India`s flagship biotech association, Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE)
, on the occasion of its tenth anniversary at a gala event in Delhi laid down promising steps to catalyze the growth of the biotechnology sector to grow to USD 100 Billion. To mark the tenth anniversary of ABLE, A HISTORY of BIOTECHNOLOGY in INDIA
© was released at the event in Delhi. The key dignitaries at the event included Shri Sharad Pawar, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, Shri Shashi Tharoor, Mr N Vaghul and Mr G Steven Burrill. Dr PM Murali, President – ABLE gave the welcome address and Ms Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, EC Member – ABLE and CMD, Biocon presented on the Indian Biotechnology through the decade.
The key highlights
where ABLE has played a role in assisting the government include –
-- Development of a road map for the next decade done in association with the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. This lays the foundation for the industry to grow to USD 100 Billion.
-- Road map for Biosimilars done in association with Department of Pharmaceutical, Government of India. Way to a new Bio-economy outlined.
-- Biosimilars guidelines successfully launched by the government last year to guide the growth of this industry.
Speaking on the occasion on BIOTECHNOLOGY TO ENSURE FOOD SECURITY & RURAL PROSPERITY, Minister of Agriculture & Cooperation, Sharad Pawar said, “I am of the opinion that the distinction for-GM and anti-GM is unnecessary. Let the science tell us what is good and what is not. And for that we must allow our scientists to conduct the trials by observing strictest possible safety measures. Stating that biotechnological tools possess enough potential to transform agriculture and agro-based industry, he said the country need to ally fear of relevance and safety of such technology.”
It is projected that by 2030 India will require a minimum of 304 million tonnes of foodgrains, 175 million tonnes of vegetables, 96 million tonnes of fruits, 170 million tonnes of milk and 21 million tonnes of meat, eggs and fish. Modern science such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, remote sensing offer opportunities to enhance genetic potential of crops, improve input-use efficiency, reduce production and transaction costs and improve sustainable use of natural resources. The scientists should get full freedom for their research to ensure higher and sustainable crop productivity, better environment and remunerative agriculture.
Speaking on the same occasion Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor
said Indian biotech industry currently employs 50000 people. To meet the growing demand, we need to focus on training more professionals. He was speaking on HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT FOR RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT.
Some of the challenges
that the industry is currently facing are the fuzzy regulatory environment that is currently delaying progress in this area. Healthcare sector is the most regulated in the world and delaying development further would hamper the progress of bringing out vital new generation medicines or health care products. Also the government should come out with an affordable health policy that clearly states how IP of innovative companies are protected. This will cast away any doubts foreign companies have in setting research and development facilities in India.
There are a range of issues that requires attention in order to make this a $100 billion industry. Although opportunities are available, connections and communication is required for bridging the gap. BIOINVEST:
the series of panel discussions held the next day was a group discussion of the industry and governments’ celeberated minds to discuss key issues on making India the leading Bio economic super power in the coming years.
Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises - ABLE
is a not-for-profit pan-India forum that represents the Indian Biotechnology Sector. It was launched in April 2003, after industry leaders felt a need to form an exclusive forum to represent the Indian Biotechnology Sector. It has over 270 members from all across India representing all verticals of the sector like agribiotech, bio-pharma, industrial biotech, bioinformatics, investment banks and Venture Capital firms, leading research and academic institutes and law firms and equipment suppliers.
The primary focus of ABLE is to accelerate the pace of growth of the Biotechnology sector in India, through partnering with the Government in their biotechnology initiatives to deliver optimal policies and create a positive regulatory environment, encouraging entrepreneurship and investment in the sector, providing a platform for domestic and overseas companies to explore collaboration and partnerships, forging stronger links between academia and industry and showcasing the strengths of the Indian biotech sector.
In the past decade ABLE has played a significant role in catalyzing the growth of the biotech industry by facilitating advocacy, collaboration, investment and encouraging entrepreneurship. Some of the milestones that ABLE has achieved are those related to Dr. Mashelkar Committee report on recombinant product, Innovative programs of the DST viz. BIRAP and BIPP , Vision document for the Indian Biotech industry, Roadmap for the biotech Industry, building the Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Students team (BEST) and North East Life Science Entrepreneurship (NEST) programs, the BioInvest Program and the International promotion of Brand India through organizing the India Pavilion in various BIO Shows.
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(L-R): Dr. PM Murali, President, ABLE; Ms. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director, Biocon; Shri Sharad Pawar, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India; Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; Mr. Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Government of India; Mr. Narayanan Vaghul, Former Chairman, ICICI Bank and Mr. G Steven Burrill, Chief Executive Officer, Burrill & Company at the tenth anniversary of ABLE in Delhi