With an aim of establishing Gujarat as a preferred destination for manufacturing of biotechnology products and to provide focused attention on the subject along with addressing the global developments and their various effect, the state recently framed the Biotechnology Policy-2016. The policy has a vision of building up competencies of global scale in research, development and commercialisation in biotechnology sector, capable of harnessing the true potential of the sector in a sustainable way and creating a society living in a safe and clean environment.
The policy also has an objective of promoting the availability of quality and cost efficient affordable bio-technologies, bio-products and bio-services to the end users. It talks about developing global partnerships in emerging technologies with leading biotechnology organisations/agencies /institutions in the world to promote the sector in the state. The policy has various incentives for investors who are planning to set up their units in the state.
Under the policy, government would give capital subsidy up to Rs 10 per cent of the gross fixed investments (GFCI) with a ceiling of Rs 5 crore to individual BT manufacturing units having GFCI up to Rs 50 crore. Also, in order to encourage new start-ups in this sector, government would give 100 per cent reimbursement of stamp duty paid on sale or lease of the land for setting such start-up.
According to a statement given by Nitin Patel, Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat while announcing the policy, "At present, there are 175 BT units in Gujarat having total turnover of Rs 4,500 crore per annum. We are number three in India. Our aim behind bringing this policy is to take this turnover to Rs 15,000 crore within the next three-four years and make Gujarat number one in this sector."
Biotechnology parks and incubators
Biotech Park, Savli, Vadodara
Developed under Gujarat State Biotechnology Mission (GSBTM), the park endeavours to address the biotech industry's need for specialised infrastructure. Phase I of 100 acres consisting of 38 acres of SEZ area and 62 acres of Non-SEZ area is now well developed with basic infrastructure. An area of approximately 17.5 acres is earmarked for Biotech Incubator and Common Equipment Library facilities and various laboratories.
Bio-incubator at the Biotech Park, Savli supports and facilitates laboratory and office spaces to scientists, researchers, start-ups and potential entrepreneurs. Entrepreneur Support Cell formed by GSBTM also provides holding to biotech units/companies and facilitation for availing various subsidies, incentives, benefits etc. from various government departments/agencies.
New biotech policy also states that biotech park developer will be given 100 per cent reimbursement for electricity duty paid for a period of five years. The state government will also provide capital subsidy up to Rs 25 crore on the total investment for developing a biotechnology park. In addition, the developer of such park will be eligible for 100 per cent reimbursement of stamp duty paid on lease or sale of the land for selling such park.
Concept of horizontal and vertical biotechnology park is also mentioned in the policy. Horizontal biotech park means a site which is developed during the operative period of this policy in minimum area of five acres in which 70 per cent of total saleable/leasable area is allotted to at least three biotechnology units and minimum 60 per cent of total saleable/leasable area is actually occupied within one year from coming to an end of this policy. Vertical biotech park means new development undertaken during the operative period of policy in the nature of either a vertical development in the shape of a tower or a group of towers with minimum 1,00,000 sq ft of saleable/leasable area out of which 70 per cent of saleable/leasable area is allotted or to be allotted to at least three biotechnology units; or a vertical development in the shape of a tower or a group of towers with minimum 3,000-seat capacity built by any biotechnology unit of which 60 per cent capacity is actually occupied within one year from coming to an end of this policy.