'Catalyst for biotech growth'

Experts believe that the Biotechnology Industry Assistance Council (BIRAC) can act as a bridge between various stake holders, thereby leading to better coordination and thus propelling the growth of the industry


On completion of its one year of incorporation on March 20, 2013,  the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council's (BIRAC) chose to discuss an approach for addressing national unmet needs and successfully delivering, affordable products through innovation research, industry - academia partnership and strategic global alliances. The overall mood of the participants was upbeat at the three day high level scientific and industrial conclave organized as a part of BIRAC first foundation day celebration at New Delhi. Present at the meeting were 300 scientists, industrialists, policy makers, representative of global philanthropic organizations, start-ups and entrepreneurs.

The meet was inaugurated by the minister of science and technology and earth sciences, Mr Sudini Jaipal Reddy. Dr K VijayRaghavan, chairman, BIRAC and secretary, DBT  was present alongwith Dr M K Bhan, former secretary, DBT and Ex Chairman BIRAC who advised the BIRAC to break barriers in funding innovations and lend a helping hand to new comers in the industry. Dr Renu Swarup, MD, BIRAC traced the journey of BIRAC and highlighted some key initiative taken during the last one year which include, launch of the Ignition Grant, signing of over 100 public private partnership research agreements, supporting nearly 50 industry academia partnership collaborations and technology acquisition for nutritional crop improvement.

Most of the experts agreed that BIRAC should work to bridge the gap among researchers and industry. They pointed out towards the need to evolve better understanding and partnership between Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR). It was felt that BIRAC can play a crucial role in laying out a long term concrete vision for meeting the targets set for growth of the sector.

Expert advice:What can BIRAC do to strengthen major pillars of biotech?


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