Today's Paper

State sees next big wave of growth in bioeconomy

Karnataka is probably is the first State in the country to see the impact of bioeconomy on its economic growth, after having successfully explored the IT and biotechnology sectors. The State’s bioeconomy has grown in the range of 14 to 17% in the last two years and currently it contributes 10.3% to the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of $221.82 billion.

Bioeconomy comprises all sectors and systems that rely on biological resources (animals, plants, micro-organisms, and derived biomass), their functions and principles. It includes and interlinks land and marine ecosystems and the services they provide; all primary production sectors that use and produce biological resources; and all economic and industrial sectors that use biological resources and processes to produce food, feed, bio-based products, energy, and services.

Realising the growth potential of this segment, the Karnataka government launched its first BioEconomy Report at the Bengaluru Tech Summit on Friday.

Although the sector is projected to fall by 2 to 6 percent in FY2021 as some segments have been affected by COVID-19, it is expected to bounce back in FY2022 and grow in the range of 8 to 15 per cent between FY2022 and FY2025, says the report.

“To bridge the gap in revenues, the report recommends a series of strategic initiatives to overcome this hurdle and cross the target in time, in the continuing spirit of the State’s industry, policy makers and the government working together with a visionary approach,” said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson of the Karnataka Vision Group on Biotechnology (VGBT) and Biocon Group.

To accelerate the growth, the report suggests that the State should do a slew of things such as opening a vaccine hub, biomanufacturing hub, agritech ecosystem to support gene editing and molecular breeding, a biomedical cluster to make important diagnostic and medical devices, an integrated biorefineries cluster to use available biomass. It also identified Hassan, Dharwad and Belagavi areas for setting up value-added agriculture systems.

Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan said, “We are aiming higher and our government has set a challenging task of more than doubling the value of bioeconomy in the next five years. Our target is to raise Karnataka’s bioeconomy share to 50% of the national bioeconomy revenue target of $100 billion by the year 2025.”

A bio-industry cluster is coming up at Helix Biotech Park at Electronics City; besides state-of-the-art bio-incubators are being set up in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Dharwad, Bagalkot and Udupi. Under the Elevate initiative, more than 150 biotech startups received seed funding. Biopharmaceuticals and medical devices industry account for nearly 35% of the total contribution of the bioeconomy.