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Karnataka steps up investments in biotech and IT with Union govt’s PLI scheme

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Saturday, November 21, 2020, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Karnataka is now working to fast-track investments following the Union government's schemes on production linked incentive (PLI) in biotechnology. The state stands third in the country in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) after Maharashtra and Delhi and is the fourth largest tech cluster globally after the Silicon Valley, Boston and London.

PLI scheme gives companies incentives on incremental sales for products developed locally. It also includes international companies to set up manufacturing units.

Even in COVID-19, the state remains proactive to garner the required investments in biotech. Being the first state to come out with a BT policy, we have put in place systems for ease of doing business by amending the Industry Facilitation Act where for at least two or three years companies need not seek permission from the government but could start operations. Besides, reforms in land and labour along with the formation of an Innovation Authority which is a first of its kind in the world and the  digital economy mission are some of the measures to keep up the investment momentum, said Dr Ramana Reddy, Karnataka’s additional chief secretary, department of electronics, IT, BT and S&T .
According to Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairperson, Vision Group on Biotechnology and executive chairperson, Biocon, industry working with the government has helped to ease much of the regulatory challenges that the biotech sector faces in the country. Even in the area of vaccine preparedness the industries are coming together. The Bangalore Tech Summit is a convergence of technology. This is one state where information technology and biotechnology work together to look at artificial intelligence and big data where life science technologies can focus on innovation of diagnostics, vaccines and therapies.
At a session on Accelerating Innovation, Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO and director, C-CAMP said that biotech innovations are being developed which are technology driven. But these companies need to know how to get these products or technologies to the market. In the absence of this, their potential and application is not realized.

According to Nandita Chandavarkar, consultant, entrepreneurship & head, C-CAMP Start-up Advancement Programme, creating a market or market access for the biotech or medical device products would be a crucial for all innovations that are being developed. It also connects appropriately with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhar Mission to be able to make products or technologies indigenously and deploy them for India and then to the world.

Mayur Shetty, CEO, Blackfrog Technologies noted that accelerating innovation and to sustain its productivity even with the complexities of manufacture, regulatory compliance and access to finance, companies need to make the best of opportunities.

At the session of Atmanirbhar Bharat NBRIC, (National Biomedical Resource Indigenisation Consortium), the speakers highlighted the efforts to drive indigenous innovation focused on developing reagents, diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for COVID 19.


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