• 10 March 2009
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BioAsia 2009 Bringing Business When it Matters

BioAsia 2009 Bringing Business When it Matters

There are times when recession forces companies to rethink their investment plans, slash people and suspend many ongoing projects. However the mood in air at the recently concluded BioAsia 2009, a three-day life science business conference in Hyderabad, India, was more of a joyous feeling. Talks of recession and declining sales made rounds, however, people were optimistic that businesses will rebound soon— as soon as six months.

Jointly organized by the Federation of Asian Biotech Associations (FABA), State Government of Andhra Pradesh (where Hyderabad is located), University of Hyderabad, and All India Biotech Association (AIBA), the event, which is in its sixth year, saw the participation of over 3,000 people.
There were about 30 companies from the US, Singapore, India, Iran and Spain participated in the event. Spain (Catalonia region), Sri Lanka and Iran were the biggest foreign delegation who had come to the event to sell their countries as an ideal location for biotechnology business and also solicit business interests in their respective countries Some of the top biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies such as Lonza and Shantha Biotechnics have participated in the event.
BioAsia, one of the largest biotech and life sciences event in South Asia, provided a platform for local and multinational companies to network, display their products and technologies, and interact with the delegates.
There were two tracks and 17 sessions with about 72 speakers. Parallel agri sessions were also there on all the three days with about 25 speakers in eight sessions. The sessions were well appreciated by the participants. A number of students were also seen gathered in each session.
Pre-inauguration, there was a visit to the bio-park located in the Genome Valley in Hyderabad. The park, one of the largest in Asia, offers plug-and-play facilities for biotechnology companies.
“Besides the conference, there were a number of B2B meetings held. Total number of meeting held in three days was 280, while there were 665 meeting requests sent before the event started and of these, 290 requests for meetings are pending,” said Momme Christian Velmede of PharmABC, a Germany-based life sciences B2B meetings consultant. Last year there were just 70 meetings. A 300 percent increase in the B2B meetings this year is quite remarkable. At a time when the global life science story is not very encouraging, the number of visitors and companies participated in the event shows that biotechnology hasn’t lost its gravy train.
The next edition of BioAsia will be held in Hyderabad from February 3-6, 2010.

Awards of Excellence
During the Inaugural Session of BioAsia 2009, Dr. Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh conferred the Genome Valley Excellence Award 2009 to two eminent personalities in the field of biotechnology. He also presented BioAsia Innovation Award, BioAsia Young Minds Award, and Best Stall Award.
Genome Valley Excellence Award  
1. Prof. Marc Van Montagu, founder and chairman, Institute of Plant Biotechnology for Developing Countries, Belgium. The following endeavors helped Dr. Montagu to win this award: 
  •  Discovering the gene transfer mechanism between agrobacterium and plants.
  •  Developing plant molecular mechanisms for cell proliferation, and differentiation and response to abiotic stresses.
  •  Constructing transgenic crops resistant to insect pest and tolerant to novel herbicides.

2. Dr. Martin Mackay, president, Pfizer Global Research and Development (PGRD), US. The award winning activities of Dr. Mackay are:
  • His pivotal role in forming the world’s largest private biomedical research organization comprising over 13,000 employees.
  • His stewardship role in increasing the number of Pfizer biotechnology products from a single compound to over 25 in the last decade.
  • Establishing ‘Asia Pharma R&D Function’.
BioAsia Innovation Award
Dr. Sunil Kumar Verma, scientist, Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, for novel universal technique to establish the identity of enormous number of animal species for forensic application.

BioAsia Young Minds Award
B Abinaya, 11th standard student, Sri Sankara Senior Secondary School, Chennai, for a project work on marine actinomycetes.

Stall Awards
Winner: Vibha Seeds, Hyderabad, India
First runner-up: Lonza, Switzerland
Second runner-up: Matrix, Hyderabad, India.
Sanjeev Jain in Hyderabad

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