Centre firmly behind each innovator, entrepeneur, says Harsh Vardhan at 5th BIRAC meet

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept.23 (ANI): Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, presiding over the inaugural ceremony of the two-day Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a public sector undertaking under the aegis of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), has said that the Centre is firmly behind each innovator and entrepeneur, and supports their ideas, and through them, find solutions to the challenges faced by society. The BIRAC Innovator's Meet is an industry-academia interface facilitating national and global partners, providing innovators access to risk capital through targeted funding, technology transfer, IP management and handholding schemes. This would help in bringing innovation excellence to Indian biotech firms, make them globally competitive and facilitate novel, high quality and cost-effective affordable technologies. In the National Biotechnology Development Strategy, 2015-2020, Bio-incubators would be scaled up to 50 and 5 new Bio-clusters would be formed. With over 500 Start ups and SMEs, 100 Entrepreneurs being a part of this ecosystem, BIRAC has nearly 50 products in different stages of development and commercialization. The target is scaling this 10 times in the next 5 years through initiatives like BIG (Biotechnology Ignition Grant), SITARE (supporting grass root student innovators), eYUVA (creating entrepreneurial culture in universities), BioNEST (nurturing entrepreneurship by establishing Bio Incubation Centres), tax exemptions to biotech startups in Budget 2015-16, inter alia. Dr. Harsh Vardhan quoted Swami Vivekananda, "Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea", and inspired a distinguished gathering of young innovators to follow their ideas and take risks to achieve path breaking innovations, research and development. He recounted extraordinary achievements in the field of Biotechnology in India like affordable rotavirus vaccine, 2G ethanol from biomass inter alia, and inspired the young innovators present. Minister of State Y.S. Chowdary highlighted the importance of "Right Investment at the Right Time, Right Place and Age in bringing a quantum jump in the field of innovation in Life Sciences." There is a need to look beyond individual profits and losses and concentrate on Network Management to create an ecosystem for need-based research and original innovation in the country, he added. The Keynote address was delivered by Yigal Elrich, Founder, Chairman and Managing Partner, Yozma Group, Israel. He, as the founding father of the Israeli venture capital industry and one of the most prominent figures in the Israeli high-tech arena, interacted with the investors and other participants present during the event. He expressed that India is soon going to become the Biotech hub of the World. During the inaugural ceremony on THursday, Dr. Harsh Vardhan also presented the BIRAC Innovator Awards for the best innovations from all over the country. Dignitaries also released compendiums of BIRAC's activities, its success stories and the 'Make in India for Biotech - the way forward' report during the event. (ANI)