Updated on 18 June 2013
The interest expressed by the international as well as domestic companies to conduct research and innovation in Asian countries including India, China, Korea, and Australia, is indicative of rising global demand for research-related skill-set in the region. There is high requirement of employees with skills in regulatory affairs, clinical strategy and project management, and skilled and qualified researchers. However, over the next five years, the entire region is anticipated to face skills gap in these areas.
BioSpectrum takes a snapshot of the challenges faced by Asian countries while recruiting right human talent and implementing strategies to fill the gap.
India takes steps towards narrowing skills gap
In order to fill the talent gap, the Indian government has designed strategies to increase the influx of qualified professionals into molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology and assay development.
Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India, has adopted programs, such as Star College program, to strengthen undergraduate education in life science. Under the program, the DBT is establishing biotechnology education institutes over a period of 12 years. It has also introduced fellowship schemes for re-entry of scientists, who were stationed abroad, into India, and around 200 scientists have been brought back since 2009. The DBT has also proposed to initiate a short-term training program for skill improvement in areas of recombinant human monoclonal antibodies and production, drug discovery, stem cell technologies, transgenic plant related technologies, transgenic animal development and IPR, and regulation.
Mr Anurag Bagaria, chairman and managing director, Kemwell Biopharma, India, says that the fact that global players are setting up operations in Asia, including India, shows that the country is becoming a service providing destination. However, manpower retention is posing a big challenge.