• 16 August 2005
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EAST BOUND

EAST BOUND

EAST BOUND

Orissa

After signing a big deal to the tune of $12 billion with Posco in iron and steel sector, the government of Orissa plans to set up two biotech parks in the state. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of Orissa, said, "Our government does not believe in mere slogans, but means business". The state is looking at setting up parks at Patrapada near Bhubaneswar along National Highway No. 5 and another one on Konark sea beach near Chandrabhaga. The parks would be aimed at encouraging biotech entrepreneurs and would be established with an initial corpus of about Rs 50 crore. The parks would provide laboratory infrastructure, world-class equipment, training centre and special programs to develop biotechnology industry. The park at Bhubaneswar will come up over an area of 74 acres, next to the medicinal plants garden developed by the state forest department. Similarly, the park to come up at Chandrabhaga will have marine life as its theme and will be set up over an area of 22 acres. The parks are expected to give a fillip to the biotechnology sector.

The state government had formulated a draft biotech policy, which would be finalized and implemented soon. The new policy would provide right kind of incentives to investors to make investment in this sector. The policy among other things prioritizes the thrust areas for basic and applied research and technology development, promotes innovation in research and development by providing financial and infrastructure support and by encouraging public-private partnership for research and development and promotes development of the industry by providing quality infrastructure and an enabling environment for sustained growth and international competitiveness.

West Bengal

In view of the growing importance of the biotechnology industry, the West Bengal government too is interested to have a park to provide the basic infrastructure. IIT Kharagpur is contemplating setting up of a Rs 100-crore biotechnology park in the state. The state has announced a biotech policy in 2002. The park would be
located close to IIT's sprawling 22-acre campus.

WEST BOUND

Gujarat

The government of Gujarat proposes to set up a state-of-the-art "Biotech Park" on a public-private partnership model at Savli near Vadodara about 110 km from Ahmedabad. The park will spread across an area of 700 acres (including phase I, II and III). The state government has invited global tenders to rope in a strategic partner for the proposed Rs 100-crore biotech park. The park will be complemented by a Biotech Venture Fund with a corpus of Rs 5 crore to be expanded to Rs 50 crore by the year-end. Gujarat Venture Finance Ltd will mobilize the rest from institutional investors like SIDBI, UTI, banks, corporate entities and high net worth individual. The state government is also considering setting up of a Marine Biotech Park to expand the biotech base.

Meanwhile companies like Cadila Healthcare, Synchron Research Services, Concord Biotech, Claris Life Sciences, Maps India, Ban Labs and RPG Life Sciences who have their presence in the state have signed MoUs with the state government for investing about Rs 110 crore in biotechnology space.

The proposed Biotech Park at Vadodara will aim to provide an ideal environment for research and development and create centers of excellence that will facilitate investigation, development, production and commercialization of innovative biotechnology products. It will house a world-class institute that will impart biotechnology training and education and focus on building a strong human resource base in biotechnology and thus fuel the growth of the biotech industry in the state. The park will offer modular laboratory units and plots of varying areas. The park will be designed to suit the requirements of both large companies as well as budding entrepreneurs. It will offer a range of business and administrative support services to the tenants. The park will also act as a host to companies willing to set up a contract research facility and will extend benefits to them in the form of infrastructure and fiscal incentives.

Maharashtra

In addition to the International Biotech Park at Pune, the government of Maharashtra is developing an agri biotechnology park at Jalna near Aurangabad. The Jalna Agri Biotech Park will focus on agriculture-based biotechnology with focus on gene discovery, bioremediation, fermentation technology, post harvest technology, bioinformatics and diagnostics. The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has signed a MoU with Mahyco Research Foundation to develop the park on an area of 100 acres. This park will give a tremendous boost to the Biotechnology sector in the backward area of Marathvada.

NORTH BOUND

Chattisgarh

Like other states, Chattisgarh too is interested in entering the biotech space. Biotechnology has been identified as a thrust sector in the state's Industrial Policy. The state has drafted a detailed biodiversity plan. And it envisages setting up of a network of bio parks. The state has planned to create ex situ bio parks in identified areas with provision of high quality infrastructure at competitive rates along with relevant integrated services to biotech manufacturing units. It is proposed to provide one-stop services such as database on human resource availability, networking with academic centers of research and industry. The focus of these parks would be on biotechnology industries of relevance to agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, forestry and environment protection. Agri-biotechnology would have rice research, vegetables and tubers as the thrust areas. The state would also encourage the development of sericulture, oilseeds and fisheries.

