Innovative hospitals - crucial players for successful biomedical hubs : the case of Singapore from a Swiss perspective.
Date of Issue2007
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
This research analyzes the interactions between health care providers, public research institutes and the life science industry. All three together form Singapore’s biomedical hub. A hub or cluster is defined by proximity and interaction of very specialized companies as well as the externalities that thereby occur. These externalities and agglomeration effects are the reason why in a cluster, the sum is more than its parts. Singapore’s biomedical cluster is analyzed from the hospital perspective. The research, the teaching and the health care services done in hospitals are seen in this thesis as primordial for the success of any biomedical hub. The mutually reinforcing determinants for the cluster’s development are analyzed as follows: Demand Conditions: Aging populations and an increased awareness of health issues in many parts of the world have led to an increased demand in health-related products and services. Demand for health services seems virtually infinite. While margins in other manufacturing industries are small and shrinking, the pharmaceutical, biomedical and med-tech industries still enjoy high margins. Achieving the necessary quality standards, as the flipside of the coin, is the challenge here. Factor Conditions: Recent scientific discoveries through new technologies have led to considerable advancements in the understanding of human diseases. Singapore’s government invests in biomedical training and specialized infrastructure. Grants and tax exemptions are offered to biotech start-up companies. Intellectual property law is reinforced to protect the created specialized factors. An increasingly sophisticated financial sector is ready to embark on new biotech ventures. Firm Strategy, Structure and Rivalry: Companies worldwide react to these favorable regulatory setting and factor conditions and move not only manufacturing functions but also their R&D function to Singapore. A race for business opportunities derived from the new biomedical breakthroughs begins. All of a sudden, Singapore is on the top of research fields as promising as stem cell research and new areas like pharmaco-genomics emerge in Singapore.