Biotech Could Take India Ahead

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Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon, India’s largest Biopharmaceuticals company, has drawn global recognition both for India and Biocon. Her vision and pioneering efforts have helped Karnataka become a biotechnology cluster. In a chat with edex, she speaks about the scope and trends of the field.

What’s the value and scope of Biotechnology studies and research in India or are there better prospects abroad?

The biotechnology industry in India is currently valued at about $11 billion. A favourable business environment can help biotech and healthcare sectors generate combined revenues of $100 billion by 2025. If India can successfully tackle the gaps in infrastructure and challenges in the policy and funding domains, the country has a huge potential to become the leading global innovation hub for biotech. India has been recognised world over as a preferred outsourcing destination for contract research and manufacturing due to its competitive advantages of high quality English-speaking scientific talent pool and relatively lower cost of innovation and manufacturing. Therefore, it’s incorrect to assume that there are better prospects abroad.  In fact, many experienced professionals of Indian origin have returned to the country to be a part of the cutting-edge research. However, we are fast losing this advantage to China due to existing regulatory and infrastructure challenges, and need a smart regulatory environment that encourages and rewards innovation.

Karnataka had realised early that a key ingredient for creation of an innovation hub is the presence of a skilled, cost-effective workforce. With this objective in mind, the Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology was established as early as 2001 in Bangalore. In fact, Karnataka was also the first Indian State to bring out a policy for the Biotechnology industry in 2001. Subsequently, it also introduced the Millennium Biotech Policy II, a revised policy, in 2009, to build upon the achievements of the 2001 policy. This policy encourages the establishment of Biotechnology finishing schools across the State. Biocon is taking this even further by setting up The Biocon Academy, an advanced Biotechnology programme in Bangalore, to provide rigorous, industry-relevant training and equip graduates and postgraduates with the skills needed to add value to the biotech industry.

source: new indian express

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