Biotechnology industry in Assam is in its nascent stage


Dr J Balaji, CEO, Guwahati Biotech Park, Assam


Dr J Balaji, CEO, Guwahati Biotech Park, Assam

The growth of Biotechnology industry in Assam is in its nascent stage. A few Biotech companies have started their entrepreneurial ventures with Guwahati Biotech Park (GBP). Few new entrepreneurs are also setting up their R&D units with GBP shortly. These companies will start their venture in some specific fields' of biotechnology like development of molecular assays, identification of genetic biomarkers for cancer, production of biofertilizer and biopesticide, testing kit development for low cost water filter, easy detection of contaminants of food and drinking water and it is envisaged that in the forthcoming years Assam as well as the North Eastern states will flourish as a major Biotech hub in the country.

The government of Assam is committed to play the role of a catalyst and facilitator for the growth of Biotechnology Industry in Assam and establishment of GBP is the first step towards this commitment.

Government of Assam has taken a major step in developing biotechnology industry in the state. In this endeavor, Assam is developing GBP in Guwahati, Assam. The Government of India has been taking a number of initiatives to speed up the growth of biotechnology by promoting development of innovative technologies, infrastructure, human resources and industry, which has helped this sector to gain global visibility. Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India (GoI) has been spearheading the development of biotechnology research, education and entrepreneurship promotion through various grants and schemes. Realizing this, Government of Assam has undertaken a major project by developing Guwahati Biotech Park in Guwahati to facilitate faster penetration of biotech and pharmaceutical industries in the state by utilizing the abundant natural bioresources of the region.

Government of Assam is providing all the necessary support for smooth functioning of GBP. Government has provided land of 85760 sq m to GBP and is likely to provide Rs 100 crore for land and infrastructure development of the park. GBP has a Technology Incubation Center (TIC) which has been set up to promote research based entrepreneurship and biotech industry development. The park will also develop Business Enterprise Zone, Business Support Facilities and Consultancy Cell.

The TIC namely Guwahati Biotech Park Incubation Center (GBPIC) has been established in the temporary campus (20,000 sqft area) within IIT Guwahati premises. This Incubation Centre is being financially supported by DBT, and established through a tripartite agreement between Science & Technology Department, Government of Assam, DBT, GOI and IIT Guwahati. GBPIC is equipped with ready-to-use modular laboratories with modern Laboratory Work Stations and other utilities which can be leased out to entrepreneurs/ Firms/ Societies/ Scientists/ Students interested in pursuing their R&D activities in biotechnology and related areas. A Central Analytical Instrumentation Facility and five specialized facilities like Medicinal Plant Extraction, Bio-prospecting, Micro-propagation, Fermentation and Bioinformatics are being developed with a number of equipment essential for the relevant R & D activities.

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