What Narendra Modi did for the Biotech Sector in the Past 4 Years!
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What Narendra Modi did for the Biotech Sector in the Past 4 Years!

India is one of the world’s top 12 highest-performing biotech countries in the world, with 2% of the global market share. The country boasts the third position in the list of biotech leaders in the Asia-Pacific region.

The biotechnology industry in India has significantly evolved in the past two decades. This sector has witnessed a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20%. The Indian government has now set-up a milestone to hit USD 100 Billion by 2025.

India is the world’s largest producer of Hepatitis B vaccine recombinant. Also, the country boasts the second-highest number of US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approved plants, after the USA.

Key Growth Drivers of the Biotech Industry in India

India’s growing population is the major driver of the fastest-growing demand for biotechnology products and services. This demand is projected to reach 1.45 billion by 2025.

Lifestyle changes give rise to ailments like stroke, cancer, and diabetes. On the other hand, the rising economic richness and consciousness towards physical wellbeing speed up the demand for healthcare services.

India’s scientists, engineers and reputed universities and institutes, imparting education and training in the biotechnology sector are also making a remarkable contribution to the nation’s biotech potential. Supportive regular frameworks, such as Foreign Direct Investments and Intellectual Property, also add great value to this growth.

Have a look at the key drivers of the growth of the biotech industry in India –

  • Cost-effective manufacturing capabilities
  • Fast developing clinical capabilities
  • Transparent regulatory guidelines for the industry
  • Clearances for Brownfield/Green Projects
  • Increasing investments, exports and the government’s focus on the biotech sector.
  • Establishment of BIRAC to support biotech startups and SMEs through funding, mentoring, and infrastructure support.
  • Establishment of national research laboratories, medical colleges, and training institutes to provide degrees and diplomas in various field of biotechnology and bioscience.
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Legislative Policies & frameworks To Empower The Industry’s Growth

Aiming to usher a USD 100 Billion bio-economy in the country by 2025, the Indian government is highly focused on the industry.  The government has launched several new policies to strengthen the biotech landscape in the country.

The government announced the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy to speed up IPR filings. The Government is also making constant attempts to provide funding aid to biotech startups.

National Biotechnology Development Programme

The Government of India launched a National Biotechnology Development Strategy (2015 – 2020) to meet the aim to make the country the world’s leading bio-manufacturing hub. This strategy creates an ecosystem for creating state-of-art R&D infrastructure to develop new biotech products.

This programme will ensure a strategic investment in human capital by setting up a Life Science and Biotechnology Education Council that will lead the initiative. An intensified research will take place in the field of a human genome, chronic disease, crop science, vaccines, animal agriculture, technologies for clean energy, food, and nutrition, environmental management.

The programme has dual degree programmes as its major component. This programme will train the workforce in core science as well as business applicability. It’ll enhance research opportunities in basic, disciplinary and interdisciplinary sciences, and foster domestic, and international alliances.

A Virtual Centre to Connect Five IITs

In 2015, the government established a virtual center for connecting five IITs to improve biofuels. Thirty biotech parks and incubators were started between April 2014 and September 2016. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first locally-developed vaccine, named Rotavac in 2015.

Regional Centre for Biotechnology

To train the workforce in the new areas of this mushrooming sector, the government has planned to set up a Regional Centre for Biotechnology with the help of UNESCO. The Regional Centre for Biotechnology will provide training, education, and research in the biotech industry.

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‘Make In India’ Campaign in Biotech Sector

Biotechnology is one of the 25 sectors covered in the ‘Make In India’ campaign. This campaign aims at making the country a global manufacturing hub by smoothening business processes and tempting overseas firms to invest in India’s infrastructure.

To achieve the goal of ‘Make In India’, a task force ‘Promotion of Domestic Production of High-End Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Equipment’ is dedicated to the biotech industry. The Task Force addresses concerns and constraints in the sector and augments the domestic manufacturing of medical devices. It will provide the infrastructural, fiscal and financial support required to promote the sector.

Moreover, it handles the creation of institutes for safety testing, skill development, pricing strategies and solidifying the R&D skills of the biotechnology sector.

FDI Policy

  • To boost domestic bioscience manufacturing, the government has announced 100% FDI in medical devices.
  • 100% FDI is acceptable for Greenfield projects in the pharmaceutical sector. 74% FDI is permitted for Brownfield projects under the automatic route.
  • 100% FDI is permitted through automatic route to attract investments in new and existing industrial parks

The top foreign investors in India’s Biotech industry are – Endo Pharmaceuticals (USA), GE Healthcare (USA), United States Pharmacopeia (USA), BPI France, Tekes, Finland, Bosch (Germany) and many more.

Support for Biotech Startups

To scale up the number of biotech startups to 2,000 by 2019, the government is setting up five new Bio-clusters, 150 technology transfer offices, 50 new Bio-Incubators and 20 Bio-Connect offices in research centers and universities countrywide.

Some of the Government’s major initiatives to encourage startups in this industry are-

  • Biotech Equity Fund – BIRAC AcE Fund partnered with National and Global Equity Funds to provide financial assistance to Biotech Startups and enterprises.
  • Established Bengaluru-Boston Biotech Gateway to link institutes in Boston and Bengaluru to exchange ideas and mentor the entrepreneurs in the fields, like Genomics, Drug Discovery, etc.
  • Launched BIRAC to empower budding Biotech ventures to start with the strategic research and innovation in the field. It will assist and guide new ventures to turn their creative and useful ideas into victorious ventures.
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Development of Skills

The DBT and BIRAC have taken the following initiatives in the biotech sector –

  • Indo-Australian Career Boosting Gold Fellowships to guide and aid researchers in a collaborative research project at a reputed Australian science institute or university.
  • Introduced 1600 personnel trained under UG and PG courses.
  • 2000 candidates trained under the BITP Programme
  • Over 25 IP, ED & Grant Writing workshops organized by BIRAC to benefit 1300 stakeholders.
  • DBT & RMES have come together to deepen the collaboration in the biotechnology sector.

What He Failed To Do?

Considering all these Government’s initiatives and the potential of the biotechnology industry, the vision to make India, the world’s largest biotech manufacturing hub with global excellence is surely on the way. However, the below things are required to be implemented on the first hand :

  1. Availability of More Number of Biotech Jobs.
  2. Generous Funding for Research Projects
  3. More & Timely Stipend for the researchers
  4. Extended Support for Bio-Startup
  5. Lesser Regulation
  6. And of course the proper implementation of the above policies which his government has proposed.

Only time will tell how far these policies will bear the fruits and will show a potential impact on the field. Do share your views & comments in the comments section below.

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