It has announced many incentives package for biotechnology industry and the state aims to promote technology and knowledge.

Haryana

Like the above-mentioned states, Haryana too is interested in developing biotechnology in the state. It released its state biotechnology policy in 2002, wherein it announced a series of incentives for the biotechnology industry. The Haryana government is planning to develop a 50-acre biotechnology park at Manesar. The focus of the park will be on agriculture and pharma/healthcare.

Himachal Pradesh

The Himachal Pradesh government has a mission to convert the state into a "Herbal Biobusiness Valley" of India. The state has formulated its biotech policy and has identified Agri-Horti-Herbal biotechnology as priority biobusiness areas. In the second phase, it will take up biobusiness activities relating to human and animal health care. Its strengths lie in its biodiversity, eco diversity, and pollution-free environment, availability of adequate land, water and electricity, R&D backing and government facilitation.

The state is keen on setting up a biotechnology park on 134 acres of land (first phase) with total investment (incubator and industrial cluster) likely to be in excess of Rs 200 crore on a public- private partnership model. The park will be located near the Horticulture University in Solan. It is estimated that the incubator, spread on an area of 25 acre, would cost about Rs 38.66 crore. The Government of India will be investing Rs 9 crore and the state government will be contributing Rs 7.54 crore towards equipment and core infrastructure in the incubator. The selected private partner will pitch in with the rest of the money. In this context, a tripartite agreement has been signed between the DBT, Government of Himachal Pradesh and the BioBusiness Society formed in the first half of this year.

The project management committee has also been formed and soon it will be finalizing a private partner, who will set up, manage and operate the park. The park will provide impetus to bioresource-based ventures leveraging the rich eco and biodiversity of the state.

Himachal Pradesh is also planning to develop another biotechnology park near the agricultural university at Palampur once the park at Solan is fully functional. The state government is facilitating the development of the biotech industry through a series of incentives like: 100 percent sales tax exemption on biotech products, 100 percent excise duty exemption for 10 years, income tax exemption for the first five years and 30 percent rebate, thereafter CST and GST incentives and also single window clearance facilities.

Madhya Pradesh

The Government of Madhya Pradesh wants to create an environment conducive for the application of biotechnological tools and the state announced a policy framework in 2003. Under this framework while all incentives and concessions available to large, medium and small-scale industry would be made available to biotechnology units, package of additional fiscal and non-fiscal incentives were also considered. In addition to these, integrated biotechnology parks would be set up in the state. The state is considering setting up a biotech park at 167 acres of land in Indore at an estimated cost of Rs 61.5 crore. Each park will have a Business Facilitation Center that will, with the help of a single window clearance facility, cover all regulatory aspects and extend help for obtaining power, communication, water supply and waste disposal services.

To translate the salient features of the biotechnology policy into action, the state has a set of strategic initiatives such as setting up of a world class Institute of Life Sciences and Technology, at Bhopal with an adjunct biotechnology park for setting up an incubation center, research laboratories and manufacturing units; establishing a biotechnology park, as part of the Special Economic Zone at Indore, with emphasis on agri-biotechnology and pharma-biotechnology units; setting up bio-centers at selected farms of the state agriculture department, State Seeds Corporation and the Krishi Vigyan Kendras of the Agriculture University etc.

Punjab

Punjab will have a biotechnology park at Derabassi near Chandigarh spread over an area of 100 acres of land at a cost of about Rs 126 crore. It will have facilities to test and certify agro-processed food and medicinal and aromatic plant oils, a benchmark essential for experts of these projects to other countries. The facility is expected to boost exports from the other north Indian states.

The Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST), the nodal agency for promotion of biotechnology sector in the state, jointly with the private partner, Beckons Industries, has set up a company – Punjab Biotechnology Park Ltd (PBPL) to develop and promote the park. The park will be focusing broadly on the agriculture, pharma/healthcare, energy, environment and industrial segments. The park will have incubator facility to offer enterprise development support to the biotechnology industry.

