National Biotechnology Development Strategy
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, announced the First National Biotechnology Development Strategy in September 2007. The implementation of Biotech Strategy 2007 has provided an insight into the enormous opportunities. Boundaries between disciplines once considered distant are now beginning to blur and as a consequence of their convergence given birth to newer opportunities and challenges. Thus, it was felt opportune to take a critical look at the Indian biotech sector as it will likely unfold over the next 5-6 years.
In year 2015, DBT announced “The National Biotechnology Development Strategy-2015-2020” (hereinafter referred to as ‘Strategy-II’), which was framed after a wider consultation with stakeholders. Strategy-II would seamlessly build on the earlier Strategy to accelerate the pace of growth of biotechnology sector at par with global requirements.
Key elements of Strategy-II are as follows:
Realizing that biotechnology has the potential to be a globally transformative intellectual enterprise of humankind, our renewed mission is to:
- Provide impetus to fulfillment of the potential for a new understanding of life processes and utilizing the knowledge and tools to the advantage of humanity;
- Launch a major, well-directed effort backed by significant investment for generation of biotech products, processes and technologies to enhance efficiency, productivity, safety and cost-effectiveness of agriculture, food and nutritional security; affordable health and wellness; environmental safety; clean energy and biofuel; and bio-manufacturing.
- Empower, scientifically and technologically, India’s incomparable human resource;
- Create a strong infrastructure for research, development and commercialization for a robust bioeconomy;
- Establish India as a world class bio-manufacturing hub for developing and developed markets.
Guiding Principles that Will Drive the Strategy:
Consultations with stakeholders have identified the following 10 guiding principles that shall drive the renewed mission through Strategy-II.
- Building a Skilled Workforce and Leadership
- Revitalizing the Knowledge Environment at par with the Growing Bio-economy
- Enhance Research Opportunities in Basic, Disciplinary and Inter-disciplinary Sciences
- Encourage Use-inspired Discovery Research
- Focus on Biotechnology Tools for Inclusive Development
- Commercialization of Technology – Nurturing Innovation, Translational Capacity and Entrepreneurship
- Biotechnology and Society – Ensuring a Transparent, Efficient and Globally Best Regulatory System and Communication Strategy
- Biotechnology Cooperation – Fostering Global and National Alliances
- Strengthen Institutional Capacity with Redesigned Governance Models
- Create a Matrix of Measurement of Processes as well as Outcome
The Department has identified following sectors to accelerate the pace of growth of biotechnology sector at par with global requirements.
- Human Resource
- Building Knowledge Environment
- Research Opportunities: human genome research, vaccines, infectious & chronic disease biology, stem cells & regenerative medicine, basic research, translational research, human developmental and disease biology – maternal & child health, bioengineering and bio-design
- Agriculture, Animal Heath and productivity
- Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
- Food fortification and biofortification
- Bioprospecting, value-added biomass & products
- Marine biotechnology & biodiversity
- Environmental management, Clean bio-energy
- Nurturing Entrepreneurship – IP Landscaping, Technology Transfer, Incubators, Entrepreneurship, SME Support Systems
- Biotechnology and society
- Biotechnology Cooperation
Major initiatives of the National Biotechnology Development Strategy 2015-2020:
- Launch four major missions in healthcare, food and nutrition, clean energy and education
- Create a technology development and translation network across India with global partnership, including 5 new clusters, 40 biotech incubators, 150 TTOs, and 20 bio-connect centres
- Ensure strategic and focused investment in building the human capital by setting up a Life Sciences and Biotechnology Education Council