Krishna opens Bangalore Bio 2003

BANGALORE April 15. Bangalore Bio 2003 started here on Tuesday with the Chief Minister, S. M. Krishna, describing the biotechnology park proposed to come up in Electronics City as "our passport to leave our problems behind and march forward to our destination.''

Inaugurating the trade show at the Palace Grounds, Mr. Krishna announced that the first phase of the park, named Bangalore Helix, would come up in the third phase of Electronics City.

Mr. Krishna said that after some delay and controversy, a location "completely non-controversial'' had been found for the park. If the first phase of the park got a good response, it would be expanded. The first phase would house the Institute of Bio-informatics and Applied Biotechnology and the Centre for Human Genetics.

The centre is now located on the premises of the institute at the International Technology Park Ltd. in Whitefield. The park will also have an incubator with common laboratory facilities to help biotechnology start-ups.

The participants of the function included scientists, technocrats, and business visitors from abroad. The French Ambassador to India, Domininque Gerard, and Alain Merieux, Chief Executive Officer of the French company, Bio Merieux, shared the stage with Mr. Krishna, apart from Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director, Biocon India.

The Frenchmen spoke of an increased interest in their country towards opportunities in Bangalore. Mr. Gerard called for greater cooperation in research and more economic tie-ups between Indian and French companies.

Eppendorf, a large biomedical instrumentation company from Germany, announced the starting of its subsidiary, Eppendorf India. The head of the company, which is also a sponsor of the trade show, was on the dais.

Quoting a bio-survey, Ms. Shaw said there were 84 biotech companies in Bangalore now. A sum of Rs. 30 crores had been invested in biotech here in the past one year.

This included Rs. 10 crores from the Centre.

Vivek Kulkarni, Secretary, Information Technology and Biotechnology, said it was possible that golden rice, genetically fortified with more vitamin A, could be used in the State's mid-day meal scheme.

Foundation stone laid: Earlier, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for the biotechnology park.

The park is to come up on 100 acres of land in Electronics City, off Hosur Road.

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