India drives biotech innovation


The government of India has implemented several funding initiatives to strengthen the growth of biotech sector in the country. All these efforts are aimed at driving innovation in biotech R&D. An overview on major government funding initiatives
Several government funding agencies offer different types of research grants, fellowships through soft loans or equity, to conduct research in various fields of biotechnology, and commercialize indigenous biotech products. There are three major departments under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India; each with its own mandate and funding programs. These include the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR). Besides that Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) play a major role in the promotion of biotechnology in the country.

In 1971, the Government of India set up the DST with the objective of promoting new areas of science and technology; and it plays an important and central role in organizing, coordinating and promoting science and technology in the country. It has many funding programs to foster innovation in R&D in biotechnology.
DBT was established in 1986 to give impetus to the development of modern biology and biotechnology in India. Since then, the DBT has actively promoted and accelerated the pace of biotechnology, by providing adequate infrastructure facilities.

The DBT is responsible for formulating policy and promoting biotechnology in the country. It has been spending around 1,300 crore a year, to support R&D and innovation. India plans to spend around 700 crore in the next two years, to boost production of biopharmaceutical firms, even as the local industry gears up for a global boom. The government is focusing on developing infrastructure for enhancing drug production, using biotechnology applications.

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