Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has said that India is poised to be among top 5 Global Bio-manufacturing Hubs by 2025.
The Science & Technology Minister said, Biotechnology has the potential to become an important instrument of global trade and bio-economy contributing to India's overall economy.
The Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, said this while launching the website of "Global Bio-India – 2023", a mega International congregation on Biotechnology, to be held at Pragati Maidan from 4-6 December, 2023.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that our Bioeconomy witnessed double digit growth rate year-on-year in the last 9 years under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. India is now being rated among top 12 biotechnology destinations in the world, he said.
“In 2014, India’s bioeconomy stood at just about $10 Billion, today it is $80 Billion. In just 8/9 years it has gone (up) 8 times and we look forward to having $300 Billion by 2030,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Bioeconomy is going to be a hugely lucrative source of livelihood in the times to come.
“Biotechnology sector in India has evolved over the last three decades and has made significant contributions to various sectors including Health, Medicine, Agriculture, Industry and Bio-Informatics,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Biotech StartUps are crucial to India’s future economy.
“Biotech Startups have grown 100 times in the last 8 years from 52 odd startups in 2014 to 6,300 plus presently. Every day 3 Biotech Start-Ups are getting incorporated in India with aspirations to provide viable technological solutions,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Biotechnology is the technology of tomorrow as IT has already reached its saturation point.
“India has a huge wealth of bioresources, an unsaturated resource waiting to be harnessed and an advantage in Biotechnology especially due to the vast biodiversity and the unique bioresources in the Himalayas. Then there is the 7,500 kms long coastline and last year we launched the Samudrayaan which is going to dig the biodiversity beneath the seas,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Biotechnology Startups is a different genre combining new research of Biology and Manufacturing, viz processing of living systems such as micro-organisms, self-cultures etc.
“Biotechnology provides you with a milieu, an environment which will be Clean, Greener and more compatible with your well-being, then your stake gets linked. And as time passes by, it also generates lucrative sources of livelihood, also the alternatives to the petrochemicals-based manufacturing, like bio-based products like food additives, bioengineering ties, animal feed products,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, today there are over 3,000 Agritech Startups and are very successful in areas like Aroma Mission and Lavender cultivation.
“About 4,000 people are engaged with Lavender cultivation and earning lakhs of rupees, quite a few of them do not have high qualifications, but are very innovative,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Department of Biotechnology has been supporting R&D innovations in Advanced Biofuels and ‘Waste to Energy’ technologies.
“In the future, garbage will be reduced to Zero. Everything will be recycled,” he said, citing the recycling technology developed by the Dehra Dun based Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP) by designing a van that collects waste cooking oil and converts it into biofuel.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Biotechnology has emerged as a trending career option among the youth.
“Tools like Synthetic Technology, Genome Editing, Microbial Bioresources and Metabolic Engineering are now talked about more often,” he said.
Citing Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, Dr Jitendra Singh said, India’s vaccine strategy, Mission Suraksha, brought together pharma, industry and academia in a partnership with an eye on meeting the current as well as possible future challenges.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the twin success stories of Chandrayaan-3 and DNA vaccine have placed India’s scientific fraternity at a global level, where even the developed countries are taking cues from us.
“Previously India was hardly known for any Preventive Healthcare but today India is recognised as the vaccination hub of the world,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, PM Modi has created the milieu for entrepreneurship and a thriving industry.
“We had everything, but we were possibly waiting for an enabling milieu to happen. And that enabling milieu had to come from the level of the policy makers, from the level of the political leadership and that happened after Prime Minister Modi came in,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, PM Modi has stressed that the age of working in silos is over and that we have to work together with the private sector to unlock the vast potential of our unexploited resources. The Anusandhan National Research Foundation (NRF), envisaged by PM Modi, will spur R&D and position India as a global R&D leader in next 5 years.
“We have to fulfil global benchmarks, global strategies and global outlook,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said NRF will have huge non-government resources, almost 70% of the NRF budget of Rs.50,000 crore over five years, is envisaged to come from non-governmental sources.
“Anusandhan NRF will combine scientific and technological innovation and the wisdom of Humanities and Social Sciences,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said there will be Industry linkages right from the beginning, creating an optimum ecosystem for innovation.
“It will be a collective effort from all the stakeholders including Central/ State Government, Academia, Industry, Startups, Investors, Philanthropic organizations,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh called for wider synergy among all streams of professions for achieving the "Amrit Kaal" goals over the next 25 years. He said the dictum is: “The whole of Science, plus the whole of Government, plus the whole of the Nation.”
In his address, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Dr Rajesh Gokhale said, the DBT and its PSU, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), are supporting the manufacture of biologicals and fostering and nurturing the startup innovation ecosystem.