Agilent Technologies is to open a new Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis (LSCA) technical training centre in Shanghai in a move that reflects the current trend for biotech companies to divert resources to offshoring operations.
The centre will be used to train scientists across the Asia-Pacific region on key measurement technologies used in food safety, environmental testing, petrochemical testing, pharmaceutical testing and life sciences.
Agilent's strategy makes sense especially as the East provides a lower cost location as well as a wealth of qualified scientists and researchers. In addition the region has seen growth in the market for life sciences and chemical analysis measurement products.
"Our goal is to help build the base of knowledge and skills throughout the region by providing scientists with the highest standard of training on the most advanced analytical technologies and methods," said Chris van Ingen, president of Agilent 's LSCA business.
This is not the first time that Agilent has had links to the city. The new training centre will be located next to Agilent's R&D and manufacturing facility, which opened in 2002. The Shanghai training centre is the third such Agilent facility worldwide. The others being located in the US and Germany.
It is expected to serve scientists from the industrial, government and academic sectors within China and throughout the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, South Korea, India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Scientific experts from China and overseas locations will train approximately 500 people within the first year.
A large percentage of trainees will be from China - one of Agilent's largest and fastest-growing markets. Key areas of focus for Chinese trainees will be technologies involved in food safety, environmental testing, and the petrochemical, pharmaceutical and traditional Chinese medicine industries, all which are important and growing industries in China.
The unprecedented growth in China's economy has made it extremely attractive to European and American organisations. Indeed, it has been the substantial investments these pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have made that has seen the country become more tolerant towards western business practices.
In November 2004, Danish pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk has announced significant expansion plans of its production facilities in China, expanding its capabilities to accommodate the increasing demand for its FlexPen, NovoPen and Penfill products.
Likewise, December saw Lonza reveal plans to further strengthen its presence in China with the construction of a new research and development centre in Guangzhou. In addition, Dutch chemicals and ingredients company DSM is to purchase a stake in North China Pharmaceutical Group in a move that boosts its presence in the country.