Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal on Friday, presenting the State Budget 2022-23, announced the setting up of a medical technology innovation park in Thiruvananthapuram.
Envisaged as a consortium of all institutions working in the area of medical technology, this innovation park will create a “medical entrepreneurial ecosystem” in Kerala, Mr. Balagopal said, announcing an allocation of ₹100 crore for the same through the KIIFB.
The innovation park will focus on business incubation, helping start-ups and young innovators develop their business/product.
Another new idea being floated is the setting up of a centre of excellence of microbiomes. Microbiome is an important key to understand the inter-relationship among human beings, animals, and environment and has much relevance against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC) has already taken steps to lay the foundation for a strategic programme on microbiome, integrating various research institutes, within an year. A budgetary allocation of ₹5 crore has been made for the project
An amount of ₹50 crore has been earmarked in the Budget for the first phase of the Kerala genomics data centre, a five-year ₹500-crore project initiated by the K-DISC.
Mr. Balagopal announced that a high capacity data centre capable of storing and processing large genomic data will be set up in collaboration with Kerala University and that it will be a crucial platform for research institutes, hospitals, bioinformatics and diagnostic startups and biotech companies. This will be beneficial for healthcare and the study on critical genetic disorders, it is hoped
The Budget also announced the setting up of a centre of excellence in nutraceuticals, which will be an integration of nutrition and pharmaceutical sciences with traditional knowledge and medical practices imparted by aboriginal communities around the world.
K-DISC will facilitate a programme to integrate research centres, startups and other institutes in the field. An expert committee will be formed to prepare a blueprint for this nutraceutical project in Kerala. An amount of ₹25 lakh has been provided in the Budget for preparing a detailed project report.