Utkarsh Palnitkar, National Head,Life Sciences practice, KPMG India
What is the current status of BT parks in India and their occupancy level? Which states are doing great, which are ok and which are below average? Some parks believed to have very low level of occupancy. Which are they and what are the reasons for the same?
With the sustained interest across the biopharma value chain, the demand for specialised infrastructure and incubators continues to be moderate to strong. Currently, more than 15 biotech parks are operational in the country and many upcoming parks are still at an initial stage of conducting basic ground work for their establishment.
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), together with various state governments are playing a major role in setting up biotechnology parks across the country.
The occupancy level in biotech parks depends upon various factors such as the availability of the specialised infrastructure, incubation facilities, enabling ecosystem and state policies, among others. The prevalence of a vibrant ecosystem is essential to the success of the Park. While at many locations elements of the ecosystem exists, they being joined together is at time absent. This is reflected in the mixed level of success in this space.
Currently, only a few biotech parks that support industry with ready-to-use lab facilities for R&D, incubation support for start-ups and dedicated land for scaling up activities are operational in India.
Lack of operational infrastructure at competitive rates, along with lack of biopharmaceutical specific infrastructure such as large animal testing facilities, transgenic animal facilities, chemical and molecular screening libraries, advanced protein characterisation facilities, trade-related testing and accreditation facilities, etc. are hindering the growth of the biotechnology sector in the country.