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Genomics and Biology. Biotechnology and genomics.
National Biotechnology Policy- Salient features

The need for an integrated biotech policy with adequate attention to various sub sets of the sector such as health, agriculture, environment, industrial and other application areas is an essential pre-requisite for giving the boost to the progress of the Indian biotech sector. The National Science and Technology Policy of the Government and the Vision Statement on Biotechnology issued by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) provide a framework and give strategic direction to different sectors to accelerate the pace of development of biotechnology in India. The policy has given a direction to efforts in the public and private sectors, the key being a quadrilateral agreement between academia, industry, various laboratories working in the field, and the state.

Salient features of the policy:

The need to augment the number of PhD programs in life sciences and biotechnology, as a strong pool of academic leaders is critical to sustained innovation. A National Task Force will be created to formulate model undergraduate and post graduate curricula, attract talent to life sciences and enable working conditions for scientists to undertake industry oriented research

The need to scale up proven technologies such as diagnostics and vaccines. While the Indian industry is strong in product development and marketing for commercial benefits, biotech in India still lacks the infrastructure required for R&D in molecular modeling, protein engineering, drug designing and immunological studies. The DBT will act to facilitate a Single Window Clearance mechanism for the establishments of biotech plants and encourage private participation in infrastructure development

India's strategy should aim at increasing value from R&D investment and IPR generation. India needs to provide active support through incubator funds and provision of various incentives, in addition to focusing on innovative capacity; the ability to create a continuous pipeline of products. Clear government policies for promotion of innovation and commercialisation of knowledge will propel growth of the biotechnology sector

The need for government support, fiscal incentives and tax benefits are crucial to this sector, as biotechnology is the most research-intensive industry and companies invest 20-30 percent of their operating costs on R&D or technology outsourcing. Further, financial support for early phase product development and small/ medium size enterprises is the key to sustaining innovation

Creation of Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI) scheme through DBT to support small and medium size enterprises through grants and loans. The scheme will support pre-proof of concept, early stage innovative research and provide mentorship

Establishment of biotechnology parks to provide a viable mechanism for licensing new technologies to upcoming biotech companies to start new ventures and achieve early stage value enhancement of technology with minimal financial inputs. Parks facilitate transfer of technology by serving as an impetus for entrepreneurship through partnership among innovators from academia, R&D institutions and industry.

Need for a scientific, rigorous, transparent, efficient and consistent regulatory mechanism for biosafety evaluation; a single National Biotechnology Regulatory Authority be established and governed by an independent administrative structure.

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