Empowering and Enabling the Biotech Innovation Ecosystem for affordable product development
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a Section 25 ‘Not-for-Profit Company’ of Government of India, that is registered under Indian Companies Act 1956, and has been set up as Department of Biotechnology’s interface agency, which serves as a single window for the emerging biotech industries. BIRAC is guided by an Independent Board of Directors comprising senior professionals, academicians, policy makers and industrialists.
As a Government of India enterprise, it endeavours to bring professionalism, transparency and efficiency into its functioning while providing support to catalyse the transformation of the emerging Indian bio-economy.
BIRAC’s core mission is to work as a Development Agency in the field of biotechnology which addresses the national needs of health and food security problems through bottom up competitive grant approach or through top down product development programmes. To achieve this, BIRAC would be working in partnership with private, public and international groups. The organisation will have diverse teams and still affirm operational reciprocity.
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) celebrated its one year of Incorporation here in new Delhi. Union Minister of Science & Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences reiterated that innovative research is the key to achieving affordable product development. Potential of Bio technology sector is tremendous and the vision of department of Biotechnology and the Biotech Industry is to achieve a size of US$100b by 2025.
India’s Biotechnology sector has grown steadily over the last decade from US$500m in 2003 to US$4b in 2011-12. Today Indian Biotech stands 4th in term of volume and 13th in terms of value, holding 2% of global biotech industry share. Ranked 3rd in the Asia- Pacific region after Japan and Korea, Biotech Industry in India has registered a CAGR of 14.75% during the last 5 years. He also highlighted the important role to be played by BIRAC in catalysing this growth through its mandate of empowering and enabling the biotech innovation ecosystem for affordable products development. BIRAC is a new industry – academia interface, a unique organisation set up by the Government, the first of its kind with a focussed vision of enhancing strategic research and innovation capabilities of the Indian Biotech Industry, particularly start-ups and SME’s for creation of affordable products addressing the needs of largest sector of society.
DBT in Special Address also enumerated the key strategies of BIRAC which emphasise on the need to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in all places of research and promote affordable innovation in key social sectors.
DBT traced the journey of BIRAC and highlighted some key initiative taken during the last one year which include, launch of the Ignition Grant, signing of over 100 public private partnership research agreements, supporting nearly 50 industry – academia partnership collaborations and technology acquisition for nutritional crop improvement.
The Grand Challenge Meet over the next two days will focus on two major national unmet needs – securing maternal and child health and improved agriculture for nutrition. The Meet will discuss the priorities, new policy interventions and strategies to meet this goal and the specific role which BIRAC can play for delivering the solutions.