Experts discuss ways to propel bioeconomy at ‘Innovators Conclave 2017’

Organized by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, the two-day Innovators Conclave & Bio-Innovation Fair brought together nearly 300 innovators and startups, scientists from industry and academia

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The Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan addressing at the inauguration of the BIRAC Innovators Conclave and Bio-Innovation Fair, in New Delhi on September 22, 2017. The Minister of State for Science & Technology, Y S Chowdary, the Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan and other dignitaries are also seen.

New Delhi: The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a public sector undertaking of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) organized the two-day Innovators Conclave and Bio-Innovation Fair at New Delhi on 21-22 September 2017. The theme for the annual conclave held for the 6th time was ‘Bio-Innovations: Propelling the Bio-economy’.

Inaugurating the conclave, the Chief Guest, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, said, “BIRAC led by the DBT is playing a catalytic role in building a 100 billion-dollar Indian bio-economy. We are now effectively leveraging the research and entrepreneurial capabilities of this sector to address the needs of our people by creating affordable products that have the potential to change lives and catapult India in to a brighter future. Our Government is focused on making India a global hub for innovation and BIRAC is playing a crucial role in shaping the biotech innovation ecosystem of India.”

The Guest of Honour, Mr YS Chowdary, MoS, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences said, “Over the last 5 years, a foundation has been laid for making India a global leader in biotechnology research and development. We are ensuring that our innovators and indigenous products receive the encouragement and support to make their mark on the international biotech stage. We are very proud of the impact that BIRAC has generated in such a short span and this Innovation Conclave is a testament to it.”

The Conclave brought together nearly 300 innovators and startups, scientists from industry and academia, public and private sector, policymakers, and national and international organisations.

As per BIRAC, it has provided financial and mentoring support to more than 500 companies, and nearly 500 young entrepreneurs and startups. BIRAC’s partnership network includes more than 15 implementing agencies both national and international, nearly 700 national experts from academia, industry, public and private research laboratories, donor agencies and other government departments that can contribute towards building the innovation ecosystem of India.

Dr K VijayRaghavan, Secretary, DBT and Chairman, BIRAC during the event said, “The country’s biotech startup landscape has shown immense growth over the last five years. BIRAC was created to bridge the space between policy, industry and academia in the biotech sector and bring all stakeholders together on one platform. Our impact on the biotech innovation landscape is clearly visible.”

Dr Harsh Vardhan presented the awards, at the inauguration of the BIRAC Innovators Conclave and Bio-Innovation Fair along with Y S Chowdary. The Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan and other dignitaries are also seen.
Dr Harsh Vardhan and Y S Chowdary presented the awards at the inauguration of the BIRAC Innovators Conclave and Bio-Innovation Fair.

The conclave was host to a bio-innovation fair and an innovation market place and featured a number of key panel discussions including “The Startup Conversation: Gaps, Opportunities and the way forward” featuring venture capitalists and angel investors and a discussion on “Pathways to create impact through Biotech Innovations to the power of Infinity” featuring decision-makers and experts. The conclave ended with the bio-innovation fair awards. The bio-innovation fair played host to more than 65 innovations supported under various initiatives of DBT and BIRAC.

Dr Renu Swarup, Senior Advisor, DBT and Managing Director, BIRAC said, “BIRAC has transformed the biotech innovation ecosystem in the country. Our investments in the Indian innovation ecosystem are bearing fruit and our innovations are now showing real impact and producing tangible benefits for society. This Innovation Fair is the perfect occasion for us to showcase what our up and coming investigators are working on and how they hope to transform India. This fair also gives us the opportunity to showcase the potential for scale-up of these innovations to relevant stakeholders and decision-makers.”

BIRAC has supported 25 Bio-incubators and 2 Regional Centres for Entrepreneurship development. The support for innovation and startups has today resulted in more than 100 technologies and products at different stages of commercialisation.

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