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Bioscience to Bioeconomy (3 March 2021)

Bioscience to Bioeconomy (3 March 2021)

Context:

The Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the second edition of Global Bio-India-2021

Background:

The first edition of Global Bio-India was held in 2019.

The Government of India has a target of building a USD 150 billion bio-economy by 2025.

Summary of the Debate

Global Bio-India-2021:

  • Global Bio India (@GlobalBioIndia) | TwitterIt is a mega international congregation of Biotechnology.

  • It is organised by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology along with BIRAC in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises(ABLE) and Invest India.

  • Aim: To showcase the strength and opportunities of the biotechnology sector of India at the national as well as international level.

  • Theme of Global Bio-India-2021: “Transforming lives” with the tag line “Biosciences to Bio-economy”.

  • Switzerland is the partner country and Karnataka as India’s state partner.

  • It showcases the strength and opportunities of India's biotechnology sector at national level and to the global community.

  • Major stakeholders: International bodies, regulatory bodies, Central and State Ministries, SMEs, large industries, bioclusters, research institutes, investors, and the startup ecosystem.

            

India in Biotechnology sector:

  • Biotechnology sector has been recognised as sunshine sector in India.

  • It is currently contributing about 3 percent of India’s economy and the growth and requirement in this sector which encompasses industrial biotechnology, agri-tech, clean-tech as well as waste to sanitation.

  • The biotechnology sector in India has grown from $1.1 billion in 2003 to a mammoth $64 billion sector in 2019.

  • It is poised to grow at a scale which it can have multiplier and cascading effect on contributing to India’s 5 trillion economy in 2025 and 10 trillion by 2030.

  • There are 4300 startups only in the biotech sector.

  • The 4 basic pillar of biotechnology:

    • Healthcare related to biotechnology

    • Agriculture related to biotechnology

    • Non-food uses of crops and other products

    • Environment

Steps taken by the government in this sector:

  • Biotechnology Industry Research & Development Assistance Council (BIRAC): Established by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) to act as an interface between academic and private sector.

  • National Biotechnology Development Strategy (2015-2020): To make the country the world’s leading bio-manufacturing hub to develop new biotech products.

  • Biotech start-ups: Government has set up 5 new Bio-clusters, 50 new Bio-Incubators, 150 technology transfer offices and 20 Bio-Connect offices in research centers and universities countrywide.

  • Mission program on Antimicrobial Resistance: Initiated by Department of Biotechnology, to develop indigenous and cost-effective therapies against AMR.

  • National Mission on Bioeconomy: To boost rural economy by utilizing bio-resources, Bio-resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) launched National Mission on Bioeconomy in Shillong, Meghalaya.

Way Forward:

  • There is a need for sustained innovation and product development model in the biotechnology.

  • 60-65 percent people are involved in agriculture. So, technology can be brought at the grassroots level and that penetrates and gets adopted in a frugal manner, accessible manner, it can revolutionise.

  • If 2G ethanol increased by 20 percent, that can contribute significantly in the industrial bioeconomy.

  • India has to produce product at global competitive advantage position.

  • India needs to provide an academia-industry linkage in the biotech sector

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