” Hong said.

The R&D data station will be able to offer necessary data and services for domestic researchers and help reduce reliance on data from overseas.

The idea to set up such a data platform has recently gained momentum due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic which has so far claimed 282 lives in South Korea and rattled the domestic economy.

“The new plan for the biotech platform will also enable the government to take swift action to deal with new viruses and mutants,” the minister said.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)
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