COVID-19: BIRAC keeps its 8th Foundation Day a low key affair this year

Amid the unprecedented situation arising out of coronavirus pandemic globally, the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) has decided to hold its 8th Foundation Day at the organizational level only

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(File Photo) A glance at one of the previous BIRAC Foundation Day event!

New Delhi: This March 20, the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) will complete 8 years of its journey towards enabling and empowering the biotech innovation ecosystem of the country. The theme of BIRAC’s 8th Foundation Day for the year 2020 is “Scaling Biotech Innovations for Global Impact”.

Like each year, the event was expected to happen at a bigger level with participation by bioscience sector stakeholders from across India and abroad. However, the size of the event was drastically scaled-down at the last moment amid unprecedented situations arising out of coronavirus pandemic globally.

Earlier scheduled to be held at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, New Delhi, the event will now be held only at the organizational level.

While most of the relevant stakeholders had received invites, these were withdrawn as the event drew closer, keeping in view the advisories issued by the union government. “As you are aware, there are advisories against travel due to COVID-19 risk. In view of the same, the 8th BIRAC Foundation Day will be held at the organization level only. We regret the inconvenience caused and hope to see you at the next BIRAC event,” wrote Dr Mohd Aslam, Managing Director, BIRAC in his email to the bioscience stakeholders.

As seen in previous years, this time too more than 300 scientists, entrepreneurs, industry experts, and policymakers were expected at the event not only from the country but also from the International innovation communities. The meeting would have included the discussions on the impact the biotech ecosystem is making on the Indian economy and the opportunities which exist for the Indian biotech sector as a global player.

Established under the aegis of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, BIARC as a Public Sector Undertaking, has the mandate to foster and promote innovation research in biotech industries especially start-ups and SMEs and act as an interface between Industry and Academia.

During these eight years, BIRAC’s efforts have been focused on enhancing the innovation research capacities within the biotech industries and encouraging young entrepreneurs to take their innovative ideas towards scale-up and commercialization, so as to meet the country’s challenge for affordable product development for masses without undermining the quality.

With over 1650 biotech industries, academia, start-ups, and entrepreneurs supported, BIRAC has helped close to 150 products and technologies in getting commercialized or at an advanced stage for commercialization. Further through BIRAC’s support, more than 200 IPs have been generated till now.