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New biotech strategy paper soon with an eye on 2025

Special Correspondent
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Aims to bring stakeholders together to achieve target growth

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar being greeted by K. Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, and S.V. Ranganath, Chief Secretary, while Anne MacColl, CEO, Scottish Development International, Minister for Water Resources Basavaraj Bommai and Biocon Chairperson and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw look on during the inauguration of Bangalore India Bio 2013 on Monday.— Photo: K. GOPINATHAN
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar being greeted by K. Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, and S.V. Ranganath, Chief Secretary, while Anne MacColl, CEO, Scottish Development International, Minister for Water Resources Basavaraj Bommai and Biocon Chairperson and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw look on during the inauguration of Bangalore India Bio 2013 on Monday.— Photo: K. GOPINATHAN

The Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, will come out with ‘Biotech Strategy 2013 paper’ in April this year that aims to bring together the government, the industry, research institutions and global organisations.

The strategy is aimed at helping Indian biotech and healthcare sectors achieve revenues of $ 100 billion by 2025, said K. Vijay Raghavan, Secretary of the department. He was delivering the keynote address at the Bangalore India Bio 2013 here on Monday.

He said the country is on the threshold of key global developments and therefore the government and the industry would play crucial roles. Since India has an abundance of technical manpower, there was need for strategies to harness the wealth, he said.

Mr. Raghavan said the department was in the final stages of reviewing the strategy. He said the paper would also look at how to increase collaborations to support basic research. Also, department’s support to basic research would continue to bring in the right linkages, he said.

Karnataka leads

Inaugurating the event, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said the IT capital of India has truly emerged as the science capital, thanks particularly to the biotech sector. He said the first biotechnology policy was unveiled in Karnataka in 2001.

While Karnataka is home to about 52 per cent of core biotech companies in the country, 26 per cent of biotech export revenues are generated from here, Mr. Shettar said.

Having achieved the objectives to a large extent, the policy was modified in 2009 through the Millennium Biotech Policy version 2, he said. The revised policy, besides offering fiscal incentives, also aims at placing necessary infrastructure for biotech parks and has received encouraging response from the industry.

He also said the regulatory mechanisms will have to be revisited if the combined turnover of Indian biotechnology and healthcare sectors has to touch $ 100 billion by 2025. Mr. Shettar quoted from the report of the Association of Biotechnology-Led Enterprises (ABLE) — ‘Indian biotechnology: the roadmap to the next decade and beyond’.

He said 12 biotechnology finishing schools sanctioned by the State government are doing well and have received encouraging feedback from the industry and academia. Appreciating this model, the Central government has sanctioned fellowships of Rs. 5,000 per student per month for three years.

Mr. Shettar said establishing a state-of-the-art biotech park in Bangalore is finally taking shape with Alexandria Real Estate starting Alexandria Knowledge Park in Bangalore Helix. A world-class incubation centre and common instrumentation facility is coming up there, he said.




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