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First National Biotechnology Conclave 2017 held in Delhi

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New biotech park scheme to be launched soon

First National Biotechnology Conclave 2017 was recently held in New Delhi with the theme ‘Strengthening the biotech ecosystem in India.’ The conclave was organised by Confederation of Indian Industry in partnership with Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.

Dr Renu Swarup, MD, BIRAC and Senior Advisor, Department of Biotechnology, released three white papers/reports at the conclave. The first one was on the Recommendations on issues associated with Biodiversity Law and Its Compliance. The paper addresses problems associated with protection of intellectual property and suggests amendments in the biodiversity act.

The second paper was on Biotech Start-ups in India- At the cusp of Global Impact. The paper highlights key focus areas to enlarge and effectively sustain innovation in the life science start-up ecosystem.

The third paper on ‘Recommendations for guideline changes in vaccine approval procedures-II’ is an updated document on recommendations for changes in approval procedures for vaccines to facilitate speedy access in the markets.

Dr Swarup mentioned that capacity building, increased investments, and greater industry-academia collaboration are the key components of of the Biotech Strategy 2015-2020. She mentioned the need of a concerted strategy to achieve the objective. She added that DBT has been supporting programmes in various colleges and industrial training courses across India.

Dr Swarup added that the government has recently launched two schemes- Skill Vigyan for the technical training of the manpower to run all the operations of the industry and Accelerate Vigyan for bringing in the best scientific knowledge. She also stated that DBT has created infrastructure capacities across the country including bio-clusters and shared infrastructure. She stated that there are 30 incubators across the country, which will soon be made accessible to all.

According to her, the government is considering a biotech park scheme. The government is working on the new policy on biotech parks which would be announced in early 2018. The new policy envisages biotech parks as knowledge hubs to encourage collaborations where large industry and academia will work alongside start-ups to spur the growth of the sector. Biotech parks would be seen as knowledge and innovation hubs that would also ensure innovation transforming to translation.

Dr Arun Chandavarkar, Chairman, CII National Committee on Biotechnology and CEO and Joint MD, Biocon said, “We must dovetail on Make in India and Skill India campaigns so that India becomes the quality supplier globally for the biotech products.”

Mahesh Bhalgat, Chief Operating Officer, Sanofi, highlighted that 2017 was the year when India was put on the world biotech map. He stated that the progress of the biotech sector in the country is dependent on innovation and the IIR (Innovation-Investments- Regulatory framework) approach.

RK Suri, Senior Advisor, Panacea Biotech applauded the efforts of the government towards the progress of the biotech sector.

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