New biotech cluster launched in Pune

A year after receiving the sanction of the union government’s biotechnology department, a bio-cluster offering high-end facilities to academia and startups was finally inaugurated at the National Centre for Cell Science

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New Delhi: Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary of Department of Biotechnology inaugurated a new biotech cluster at the National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) in Pune on 23rd August. This is the fourth bio-cluster after Faridabad, Kalyani (West Bengal) and Bengaluru.

The facility was inaugurated a year after receiving the sanction. Called ‘Model Organisms to Human Disease’, it is being jointly implemented by NCCS at the Savitribai Phule Pune University campus and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune. It will offer high-end facilities to academia, researchers and industries once their proposals get the nod by the scientific board of the bio-cluster.

The bio-cluster is expected to receive funding worth INR 120 crore. This facility will serve as an important platform for developing animal models for various infectious diseases.

Speaking at the inaugural event, Dr Renu Swarup mentioned that the University Research Joint Industry Translational (URJIT) clusters are on high agenda of the DBT. She said that the URJIT clusters document will be released in a few weeks.

“When we started thinking on how to connect institutes with startups, we realized that both of them were on two different tangents,” said Dr Swarup while emphasizing that the clusters should be located near universities.