In the agricultural segment, the PSCST is developing an incubator facility for "testing and certification of agro products" and common extraction facility for medicinal and aromatic plants. The DBT and the Government of Punjab are supporting this facility. The DBT has pledged support of Rs 7 crore and the Government of Punjab will be investing about Rs 3.5 crore for the incubator. The facility will be set up on the 27-acre land, which has been acquired. This incubator is expected to be functional during 2005-06. In addition, the bio inputs area-biofertilizers, biopesticides and growth hormones is being actively looked into.

In the pharma/healthcare arena, the focus will be on manufacturing of essential free fatty acids. PBPL has signed an MoU with AgBioWest Inc, Canada and Bioriginal Food and Science Corporation, Saskatchewan, Canada for R&D and manufacturing of essential free fatty acids in the park. The cost of this project is estimated at Rs 36 crore. For the infrastructure development of the incubator, an agreement with UMA Engineering has been signed. Deloitte and Touche, a global consultant, has been appointed to prepare a feasibility report for the Canadian companies on the availability of raw material and setting up of a facility in the park. This is expected to attract many Canadian companies, which will come to the park for outsourcing services. The manufacturing of nutraceuticals, cosmoceuticals and biomolecules based on new drug discovery research are some other potential areas of interest.

The Punjab government has also submitted a project worth Rs 150 crore to the Union Government to set up a National Institute of Biotechnology in the state. For this the state is eager to acquire 300 acres of land at a short distance from Chandigarh. Even the Centre is keen on providing Rs 80 crore for the project. Besides setting up infrastructure in the form of parks, the state government is keen on enhancing research activities in the state. Punjab has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Canadian province of Saskatchewan for co-operation in the field of biotechnology.

Rajasthan

To attract investment in biotechnology sector, the Rajasthan State Industrial Development & Investment Corporation (RIICO), an autonomous semi government body, is considering developing state-of-art biotech parks at Jaipur, Jodhpur and Bhiwadi (Alwar).

The park at Sitapura, Jaipur is spread over an area of 30 acres on the Jaipur-Kota national highway. About 27 plots have been developed in the park. The dimension of the plots range from 700 sq mts to 20,000 sq mts. In Boranada near Jodhpur, about 22 plots have been developed in an area of 30 acres. The dimension of the plots range from 1500 sq mts to 20,000 sq mts. The 30-acre park at Chopanki, which is about 5 kms from Bhiwadi, has 14 developed plots. All the three parks have the basic infrastructure like earth station (for high speed data com facility), power, telecom, roads, etc. The state government has announced its investor friendly biotechnology policy in 2004, which offered 100 percent exemption from stamp duty for registration of land in designated RIICO Biotech parks.

Uttar Pradesh

A late entrant in this field, the government of Uttar Pradesh has declared incentives and concessions to promote biotechnology industry in the state. The incentives include establishment of a Rs 50-crore venture capital fund / seed capital fund for research-based industries, 100 percent stamp duty exemption on biotechnology units, entry tax exemption for fifteen years on capital goods including captive generation sets, 15 percent subsidy on capital investments to the maximum limit of Rs 30 lakh admissible to new biotech units and expansion of existing units. Although it started a little late, it is catching up fast in attracting the biotech companies both local and international to the Biotech Park, Lucknow.

In addition to Lucknow, the state is also looking at the National Capital Region (NCR) comprising the capital city of New Delhi, the industrial suburbs of Gurgaon in the southwest in Haryana, the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) region in the southeast in Uttar Pradesh – a home to major pharmaceutical and biotechnology units to establish a biotech park. The NCR region has good scope for exploiting potential in the biotech area by pooling state's biodiversity resources and making companies globally competitive.

About 185 acres of land has been earmarked at Sector SDZ-6 for a proposed project near the east bank of Yamuna river. The Biotech city at NOIDA would pool the existing biodiversity resources in the state and also help local companies aiming to become globally competitive. The Biotech City is envisaged to comprise a Bio-Service Centre and Incubation facilities. The Bio-Service Centre would house facilities and services like state-of-the art R&D laboratories where entrepreneurs can engage in production and research activities. Individual premises are offered on lease / rental basis for the development / production of high-value products. The incubation facilities shall allow smaller firms to carry out R&D activities in a shared environment with less capital investment.

The Biotech Consortium India Ltd is acting as strategic adviser to NOIDA for developing the Biotech Park. NOIDA proposes to develop the Biotech City with private sector participation and is in the process of selecting a Developer for the above said Biotech City. Bids from private bidders are invited for development of Biotech City at NOIDA.

