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Biotech sector key priority sector for India: Dr K Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology

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India through its Department of Biotechnology of the Ministry of Science and Technology reiterated its commitment and focus on biotechnology sector and provided glimpses of its blueprint of vision 2025 at BIO 2014 held in San Diego. Dr K Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology led a strong 75-member delegation to the convention representing members from various private and public sector companies along with key government departments.

Commenting during the convention, Raghavan said, “India with its research capabilities and scientific community is well positioned to take the next step in its journey towards emerging as the global hub for biotech research and business excellence and Indian government is committed to provide all necessary support.”

He said, “Indian biotech sector industry has been averaging an above average growth of 20 per cent for the past decade but wants to step it up to 30 per cent per annum to ensure that the sector reaches its target of Rs 100 billion in revenue by 2025 and the same can be achieved through partnerships and focus on research.”

Dr Renu Swarup, Managing Director, BIRAC shared her thoughts in a session on ‘Building the Bio economy: Examining National Biotechnology Industry Development Strategies.’ As a step towards building its biotech sector, Government of India formed BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) to fund start-ups and early stage research. Swarup commented, “Start-ups form the nucleus of any innovation system and in the past couple of years hundreds of projects worth $250 million have been sanctioned. We have several innovative Indian start-ups at the BIO.”

According to Dr PM Murali, President, Association of Biotech Led Enterprises (ABLE) “With a new Government in place, at a macro level the International business community is optimistic about improvements on various parameters that will drive investments into India. ABLE has submitted a list of specific recommendations to the Government of India and hopes that they are adopted. The industry would require the Government to de-bottleneck some constraints to attract green and brown field projects. India is already a major supplier of generics and sees the biologics as the next frontier.”

Home to over a billion people, India was well represented throughout the convention. The Secretary spoke at the opening Plenary in the Emerging Opportunities in Global Market Forum that was moderated by David Brancaccio to highlight the potential of India and underlined the importance of partnerships in the ‘Biotech for Social and Economic Transformation: Making the Impossible Happen Requires Partnership’ on India’s potential as the Destination for biotech R&D and business was further discussed in the India session.

EP News Bureau-Mumbai

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