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Genomics and Biology. Biotechnology and genomics.
Biotech Policy Initiatives

Perhaps, one of the biggest impetus for the growth of bio technology sectors in India has been the positive policy framework and investment climate offered by the Union Government and various state Governments who have tried hard to develop the sector in their respective states. The union government as well as the state governments have taken various initiatives to boost biotechnology in India. Several state governments including Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujrat and Delhi have taken initiatives to encourage entrepreneurs to set up biotech industries in their states.

Some of the key steps taken by central and state governments include:

• Setting up of a separate department of biotechnology under the ministry of science and technology in the year 1986 gave an impetus to the growth of the sector in the Indian economy.

• Announcing a separate Biotechnology Policy for states as a recognition of the importance of the sector as a key growth area;

• Setting up of exclusive Biotechnology Parks; They are encouraging research activities, establishing links between their research institutions and industry. Several concessions are being offered to the industry in terms of single window clearance, speedy customs clearance, exemption from tax, creation of funds to be used for the incubation of new project.

• Instituting Task Forces with experts to guide them on policy issues and setting up of positive policy framework.

• Holding various national and international science and technology fairs and seminars to show case India’s initiatives in the field.

Many Indian companies have introduced products of original research through technology transfer from R&D institutions in India in the field of vaccines, diagnostics and clinical and contract research and trials. Some others have established tie ups and joint venture with foreign companies for sourcing technologies and are experimenting with new products produced by foreign technologies, with a view to introduce them into the Indian market within the framework of Indian laws. Outsourcing of R&D in biotechnology represents a tremendous opportunity for Indian companies to do contract research for overseas corporations. The current global spend on outsourced R&D is approximately US$ 9 billion and is expected to grow at 30 per cent per annum for the next 5 years.

There are around 50 R&D labs in the public sector, providing high quality R&D and over 20 conducting research in specific areas of biotechnology. In addition to these, there are companies in Bangalore with excellent technical manpower and world-renowned institutions such as the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Jawahar Lal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, National Facility for Macromolecular Crystallography, BARC, Mumbai, National Facility for High Field NMR, TIFR, Mumbai, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, National Brain Research Center, New Delhi, all of which provide high-quality R&D services to organisations worldwide.

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