Updated on 21 June 2013
Could you kindly elaborate on the major developments, activities and achievements of ABLE in the last two years?
Dr Murali: ABLE's contribution in advocacy by creating optimal regulatory policy guidelines to strengthen different verticals of biotechnology in India is very significant with policy reports like Dr Mashelkar committee report on recombinant products or Prof Ms Swaminathan task force on application of agricultural biotechnology. We also gave guidelines for the 12th five year plan and recommended the planning commission on various policy frame work. ABLE's flagship event, Biotechnology Entrepreneurs Students Team (BEST), in collaboration with India's department of biotechnology (DBT) has acted as a catalyst for launching six new companies by hard core research Students.
A report by ABLE on ‘India biotechnology - The roadmap to the next decade and beyond', captures the emerging global and Indian scenarios in all aspect of biotechnology and recommends several policy interventions which have the potential to catalyze the transformation of the Indian biotechnology sector. Maiden reports by ABLE on ‘Making India a global hub for fermentation-based industries', builds strong foundation to take next level growth in making India a global hub for the fermentation industry. Document by ABLE such as ‘Draft guidelines for human adult stem cells therapy and products in India', help lay down the development, manufacturing, quality control, non clinical requirements of adult stem cell therapy and products. 'A history of biotechnology in India', a book by ABLE, is another very significant achievement, which captures over three decades' journey of this sunrise industry.
ABLE and ABLE-AG also conduct regular networking events focussing on industry-academia collaboration activities. Some of these events included programmes like GENE POLL, Boots Camp Seminar on IPR, curriculum and skill developments programmes with KBITS and BTFS.
What are the major industry-related policy developments that have taken place in the past year in India? Which policies among these were lobbied for by ABLE and why?
Dr Murali: The Indian government has been proactive and supportive in driving the growth of the biotechnology sector by offering grants and tax incentives, and implementing investment-friendly regulations.
FDI up to 100 percent is permitted through the automatic route for the manufacture of drugs and pharmaceuticals. The government has taken several initiatives to promote the growth of the Indian biotechnology sector.
The Indian government has proposed the setting up of the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India. This authority is aimed to be set up as an independent body and legal committee to control the production, research, transport, import, and usage of organisms and products of modern biotechnology. Furthermore, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council has been set up to support innovation and provides infrastructure and services to the Indian biotechnology sector. It will also address sector needs by providing a suitable environment to promote and support high-end innovation.