Straits Times: Thu, Jul 05
THE continued growth of Singapore's biomedical sciences sector is keeping JTC Corporation busy.
The industrial landlord is rolling out plans to provide more cutting-edge solutions to cater to the needs of the sector.
More importantly, these solutions will be customised to the needs of the sector, allowing the companies operating here to have a unique competitive advantage.
JTC's latest project is a 7.4ha hub for companies in the medical technology (medtech) industry, which manufacture a diverse range of products , from pacemakers to heart valves, and from hearing aids to contact lenses.
It will be located within the Tukang Innovation Park in Jurong.
Called MedTech Hub, it will be the first dedicated development for the medtech industry, which is set to be a significant component of the biomedical industry.
At the April launch of MedTech Hub, JTC chief executive Manohar Khiatani said it was 'conceived after many rounds of meetings and consultations with medtech companies to understand their unique requirements'.
The new facility, due for completion next year, will thus feature special facilities geared to the needs of medtech manufacturers, suppliers and service providers.
Because the medtech industry is highly regulated, JTC will ensure the common sterilisation and shared corridor facilities, for instance, comply with relevant industry guidelines.
The warehousing facility will be tailor-made for medtech companies, which need to store their products at a certain temperature.
'Where possible, we cluster companies within the same industry to harness synergies and provide specialised common facilities, enabling companies to enjoy economies of scale,' said Mr Khiatani.
'These common facilities can be co-shared by the various end-users, resulting in lower business costs and better space utilisation.'
This move also makes it easy for companies in the same sector to interact and collaborate.
Rapid growth of the medtech sector has been fuelled by the rise in global demand for medical devices such as diagnostic instruments, implantables and stents.
Singapore's manufacturing output almost tripled to $4.3 billion last year, from $1.5 billion in 2000.
Today, companies in the sector provide some 9,000 jobs, which is more than 60 per cent of the total number of jobs in the biomedical sciences cluster.
At the launch of MedTech Hub in April, Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang said Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing medtech market.
'An ageing population, a prevalence of chronic diseases and the growing affluence of its middle class have collectively led to an increase in demand for high-quality medtech products.
'This naturally presents tremendous opportunities for global medtech companies to extend their presence here in Asia and address the health-care needs of everyone here in the region.'
And Singapore is well positioned to harness the growth opportunities, he added.
Already, Biosensors International Group has signed up as the first tenant at MedTech Hub, leasing 12,000 sq m of land to build a facility for the manufacturing of drug-eluting stents and other medical devices.
JTC is also building Phase One of MedTech Hub, which will house the shared services.
Called MedTech1, it is an integrated, multi-tenanted nine-storey building. It will yield 38,000 sq m of space when it is completed next year.
These are spiffy spaces, and not the typical large grey spaces in old, low-tech buildings with open-air corridors often associated with the industrial sector.
But then, JTC is not your usual landlord. It prides itself on breaking new ground as it comes up with 'future-ready' infrastructure solutions to set Singapore apart as an investment location.
Its other landmark projects include CleanTech Park, Jurong Rock Caverns and Seletar Aerospace Park.
Apart from MedTech Hub, Biopolis and Tuas Biomedical Park also cater to the biomedical industry.
Biopolis at one-north is a research hub for biomedical science.
It was purpose-built to house key public and private biomedical research institutes and the buildings are designed to promote human interaction and the exchange of ideas in public spaces.
For instance, at the heart of Biopolis is an area designed to be the epicentre of human interaction.
Given Singapore's humid tropical climate, wind-tunnel movements are used to cool the public space, allowing for a conducive outdoor environment. There are also retail shops lining strategic areas that serve to add vibrancy to the biomedical community.
Furthermore, there are big mature trees and rich foliage to provide the necessary shade and soft greenery for the physical environment at Biopolis.
Phase One, a cluster of seven buildings, was launched in 2003. Another four phases have been launched, with phase five expected to be completed next year.
Then, there is Tuas Biomedical Park, launched in 2000 and designed for bulk active pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical manufacturers and all biomedical-related companies.
Located in Tuas View, it is positioned as a world-class manufacturing hub for the biomedical industry and tenants include GlaxoSmithKline, Lonza and Pfizer.
Phase One was a $67 million, 183ha development. JTC then set aside an additional 188ha of land for the $80 million Tuas Biomedical Park 2.
For sure, these developments, together with MedTech Hub, will help strengthen Singapore's capabilities in biomedical manufacturing and reinforce the industry's role as one of the country's key engines of economic growth.
This is the first instalment of a four-part series brought to you by JTC Corporation.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Where possible, we cluster companies within the same industry to harness synergies and provide specialised common facilities, enabling companies to enjoy economies of scale.
- JTC chief executive Manohar Khiatani
About the hub
THIS is the first custom-built development for the growing medical technology (medtech) industry here.
Local and international medtech manufacturers, suppliers and service providers will be able to enjoy cost savings through minimal retrofitting cost, supply-chain efficiencies and the sharing of common facilities.
Located within Tukang Innovation Park in Jurong, phase one of the facility will be completed next year.
Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C
Senior Sales Director
DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) Pte Ltd (L3006301G)
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