Gujarat is laying stress on biotechnology after seeing states like Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh reap benefits of investing in the sector. Its government is now working to persuade investors to its Biotech Park at Savli in Vadodara. The move is in sync with the bi-annual Vibrant Gujarat 2017 event to be held from January 10-13.
With the presence of over 180 biotechnology companies, Gujarat has established itself as one of the top five biotechnology hubs in India, stated Dhananjay Trivedi, secretary, department of science & technology, government of Gujarat.
The top five hubs for biotech are Karnataka Maharashtra specifically Mumbai and Pune, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The state is giving a push to biotechnology as a sector for promotion at the Vibrant Gujarat 2017 to be held at Gandhinagar. The eighth edition will draw attention to the fact about Gujarat’s prowess as a manufacturing hub in the country and bring the capability of biotechnology to the fore.
“This has been possible due to the presence of excellent physical and social infrastructure in the form of biotech parks, prominent academic institutions and clinical research organizations. Government of Gujarat has taken multiple initiatives to promote growth of biotech industry such as setting up a bio-incubator at Savli, technology facilitation cell, structured capacity building programmes, Gujarat Biotech Venture Fund etc.,” noted Gujarat S&T secretary Trivedi recently.
The Savli biotech park developed by the Gujarat State Biotechnology Mission (GSBTM) and the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) spans over an area of 100 acres. The phase I comprises 38 acres of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and 62 acres of non-SEZ area is now well developed with the basic infrastructure. The officials stated that the park would address the biotech industry’s need for specialized infrastructure. An area of 17.5 acre is earmarked for the Biotech Incubator and Common Equipment Library facilities and various laboratories.
“Adequate thrust has been given to promoting research and development through initiatives such as Gujarat Genomics Initiative, Marine Bio-resource Centre, Biodiversity Gene Bank among others. Going forward, biotechnology sector will remain a thrust area for Gujarat with the aim of making Gujarat the largest and most preferred biotechnology destination for investors,” he added.
Out of the total 1,797 Department of Scientific & Industrial Research recognized biotech companies in India, more than 10 per cent are in Gujarat. At least 50 per cent of the biotech companies in the state are located in and around Ahmedabad followed by 20 per cent companies in Vadodara region making them the major clusters of biotechnology industries, according to Gujarat’s department of Science & Technology.
Presence of a large number of international and domestic biotechnology companies, supplemented by biotech parks, academic institutions and clinical research organizations give it the much-needed impetus. Although a large chunk of companies are in the agricultural biotechnology segment, the contribution of the bio-pharma and bio-services is significant, stated DST.