India and Colombia exchanged views on possible scientific cooperation in the biotechnology sector as the latter showed willingness for a tie-up in the areas of vaccines, biosimilars and medical devices.
A high-level delegation from Colombia led by Marta Lucia Ramirez de Rincón, Vice-President and Minister, Foreign Affairs, visited the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and held a meeting with the Indian delegation led by Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT.
Calling health and biotechnology sectors major priority areas of shared interest, Rincón said she looked forward to cooperation towards building a sustainable biotechnology ecosystem.
There was a mutual exchange of views on possible areas of scientific cooperation in the biotechnology sector, the Science and Technology ministry said in a statement.
“To formalise the cooperation, a Letter of Intent is proposed to be executed between the Ministry of Science and Technology on the Indian side and Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation on the Colombian side,” the ministry said.
Dr Swarup said, “Indian Biotechnology industry is aimed at reaching a $150 billion bio-economy by 2025. Look forward to bilateral cooperation in areas of mutual scientific interest.”
Fernando Ruiz Gomez, Minister of Health and Social Protection, Colombia, mentioned that India is renowned as a global vaccine manufacturing hub and expressed willingness for cooperation in the areas of vaccines, biosimilars and medical devices.
Appreciating the accomplishments of India over the past few decades in the S&T sector, Sergio Cristancho, Vice Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Colombia, said that they hoped to replicate Indian models of knowledge generation and innovation and looked forward to developing sustainable collaborative initiatives.
Dr Swarup said she hoped that through this visit the bilateral partnership, could be taken to the next level in in areas of mutual scientific interest.
Remarking that biotechnology is one of the most emerging sectors and that the Indian biotechnology industry is aimed at reaching a $150 billion bio-economy by 2025, Dr Swarup expressed hope of working together in achieving the target.
Earlier during the meeting, an overview of the spectrum of activities supported by DST and DBT in the lifesciences sector, the efforts by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in nurturing the biotechnology start-up and innovation ecosystem, was provided.