Bio-science and bio-engineering are different.
The main goal of bio-science is to enhance understanding of biological systems: the details of the components, structures, and functions. Regardless of the scientific and economic significance, there are always results based on observations; observing and describing a new object is already considered as a “result” regardless of the importance.
The main goal of bio-engineering is to establish applicable biotechnologies that effectively benefit the society. Contrary to the bio-science, the outcomes are not always guaranteed; completion of developing a functional and beneficial biotechnology is needed. The successful establishment of a biotechnology is quite rewarding in many aspects, especially in economic sense.
In business, the fund is ultimately the driving force of all activities. The research is no exception: no continuous funding, no persistent research. The bio-scientific research does not always yield a profit, and hence, the sustained bio-engineering research and the SUCCESSFUL development of profit-generating biotechnologies are ABSOLUTE MUST in business.
For example, one plans to increase the crop production by analyzing and improving the biodiversity in the soil. A researcher conducts meta-genomic analysis for soil samples, and publish the observations in scientific journals. Academic-career-wise, this is considered as a certain scientific achievement. However, in business, this would not generate sufficient profit for the R&D and the company to be maintained. A researcher needs to establish the evaluation protocols for the soil biodiversity, correlate the biodiversity to the cultivation protocols and the crop productivity, optimize the cultivation protocols based on the evaluation, and actually improve the productivity. Then finally, the project results in a sufficient economic return and allows the business to continue.
Hence, for biotech companies, developing scientifically-significant, economically-sustainable, and technically-feasible long-term business plan is essential to maintain the company, to continue R&D, and to contribute to the community for a long period. Lacking such plans often costs a lot in business: we have witnessed countless start-ups having a hard time on the same issues. The researchers and the companies often escape from challenging in bio-engineering and seek shelter in accumulating inapplicable bio-scientific achievements.
In Chitose group, we always deeply consider the economic significance of the research project, overcome the challenges in bio-engineering, make a great endeavor to establish meaningful and profitable biotechnologies, and actively contribute to the society through our innovative biotechnologies. Indeed, we have been successful in business as well as in delivering novel biotechnologies, particularly in microbiology, molecular biology, and agricultural engineering since the establishment of the company.
We realize and understand the criticisms against our philosophy and strategy of repeatedly emphasizing the economic significance in the research. However, we confidently believe our philosophy as the very essence of successful and sustainable bio-engineering/science for the coming millennium.
Engineering a new technology is a continuing process of trial and error. Particularly in developing a new biotechnology, this is remarkable: engineering processes cost significant and take long, and consequently, a huge commitment and patience are required for a business entity to gain an economic return from the establishment of a new biotechnology.
This commitment and patience essential for the establishment of a new biotechnology are often missing in start-up companies, especially ones lead by a venture capital (VC) whose primary goal is not developing biotechnologies but assuring profit.
A VC lacking this essential commitment tends to secure the short-term profit by inflating their business value based on exaggerated R&D plans neglecting the technical feasibility. Generally, the actual R&D does not progress accordingly to the unrealistic plans. As a result, the management is compelled to entangle more VCs and brokerage firms to collect more funds, and the researchers are compelled to shift their researches from the original time-consuming but applicable sort to a short-term but inapplicable sort to support the decision of the management. As falling into this vicious cycle, developing the applicable biotechnology and maintaining the noble management philosophy that are both initially pursued become completely forgotten/abandoned. Eventually, the purpose of the management becomes nothing but increasing their market capitalization by inflating their business plans unrealistically but unnoticeably.
The lack of professional ethics, commitment, and skills in both researchers and management results in an immature business structure and leads to undesired consequences in a lot of biotechnology start-ups lead by VCs.
Chitose group consolidated a sophisticated business structure consisting of
- Professional scientists and engineers committed to research and develop the commercial applications of biotechnologies
- Professional business developers capable of strategizing the business based on adequate understanding and evaluating the targeted biotechnologies, and
- Professional business operators capable of collecting funds and managing sustainable business,
to prevent us from undergoing the difficulties observed in the VC-led start-ups as described above. In fact, Chitose group has been successfully and sustainably developing and delivering new biotechnologies in the past 10 years based on this business system.
Chitose group has also established professional human resources
- properly assess the risk in investing on the biotechnology business
- effectively manage the intellectual properties
- efficiently perform a variety of back-office tasks
through experiencing and managing multiple projects in different development phases.
Our corporate efforts of overcoming the technical difficulties in R&D and of yielding the projected profit in business for the investors, have allowed us to uphold our corporate philosophy of "continuing contribution to the society through delivering new biotechnologies".
The art of cultivating professionals and of constructing the unique business structure are the heart of our biotechnology business development division in Chitose group.