It is a positive sign indeed that the Central government is focussed on making India a hub for bio-innovation under the aegis of Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC). “It is playing a crucial role in shaping the biotech innovation ecosystem of India,” says Union Minister for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forest and Climate Change Dr Harsh Vardhan. Department of Bio Technology (DBT) is playing a catalytic role in building a 100 billion-dollar Indian bio-economy and is now effectively leveraging the research and entrepreneurial capabilities of this sector to address the needs of our people by creating affordable products that have the potential to change lives and catapult India in to a brighter future.
According to Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Y S Chowdary, over the last five years, a foundation has been laid for making India a global leader in biotechnology research and development. “We are ensuring that our innovators and indigenous products receive the encouragement and support to make their mark on the international biotech stage. We are very proud of the impact that BIRAC has generated in such a short span and this Innovation Conclave is testament to it,” he adds.
BIRAC is a public sector undertaking of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, working for bio-innovations involving innovators, start-ups, scientists from industry and academia, public and private sector, policy makers, and national and international organisations. BIRAC) is a not-for-profit public sector enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, to empower the emerging biotech industry to undertake strategic research and innovation.
“BIRAC is a new industry-academia interface and implements its mandate through a wide range of impact initiatives, be it providing access to risk capital through targeted funding, technology transfer, IP management and handholding schemes that help bring innovation excellence to Indian biotech firms and make them globally competitive. BIRAC has initiated several schemes, networks and platforms that help to bridge the existing gap between industry-academia research and facilitate novel, high quality and cost-effective affordable technologies. BIRAC has initiated partnerships with several national and global partners to collaborate and deliver the salient features of its mandate,” says Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Prof VijayRaghavan, Secretary, DBT and chairman, BIRAC, feels that “the country’s biotech startup landscape has shown immense growth over the last five years. “BIRAC was created to bridge the space between policy, industry and academia in the biotech sector and bring all stakeholders together on one platform. Our impact on the biotech
innovation landscape is clearly visible,” he adds.
Dr Renu Swarup, Senior Advisor, DBT and Managing Director, BIRAC, says: “BIRAC has transformed the biotech innovation ecosystem in the country. Our investments in the Indian innovation ecosystem are bearing fruit and our innovations are now showing real impact and producing tangible benefits for society.” Needless to say that there is a need to showcase what India’s upcoming investigators are working on and how they hope to transform India.