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Knowledge-Based Healthcare Firms on a Pedestal
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Knowledge-Based Healthcare Firms on a Pedestal

From among 920 knowledge-based companies active in the health sector, 200 produce healthcare products including pharmaceuticals that are now available in the domestic market, said Dr Hossein Vatanpour, director general of Health Technology Office at the Health Ministry.
“These firms have a major role in generating as well as turning knowledge into new products such as radiodrugs and nanodrugs. Among the firms manufacturing healthcare items, 40 are also exporting their products,” ISNA quoted him as saying.
Currently, there are 750 research centers affiliated to universities (including 64 universities of medical sciences), and many have started manufacturing healthcare products besides conducting studies, he said.
Last calendar that ended in March, the Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism affiliated to Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences put up its first product -iodine-folic acid supplements- in the local market.
Sufficient intake of iodine and folic acid are important for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Taking the supplement during pregnancy can reduce risk of neural tube defects in babies. The supplement is also beneficial to young children.
There are also some projects underway in various research centers active in the field of child health, urology, vision and medical lasers. Their products are expected to enter the domestic market by the end of the current fiscal year.
Referring to MoUs signed with representatives of foreign countries, he said, “In the previous year, more than 20 MoUs were signed between Iranian knowledge-based health companies and firms in the UK, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Cuba.”
“We held several meetings with close to 150 representatives from knowledge-based firms from Italy last year.”

  Enhancing Innovation
Several measures have been taken to boost innovative knowledge-based firms. In 2015, knowledge-based businesses were granted tax exemption as well as custom tariff waivers on imported equipment.
Iran’s economy is in transition from traditional business to knowledge-based firms that make bigger contributions to economic development by increasing value added among other things.
A knowledge-based economy is a system of consumption and production based on intellectual capital, in which a significant part of a company’s value may consist of intangible assets, mainly, the value of its workers’ knowledge.
There are more than 2,700 knowledge-based businesses active in different fields of medicine, agriculture, molecular technology, materials and equipment and environment.  The companies constitute an important source of income, employment and economic growth.

 

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