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India’s first largest biotechnology conference ‘Global Bio-India Summit, 2019’ held in Delhi

The event witnessed academia, innovators, researchers, start-ups, medium and large companies coming together on the same platform to facilitate acceleration of the innovation ecosystem in India

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The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, along with its Public Sector Undertaking, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) recently organised Global Bio-India 2019 in Delhi. The event witnessed academia, innovators, researchers, start-ups, medium and large companies coming together on the same platform to facilitate acceleration of the innovation ecosystem in India. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed between BIRAC and Punjab to nurture the biotech ecosystem in the state.

Inaugurated by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology, Health and Family Welfare and Earth Sciences; Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel; and Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT and Chairperson, BIRAC, the three-day programme saw experts having deliberations on vaccines, biosimilars, medical devices and diagnostics, agriculture, industrial biotech, bioservices, emerging therapeutics, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, discovery research and development, regulatory compliance, intellectual property rights, incubation centres, entrepreneurship, startups, social innovation, and integration of startups with national missions, among others.

The session was also graced by dignitaries like Dr Vinod Paul, Member–Health, NITI Aayog; Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon; Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman, CII National Health Care Council and Chairman and Managing Director, Medanta and Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII. Regulatory experts, luminaries of the Indian biotechnology industry, and national and international product development experts held discussions on Ayushman Bharat, Swachch Bharat, nutrition, investors reverse pitching, international ecosystem connect, partnerships, translational research and global partnership.

Dr Vardhan also inaugurated the Global Bio India Exhibition 2019, along with releasing three reports, namely Assessment of Indian Biotechnology Landscape, India bioeconomy Report 2019, and India: the emerging hub for biologics and bio-similars. He also released the Global Bio-India catalogue. Apart from it, two satellite conferences were held on nanobiotek and nano for agri and nine new BIRAC-supported products were launched, along with the BIRAC Compendium 2019.

Union Minister for Railways and Commerce Piyush Goyal launched e-Portal that showcases BIRAC-supported commercialised biotech products and technologies. The Lab to Market catalogue released during Global Bio-India 2019 showcases 111 such innovative products and technologies.

Dr Swarup launched Bio Angels that would bring together more than angel investors, HNIs, early-stage VCs, 10 corporate/family officers leading to 150 investments in three years in Biotech startups.

A programme ‘India Accelerator Platform for Healthcare Innovations’ was also announced by the United Nation’s Health Innovation Exchange (UNHIE), Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and Social Alpha. It is conceived as a unique programme that aspires to unlock the potential of the Indian medical technologies and digital health innovations through adoption of 100 Indian innovations in the next five years.

Later, the Global Bio-India 2019 awards were given in various categories like DBT Biotech Product Process Development and Commercialisation Awards, the BIRAC Innovator Awards, and the BIRAC National Award for Indigenous Commercialisation, and the winners of the second edition of the BIRAC – TiE Women in Entrepreneurial research awards (WInER).

  • Some new programmes and initiatives launched were also announced at the event:
  • Special call for proposals from North Eastern Regions under Biotech Ignition Grant (BIG) (1st December, 2019-15th January, 2020)
  • BIRAC-TiE WInER (Women in Entrepreneurial Research) award- 3rd Edition (22nd November, 2019-15th January, 2020)
  • Special edition of WInER (Women in Entrepreneurial Research) award for North Eastern Region (1st December, 2019-15th January, 2020)
  • Grand Challenges India call on creating integrated solutions for primary healthcare in India (open call)
    Grand Challenges India call on addressing the determinants of low performance of frontline health workers

The associated partners for Global Bio India 2019 were Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE) and Invest India. The event saw 190 exhibitors, more than 2500 delegates from over 25 countries, 100 plus start-ups, above 50 incubators, over 60 research institutes, more than 800 business meetings scheduling and representation from nine states.

In her remarks at the closing ceremony, Dr Swarup said, “Going by the tremendous success of the mega event, the department plans to turn the GBI into an annual event with support from all stakeholders.”

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