Developing Taiwan’s AI Talent together with the Development Center for Biotechnology, Institute for Information Industry, and TUL Corporation
TAIPEI, Taiwan, March 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Artificial intelligence (AI) will contribute 15.7 trillion USD to the world economy by 2030, and it is certain to be applied in the biomedical industry. Additionally, blockchains will contribute 400 billion USD to the world economy by 2027. AI-based digital health services and blockchains currently represent the greatest opportunities for future development, so how should they be integrated? Insilico Medicine, which was selected by the well-known American venture capital research organization CB Insights as one of the 100 companies in the world in the AI field in 2018, and was named by NVIDIA as one of the top 5 most influential AI companies worldwide, announced today (March 21) that its subsidiaries "Insilico Medicine" and "Asia’s First AI R&D Base" are to officially be established in Taiwan. To begin with, the companies will form an alliance with the Center for Biotechnology, the Institute for Information Industry, and TUL Corporation to implement the "AI Digital Health Talent Development Project" in order to accelerate the integration of cross-domain talent.
The primary aim of the AI Digital Health Talent Development Project is to address the industry’s strong demand for AI talent. Insilico Medicine, the Center for Biotechnology, the Institute for Information Industry, and TUL Corporation will jointly develop a series of courses related to AI biomedicine, in order to develop ICT and biomedical talent, and accelerate the acquisition knowledge on how AI technology can accelerate the development of drugs. These measures will effectively reduce the risks associated with high R&D costs, and build a strong foundation for AI technology in Taiwan.
The event that day attracted nearly 100 heavyweights of the industry, including representatives from the AI, biotechnology, healthcare, ICT, and venture capital sectors. The honored guests included Deputy Director-General Pei-Ti Hu from the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration of the MOEA, CEO Chung-Hsiun Wu from the Center for Biotechnology, Director I-Chang Tsai from the Digital Education Center of the Institute for Information Industry, Director Yu-Ju Chen from the Institute of Chemistry of Academia Sinica, General Manager Chien-Wei Chen from TUL Corporation, and CEO Ming-Kuan Hsu of the Global Biomedical Research & Industry Alliance. Furthermore, Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov from the Insilico Medicine head office in the US and Professor Martin Hiesboeck of Geber Brand Consulting held a summit titled "Integration Trends in Global AI Digital Health and Blockchains", to bear witness to this historic moment in the development of Taiwan’s AI biomedical industry.
Deputy Director-General Pei-Ti Hu from the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration stated that the MOEA has always supported the Center for Biotechnology by providing assistance for the development of entrepreneurship and innovation. Insilico’s entrance into the Nankang Biotech Incubation Center epitomizes the integration of biomedicine with the resources of the incubation center. Insilico’s expertise and long-term vision in the AI biomedicine sector, combined with the resources and assistance available in Taiwan’s incubation centers, will undoubtedly lead Taiwan into a new era in the Asian biomedical industry.
Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov, CEO of the Insilico Medicine head office in the US, pointed out that AI can be of great assistance in the development of the biomedical industry, including in the research and development of new drugs and medical materials, as well as in molecular testing, genetics, precision medicine, etc. It is estimated that the introduction of AI will reduce R&D times for drugs from 10-20 years to 3-5 years. Furthermore, AI can accurately compare the causes of diseases, thus boosting the success rates in drug development. Moreover, the environmental issues caused by toxic waste substances produced by chemical synthesis, as well as the animal protection issues associated with traditional animal experiments, can also be greatly mitigated or even eliminated by AI technology. With blockchain technology, it will also be possible to improve the confidentiality of drug R&D information and collected information on diseases.
Dr. Zhavoronkov also conducted exchanges with Professor Martin Hiesboeck of Geber Brand Consulting during the summit on "Integration Trends in Global AI Digital Health and Blockchains". Regarding their deployment and plans in the Asian and Taiwan markets, Dr. Zhavoronkov indicated that the R&D Base in Taiwan will provide five primary technology services, including the R&D and applications of AI in drugs and biomarkers, the creation of next-generation chemical structure reconstruction networks, pathway analysis for deep feature extraction, evaluation engines for deep learning in basic chemical structures, and strengthened learning and prediction of ligand-protein interactions. These services will help grow the Asian market, and demonstrate the company’s professional expertise in AI technology and biomedicine.
Artur Kadurin, CEO of Insilico Taiwan, mentioned that Taiwan has several advantages in this new wave of AI digital transformations, such as a head start in traditional Chinese medicine. Furthermore, Taiwan also has outstanding technology and know-how in western medicine. Therefore, if Taiwan can apply AI technology in drug discovery/design, agent research, and blockchains, and if the government, industry, academic, and research sectors can all devote their resources to this field, then undoubtedly Taiwan will excel at integrating AI with biomedicine, and create win-win situations by bringing Taiwan’s industry to new heights.
The combination of AI and the biomedical industry has played an increasingly important role in the global biotechnology industry, and countries around the world are endeavoring to establish a foothold in this sector. Therefore, after Insilico Medicine’s AI drug R&D Base establishes itself in Nankang Software Park, they will be able to work closely with organizations in the biomedical industry to contribute to the well-being of all people. Furthermore, Insilico Medicine will be able to provide digital R&D technology services for Taiwan’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, thus introducing greater innovation to the biomedical industry and driving Taiwan to become the center of combining AI and the biomedical industry in Asia.
About Insilico Medicine
Insilico Medicine is an American company that was named in 2017 by NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang as one of the top five most influential companies for humankind. In 2018, Insilico Medicine was listed by venture capital research organization CB Insights as one of the 100 companies in the world in the AI field. Insilico, located in the East Baltimore Campus of Johns Hopkins University, is one of the leading AI and blockchain technology firms in the world. Currently the company has R&D resource centers in Belgium, Russia, and the UK. The company’s advantages lie in its application of technologies such as genomics, big data analysis, and deep learning in the development of new drugs, as well as R&D and reuse of drugs for aging and age-related diseases.
The company’s name is a portmanteau of the phrase in silico, which means "in silicon"; that is to say, the company’s name symbolizes the use of computers or computer simulations. The name is also derived from two other phrases commonly found in biology: in vivo and in vitro. Insilico is a global pioneer in the use of generative adversarial networks (GANs) and reinforcement learning to generate new molecular structures with specific characteristics. Furthermore, the company is the first worldwide to publish papers on the use of GANs in generating new molecular structure with specific characteristics in Oncotarget and Molecular Pharmaceutics. Insilico specializes in developing new drugs for cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, diabetes, sarcopenia, and aging. While Insilico is a new player in the AI medical field, its Pharma AI department is already a key partner for biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and skincare companies worldwide. Furthermore, it provides advanced AI learning services for governments and foundations around the globe.
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