At Sinobioway, the buildings are built in the shape of letters over a site spanning 31 square km. [Photo/anhuisinobioway.com.cn]
"Capital controls the world. Life determines capital. Genes dictate life," is the people-centered philosophy behind the world's first bio-economy zone.
Located in an obscure location about an hour's drive from Hefei, the capital of Anhui Province, is Sinobioway. The site spans 31 square kilometers, employs over a 1,000 staff members and, when finished, will have cost over US$3 billion to build.
It encompasses a huge array of research buildings, campuses and accommodation buildings for its staff. Many of the buildings have already been constructed and are at the stage of interior decoration. Its scientists are busy working away in the laboratories, while the construction of the project has included and benefitted the local inhabitants.
Dr. Wang Qunwei, who studied at Nottingham University in the U.K. and is now a Director at Sinobioway, gave foreign visitors a tour of his laboratory on Nov. 18. In cooperation with the U.S.-based Baylor College of Medicine., Dr. Wang's team was actively involved in the research and testing of CAR-T (Chimeric Antegen Receptor T-cell). The research focused on treating blood cancers like leukemia and Hodgkin's lymphoma as well as other diseases. He detailed the case of a Russian woman who had not found success with other cancer treatments. Having received two doses of the T-cell infusion, she is now free from cancer.
While the scale and pioneering technology behind the program is fascinating, the philosophy behind the project, based on many years of work by Dr. Pan Aihua, chairman of the board at Sinobioway, is even more intriguing. In 1995, he first proposed the concept of the bioeconomy, subsequently publishing 10 theories on bioeconomics in 2003 based on three main aspects: bioeconomic theories, bioeconomic model and the bioeconomic industry. .
In addition to high-tech research facilities and industries, Sinobioway has established the "health internet of things" (iHealth) by integrating life information transducers, a satellite navigation system, an information processing center and a health service system to produce an all-day online health monitoring system.
Dr. Pan contends that human society will enter an era of bioeconomy in 2020. At the new exhibition hall, boards on the wall illustrate the politico-economic background of development:
"The basic reality of today's world, that mankind is controlled by capital, does not confirm to the origins of life. Gene differences among individual are usually minor. Life should be equal."
The project seeks to build the highest form of society – a communist society, in-line with Marx's law of social development which proceeds from a: Primitive Society; Slave-owning Society; Feudalist Society; Capitalist Society (Capital controls the world); Socialist Society (Life determines capital); to a Communist Society (Genes dictate life).