• Bangalore
  • 19 June 2015
  • Interviews
  • By Srinivas

"State govts need to do more for incubation"

Dr V Premnath is currently the head, NCL Innovations, the group within National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) charged with the responsibility of championing the cause of technology innovation within NCL

dr-premnath-venugopalan-ncl

Dr V Premnath, head, NCL Innovations

Dr Premnath also provides leadership for the Intellectual Property Group at NCL - one of India's leading IP management groups based out of research institutions. Dr Premnath is also the director of the Venture Center (trademark of Entrepreneurship Development Center), a technology business incubator on NCL campus. Dr Premnath is also a scientist, Polymer Science & Engineering Division at NCL with an interest in technology development for biomedical products.

Dr Premnath holds a BTech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He has also been a Chevening Technology Enterprise Fellow with the Center for Scientific Enterprise, London Business School and the University of Cambridge, UK.

Speaking to BioSpectrum, he shares opportunities associated with Bioincubation in India and recipe to create biotech incubation boom in India. Excerpts:

How to create a biotech incubation boom in India?
The most important elements of a recipe to create a biotech incubation boom in India are:
1. Early stage POC and technology de-risking funding: This is especially important for creating a pipeline of entrepreneurs and business ideas. (Note: This is especially important in India where most biotech entrepreneurs will be first generation entrepreneurs without strong family funding support and there is often a chasm between knowledge workers and business people.)
2. Creating incubation facilities and supportive innovation ecosystems for entrepreneurs to get started.
3. Creating mechanisms by which publicly funded R&D institutions can be leveraged for start-up creation and/or supporting startups. (Note: More than 80 percent of research spending in India happens in publicly funded R&D institutions.)
4. Pool of highly motivated potential entrepreneurs and/or experienced entrepreneurs.

What are the key ingredients needed for the success of incubation centers in India?
Based on the experience of incubators who have succeeded in India, key ingredients for success are:
1. Strong and continuous support of a host institution (ex: IITs, NCL), financial backers (ex: ICICI, DBT/BIRAC) or local government (ex: Govt of Kerala, Govt of AP).
2. Motivated and dedicated incubation managers or key mentors.
3. Location which attracts high quality scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs, or a pool of capable and ambitious people to draw from.

How many incubatees are there in Venture Center?
We have around 25 resident incubatees in Venture Center.

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