Bangalore and Karnataka have leveraged biotech to become the industry's epicentre in India

04th February 2013
Bangalore and Karnataka have leveraged biotech to  become  the industry's epicentre in India
Karnataka Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar greets Indian Secretary for BioTechnology K Vijay Raghavan as Kiran Majumdar Shaw and S V Ranganath look on... at the inauguration on February 4 2013 of Bangalore India Bio

Bangalore, February 4 2013:  The  state of Karnataka – and the city of Bangalore have leveraged biotechnology to generate over  a fourth of   annual revenues and hope to  create a $ 100 billion industry by 2025, said  state Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar today, while inaugurating the 13th edition of India’s  biggest annual Biotech forum - Bangalore INDIA BIO (BIB).

He added: “The Govt of Karnataka is proud to give the required leverage to the innovation of Biotechnology. Out of top 10 industries in India, top 5 are in Bangalore and hence truly called as the science capital of India. The First BioTechnology policy was signed in 2001 and was revised  in 2009. The policy aims  to create  the necessary infrastructure in areas like  education, Biofuels, AgriBiotech etc. The BT finishing school which is approved by the Govt. of India, will play a major role in boosting the industry which in-fact grants  Rs 5000 per month for a period of 3 years to every student . The Biotech Park which  will start operating in  2 years will add more strength to the Biotech industry.”
Those who took part in the inaugural event included Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson, Karnataka Vision Group on Biotechnology and  Chairman & Managing Director, Biocon,  K. Vijay Raghavan, Secretary,  Department of Biotechnology, of the Government of India, SV Ranganath, Chief Secretary of Karnataka, David Flores, Co-Founder, President & CEO, BioCentury, US, Anne MacColl, CEO, Scottish Development International, Mark Lytle - Division Director, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Atlanta, Georgia, US, and I.S.N. Prasad, Principal Secretary, Karnataka.Dept. of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science & Technology.

Releasing  the  Association of Biotech-Led Enterprises (ABLE) report “Opportunities for Fermentation Industry & Biotechnology.” Dr. Mazumdar Shaw said, “Around  $ 7.5 billion  is invested  in the  biotech industry in a very large scale. In India biotech has raised new standards in bio agriculture with a remarkable achievement in BT cotton. The country  has become an exporter of BT cotton rather than an importer. The net production of cotton  has grown from 225 kilo /hectare to 510 kilo/hectare. Biotechnology also flourishes in  the health care sector. India is one of the largest vaccine producers, worldwide.”

“The Government of India  has played catalyzing role in enabling the biotech sector to flourish. There are several challenges for the Biotech industry ahead…. like intellectual property and access to capital markets. We need to have the affordable innovation  all around.” she added.

Said David Flores:
“The sky is the limit for India.  (However) there are several bench marks and policies which have not been met and one of them is a transparent regulatory mechanism. One thing which we also needed to discuss was whether India’s goal is to achieve local or global needs…  We started to look into the health care spending crisis through global perspective, i.e., affordable health care for everyone but it is not an easy task since it puts innovation at risk too. But when we look at the year 2012 there has been a tremendous change .. we have seen more VC funding than expected,  (making it) the 4th largest fundraising year. It has been reported that the public biotech investment made big gains. Big companies are investing more on R&D companies and the R&D companies are looking for investors who are ready to invest despite the risk of losing their investment.”
Exchanging the MoU between Scottish Development International, Scotland and the Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Services  (KBITS) Anne MacColl said, “The Scottish engagement in life sciences with the Bangalore India Bio will create a sustainable partnership between India and Scotland. In India Karnataka is the capital of biotechnology  and all the evidences tells us that companies tend to grow in this sector on employment skills and taking new ideas about technology innovation. Collaborations between Scotland and India will be a major boost to the Biotech industries. There are many similarities between the life sciences industries in India and Scotland.”

Exchanging the MoU between  the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and KBITS, Mark Lytle, said, “Economic development works on the sales and marketing in export, tourism, Industrial, IT, music, film, The  Georgia Centres of innovation is an effort that seeks to accelerate the growth of six of the state’s strategic industries: aerospace, agribusiness , Life science, logistics, energy, manufacturing. Georgia is leading in vaccines as well as immunological research and clinical trials. Two years ago Georgia collaborated with Bangalore and now  we are doing it across Karnataka. There is opportunity for more collaboration between the biotech industries for better growth.”

Added S.V. Ranganath:
“BioTechnology has given great opportunity to a country like India with 1.2 billion populations which have good potential to tap the benefits of pharmaceuticals and agro Biotech. India is particularly concerned with Agro and diseases control at affordable price with quality to rural part. It is estimated that by 2050 the population of the world will be 9 billion and most of it being from developing countries. The heat of the population will be felt in the field of food, fuel, and health….Bangalore is the hub for R&D and constitutes to about 56% of the Indian R&D.  The state  government  has taken initiatives to provide 4000 acres of land for the development of Biotech and other sciences.  The Indian Institute of Nano Science has also been  allotted 14 acres for the same purpose.”

The ABLE Report "Indian Biotechnology: The roadmap to the Next Decade and beyond and “Funding Your Science Idea” of Atharva Life Sciences Consulting, was released by Prof. Vijay Raghavan.
The event, organised by the Department of Information Technology, Bio-Technology and Science & Technology, Government of Karnataka and the Vision Group on Biotechnology, is being held  here  for three days.