December 1967 the 3rd, Pr. Christiaan Barnard proceeded to the first transplanted heart operation in Cape Town, South Africa. Graduated at Cape Town medical school, then he went to USA in order to improve his medical skills before coming back to his country.
Main fact of the global medecine, it was slowly forgotten. For this purpose, South Africa has been trying to become again a dynamic region in pharmaceutical reseach and development.
In 2003, taking advantage of a large concentration of research institutes and firms, medical equipments and biotechnology compagnies in province of Cape Town, a Public-Private partnership between south african government and Biovac consortium ended to the Biovac Institute.
The idea was to develop and produce new active pharmaceutical ingredients at lower cost needed by the south african population. Local abilities in medical business being established, the country was looking for global attractivity in pharmaceutical industry.
However, Biovac Institute’s production capacities were limited seeing south african needs.
More often, South Africa had to export its knowledge and skills in pharmaceutical industry in order to produce vaccines and medecines before re-importing them at higher costs.
Aware of the local intellectual potential in western Cap Province and growth opportunities, a Healt and Innovation cluster project was accepted by local authorities.
The purpose is to put in common services, knowledge and skills, to dicrease costs and increase production capacities. In the end the Health cluster will be able to produce new medecines and services and will make easier firms creation. It will improve south african pharmaceutical industry’s competitiviness.
The Health technological park will be located in Pinelands. It will help job creation and give south african researchers the possibility to stay in their country to work.
From an economic point of view, growth prospects are huge with a sub-saharan Africa importing 90% of its medecines. South Africa wants to run this market and become the main provider in order to strengthen its leading economy on the african market.
Moreover, this project will improve the Cape Town region’s attractiveness in health business with international meetings and congress.
Return on investment has been estimated at 98 million Euros in 5 years for the Western Cape province.