Applikon Biotechnology, an established leader in the bioreactor industry, expects further growth by tapping into more Asian markets. The company is building relationships with universities and research institutes on the mainland, and is looking for Japanese and Taiwanese business partners to increase its presence in the region. Asia has been a major driver in its 30 per cent growth, even during the financial crisis. Applikon's bioreactor systems are used by pharmaceutical companies for cultivating microorganisms in order to manufacture vaccines and other medicines. Other sectors that use bioreactors are research, food and biofuel. True to its slogan "a step ahead", Applikon is at the forefront of the bioreactor industry. It invests more than 10 per cent of its turnover in research and development. Applikon pioneered an acoustic perfusion system, which has revolutionised the filtering process in cultivating cells. "The type of technology that we bring to the market distinguishes us from other suppliers," says managing director Arthur Oudshoorn. Besides its innovative bioreactor systems, Applikon provides its partners with high quality technical support and training programmes. "Selling machines is one thing, but keeping them running is the more important part of it," says international marketing and sales director Erik Kakes. Applikon first shared its expertise on the mainland in the early 1990s. The company provided the bioreactors for the World Health Organization's China Vaccine Project. It eventually established its business in the country by partnering with HuaYue Enterprise Holdings, which has been marketing Applikon's equipment to mainland biopharmaceutical companies ever since. With new and bigger markets, Applikon will grow its business in Asia to fulfil its mission of providing the world with the technology to make better medicine.