Updated on 28 January 2013
You have set up NCBS and very successfully built an institution that we can pride to be a truly world-class institute. Can you outline some of the key things that worked in building such a pre-eminent institution?
Collegiality with a shared demand for excellence. NCBS grew with the view that its problems could be solved and its ambitions met by its efforts and not by solutions from outside. I may be wrong, but I think if we expect less of others and demand more of ourselves we can grasp 'luck' better when it comes by. NCBS has been lucky, but it has been prepared.
Can some of these best practices be applied to take DBT to the next level?
One of the mistakes we make is to assume that the same method 'works' everywhere. Each context is special. DBT has an extraordinarily dedicated and passionate group of officers and working with them and with our life sciences and biotech community will be the best way to learn what to do.
What is your expectation from the industry and what is the kind of support that you look forward from it?
Again, I need to work with industry to understand this. But here is what a senior colleague at the DBT, who is working closely with industry, has to say: "India is at the threshold of a decade of innovation and Indian biotechnology is poised to provide solutions to myriad challenges that we as a country face be it in health, food, fuel security. The solutions that India can offer will have both national and global relevance.
The biotech Industry as it is positioned today has a potential to reach $100 billion by 2025. The components of this bioeconomy will involve all aspects of the biotechnology sector, from new forms of vaccines, novel protein therapeutics, bio-similar manufacturing, improved plant hybrids and renewable energy from biological sources.
The biotech industry growth has been steady at around 20 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for almost a decade now. With the excellent foundation, improved and increased capacity both in human resource and infrastructure, a more conducive innovation research environment, and favorable policies, it is hoped that the Industry will respond and work towards stepping up its growth to 30 percent CAGR.