Updated on 20 May 2013
In a major departure from normal funding mechanisms, it was decided that up to 30 percent of DBT's budget would be invested in public-private partnership schemes by the end of the 11th Plan. This was mainly to promote innovation, pre-proof-of-concept research, accelerated technology and product development in biotechnologies related to agriculture, human health, animal productivity, biomanufacturing and environment.
Major industry partnership schemes were launched to nurture and promote discovery and innovation research in biotech industry, including the Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI) and Biotechnology Industry Partnership Program (BIPP). The setting up of BIRAC as a not-for-profit, public sector company of DBT has ushered in a new revolution of innovation research.
Over the last four-to-five, the biotechnology sector has witnessed a dramatic change. The involvement of the academia with the industry has increased multiple folds and the level of innovation research has improved with this involvement. The entire sector, from early start-ups to entrepreneurs to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large companies are all working to achieve a common goal of new and novel product and processes development to enable growth of the biotech sector, not only in the domestic market but also globally.
The various financing options available for start-ups such as Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) and the availability of incubation space and the associated mentoring support are making this sector attractive. We now see more students and scientists from research institutes and industry setting up their own enterprises and working to convert their novel idea into a business models.
With continued efforts to improve the infrastructure, trained human resources, research capacities and with the appropriate ecosystem in place, the country is today well poised to achieve the ambitious target of $100 billion by 2025.