Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: A transition from biopharmaceuticals to agri biotechnology and bio fuels was advocated by panelists in the CEO Conclave of Bangalore Bio 2009 here on Thursday.

K.K. Narayanan of Metalink Lifesciences said advances in agri biotechnology would have a ripple effect on other sectors of the economy since a large section of people were still engaged in agriculture.

“While we have the second largest extent of arable land after the U.S., we have low productivity and technology can change this. An example is cotton, where we have become the world’s second largest producer and a major exporter,” he said.

Narayan Suresh, Editor, BioSpectrum, said: “As on March 2009, our biotechnology industry was worth Rs. 12,200 crore and projections based on current growth are to reach $ 25 billion by 2020. Biopharma accounts now for the bulk of revenue but this could change.”

Other panelists suggested more innovation, close links with universities and research institutions and stronger public-private partnerships.