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SMBA, KFDA Ink MOU to Nurture SMEs in Food and Drug Fields   

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On September 3, SMBA concluded an MOU with the Korea Food & Drug Administration (KFDA) to foster SMEs in the food, drug and medical equipment fields. Related officials participating included SMBA Administrator Kim Dong-sun and KFDA Commissioner No Yun-hong.

To accelerate R&D and commercialization in the MOU fields, the two organizations decided to organize an 'Food & Drug SME Cultivation Support Corps' headed by the SMBA Deputy Administrator and KFDA Deputy Commissioner aiming to foster 100 'masterpiece' SMEs in the fields by 2012.

Under the MOU, the SME support corps, which will consist of five support teams, will promote 25 customized cooperation tasks.

The MOU signing ceremony was held at KFTA's Medium Conference Room amid a situation in which, although food and drug fields are emerging as a new growth engine following national income growth and general public's increased interest in health, import dependence is gradually deepening due to a lack of support systems and low technological level.

The decision to conclude the MOU came from the judgement that there is a need to establish a policy linkage system that combines SMBA's support policies to help these industries, original sources of high growth and job creation, secure international competitiveness and KFDA's safety and quality-related certification functions.

Key Points of the MOU include:

- First, organize a cooperation system for reasonable improvement and implementation of safety and quality-related regulations, and prepare a separate 'fast-track' to jointly resolve difficulties rapidly;

- Second, support R&D intensively to foster 100 'masterpiece' SMEs in new tech and new materials fields by 2012 and establish a customized quality certification system for the results like a 'Preliminary New Product Certification System,' which is designed to provide certificates in advance after examination of safety & function data confirmed in the course of R&D;

- Third, SMBA to establish specialized BI (Business Incubator) in Osong, where KFDA will be relocated, to nurture the region into a birthplace of bio venture start-ups and prepare ways to resolve SMEs' difficulties in securing business sites, while KFDA provides safety & quality certification services for tenant SMEs;

- Fourth, establish a financial support system linked to quality and safety, develop and apply separate evaluation models to support policy funds for those SMEs that acquire safety and quality certificates from KFDA and the two organizations to jointly facilitate investments of venture capitals for SMEs in the respective fields; and

- Fifth, support development of common brands and sales networks of food, cosmetics, etc., provide separate certification systems for this, and also promote customer-friendly measures through enhanced safety management and sanitation at traditional markets and small-scale sales outlets.

The five teams to be organized under the SME cultivation support corps - Regulatory Improvement Support Team, R&D Support Team, Finance Support Team, Start-up Support Team, and Marketing Support Team - are expected to implement the MOU proactively and efficiently through continuous reviews of ongoing plans at regular team and general meetings once every quarter and once every six months, respectively.

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