Uttaranchal

Uttaranchal, known for its vast and rich diversity of flora and fauna with two third of its landmass under forest cover, is making efforts to establish an Institute of Bio-Technology. Rare species of plants and animals are also found in the state. Hence biotech is its obvious choice for its socio-economic growth. The state has signed a MoU with Rabo India Finance Company, Infrastructure Development Finance Company and the G B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in order to forge strategic cooperation to jointly pursue initiatives in the sphere of research in food and agriculture sectors.

The government, with its state biotech policy in place since 2004, has proposed to set up a biotechnology park in Haldi, Pantnagar in association with the private sector. About 1000 acres of land in the GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology has been earmarked for this purpose, which will be developed in a phased manner. The park will focus on plant biotechnology in a big way and will leverage the scientific skills of the university. The proposed park will integrate resources and provide amongst others, a focused institutional set-up for accelerated commercial growth of biotechnology and bio-informatics. A project advisor for the Pantnagar Biotech Park will be appointed shortly to facilitate the speedy development of the park.

SOUTH BOUND

Karnataka

Karnataka is a leading state in biotechnology and its capital Bangalore, Indian IT capital, is a biotech hub of the country. As envisaged in its Millennium Biotech Policy announced in 2001, the Government of Karnataka proposes to set up a biotech park in Bangalore (called Bangalore Helix) that meets global biotech guidelines. The proposed park would have an infrastructure that would not only foster the growth of the biotech sector and create employment, but also help in bringing India to the center stage of global biotechnology business. The Biotech Incubation and Common Instrumentation Facility in the Bangalore Biotech Park would work towards promoting entrepreneurship, facilitate in academic–industry collaboration, single window approval processes, attraction for FDI, catalyst for local development and employment, etc.

At present, about 90 acres of land in the Electronic City of Bangalore has been in possession by the Department of IT & Biotechnology, the Government of Karnataka and an additional 14 acres is in the process of being transferred to the department, thus totaling to an area of 104 acres. It is proposed to set up the biotech park under public/private partnership model. The support infrastructure facilities and business centre would be developed and managed by the project company (Private Partner). The state government has called for technical bids from builders, and has received expression of interest (EoI) from several real estate players for developing the park.

According to M K Shankaralinge Gowda, Secretary of the IT & BT Department, "The architect consultant for the park Jurong Consultants has signed up with Department, and the process of selection of principal contractor for the development of the institutional and R&D Block in the park is under the final stage of selection and once this is done all the major work will take off." Biotech Incubation and Common Facilities Centre would come up in an area of about 10-15 acres in the biotech park. IBAB, an apex Institution for Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, and the Centre for Human Genetics would be established in an area of about 10 acres in the biotech park. "The park would also house a Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP)," added Gowda.

Kerala

God's own country, Kerala, is also keen on developing and promoting biotech industry using its own resources by setting up biotech parks. The Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Kinfra) has earmarked 50 acres of land at Kalamassery near Kochi for setting up the biotechnology park with financial assistance from the DBT and the state government. The park would be a combination of a Technology Incubation Centre (TIC) providing modules for R&D in biotechnology, pilot plant and a business enterprise zone (BEZ) comprising developed plots to be utilized for setting up of industrial units.

The state chief minister, Oommen Chandy laid the foundation stone for project in May 2005. The total cost for developing the park is estimated at Rs 39.54 crore. The cost of the incubation centre will be estimated at Rs 23.19 crore. The Government of India has sanctioned Rs 11 crore for the establishment of a biotechnology incubator at the park. The incubation centre will cover an area of 1,000 square feet and will have 10 workspaces for biotechnology entrepreneurs. The centre will function as an autonomous society formed jointly by the DBT, the Government of Kerala and Kinfra.

In addition to this, Kinfra proposed to develop another park at Trivandrum. The Trivandrum Park would be located on 25 acres of developed land available at Kinfra Apparel Park premises at Thumba. Research institutions like Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology, Tropical Botanical Garden & Research Institute, Kerala Agricultural University, Central Tuber Crops Research Institute are located in Trivandrum. Thrust sectors of the parks include immuno-diagnostics and vaccines in the health care sector, biopesticides, biofertilizers tissue culture and extraction of medical plants in the agri biotech sector and enzymes in the industrial biotech sector.

Narayan Kulkarni with inputs
from Rolly Dureha in Delhi and Srinivas Rao in Bangalore

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