Launching the SA Bio Plan Science and Technology Minister Mosibudi Mangena said that "South Africa aims to develop internationally recognized expertise in pharmaceutical solutions and the competency to explore potentially cost-saving technologies used in the manufacture of vaccines and other, and that the SA Bio Plan would play a positive role in achieve this aim". Minister Mangena went on to congratulate the international cooperation between Emory University, Atlanta Georgia, USA and the Innovation in partnership with the Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centre.
The SA Bio Plan is a Biotechnology Executive Education Program and Business Plan Completion (BPC) for the Bio-entrepreneur which commenced in April 2008. This year long program was developed by the Innovation Fund (IF) in partnership with Emory University of Atlanta, Georgia USA to impart entrepreneurial knowledge and formation to would be entrepreneurs in the Biotechnology industry with the ultimate aim of helping promote the creation of new, venture capital friendly, Biotechnological companies based in South Africa.
"We are very pleased to be in partnership with one of the top university in the world and this is our commitment towards promoting biotechnology in South Africa. The participants in the program received world class education and training in the development of a Biotechnology business from the ground up", said Mr McLean Sibanda Acting Executive Officer of the Innovation Fund.
Through the SA Bio Plan executive education programme a number of bio-entrepreneurs, academics and technology transfer professionals received training on, amongst others, intellectual property protection and management, development of fundable business plan for a biotechnology start up company and company valuation.
From the entrants of the business plan competition eight teams made it to the semi final round and were given an opportunity to present their final business plan presentations to an international panel of judges from the global biotechnology investment community on the 8 & 9th December 2008 at the first annual SA Bio Plan Investor Forum where the final decision was taken and announced later in the evening.
Furthermore the selected SA Bio Plan Semi-finalists will have the opportunity for further training through an internship in the USA for a period of 4 to 6 weeks in early 2009.