During the last three years, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) has organized the annual innovators meet in September each year and these has been very well received by all the stake holders. This time around too, the event witnessed bigwigs of biotech industry and academia coming together on a government sponsored platform.
Held for the fourth time on September 15-16, 2015, at Manesar in National Capital Region, the BIRAC's annual innovators meeting was themed ‘Invigorating the Biotech Innovation Ecosystem'. The event's focus was on innovators, who interacted, networked and discussed successful case studies, challenges and opportunities for strengthening the biotech enterprise. The event saw the participation of BIRAC funded innovators, key partners and of course, all connected stakeholders.
While welcoming the delegates, Dr Renu Swarup, managing director, BIRAC mentioned, "This platform has repeatedly proven to be of great help in exchange of ideas between entrepreneurs." When we started, there were no funds available to individuals. After Dr M K Bhan suggested to us, we took specific steps to address it." Dr Swarup listed out the action taken report on in 2014. She explained, ""It is very interesting to know that how we made our pan India presence felt. In last 3 years, we have 155 innovators." She thanked innovators who responded to recent survey conducted by BIRAC.
Adding further, Dr Swarup said, "We are now focusing on the areas that require out more attention. It is very heartening to find out that 45 of the BIG funded innovators later founded their own firms. Well qualified 500 skilled professionals (MSc and PhD) have availed benefits. Scaling up our operations is high on agenda." BIRAC chief also talked about challenges. She admitted that the communication has not been enough and more needs to be done on that front. "BIRAC equity fund has not been operationalized so far due to fewer funds. We know that there will be lot of applicants and don't want to deny it to right ones. We are working on it and hopefully will have full support from the government as the Prime Minister's announcement on start up mission is encouraging," she mentioned.
The innovators meet has proved to be an excellent platform for knowledge exchange and networking among the young entrepreneurs, startups, SMEs and companies and also to discuss important issues which are critical for the scale up of the biotech innovation ecosystem.