Thursday, April 21, 2005

Bangalore biotech meet eyes global partnerships

Bangalore biotech meet eyes global partnerships
Indo Asian News Service

Bangalore, April 20 : The fifth edition of Bangalore Bio 2005, touted as the biggest biotech show in South Asia, opens here Friday with focus on global partnerships in the sunrise sector.

The three-day conference-cum-exhibition at the sprawling Bangalore Palace grounds here will showcase trends, opportunities and growth prospects for Indian firms to make their presence felt in the global biotech industry.

The trade event will see delegations and experts from 15 countries and 10 Indian states promoting their competitive strengths and resources to facilitate partnerships, joint ventures and collaborations in bio-pharma as well as bio-agritech sectors.

Among the countries participating in the event are Australia, Canada, Denmark, European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Britain and the US.

Besides the three southern states, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh among others will be reresented in the India Pavilion to attract new biotech firms and fresh investments.

This year's theme 'Bio-partnering for Global Challenges' is in tune with India's agenda to apply biotechnology at the grass-roots level. About 60 leading international and national delegates will discuss various issues such as frontier areas of biotech research, clinical research, new trends in bio-pharma and bio-agritech research.

"The stakeholders will also hold interactive sessions on bio entrepreneurship, bio partnering -- advantage India, bio-informatics -- IT solutions to life sciences, nutraceuticals and global opportunities and the status of IPR-2005," Karnataka biotech vision group chairperson and Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar Shaw told reporters here Wednesday at a preview.

At its plenary sessions, Nobel laureate Sydney Brenner, chairperson of Biomedical Research Council, Singapore, and George Atkinson, science & technology advisor to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will make presentations on the biotech industry's global perspective.

Promoted by the Karnataka government and the state's vision group on biotechnology (BT), the annual event will be inaugurated by union Agriculture Minister Sharad Power in the presence of Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and state Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh.

British High Commissioner Michael Arthur, Exim Bank chief T.C. Venkat Subramanian, European Commission representative Manuel Hallen and leading industry captains and financers will also attend.

According to state IT and BT secretary Shankaralinge Gowda, about 110 biotech companies, including 21 firms from overseas, are participating in the exhibition spread over 9,000 sq. meters, as against 90 firms last year.

"The event will provide an ideal platform for the biotech industry to interact with the talent pool of knowledge workers in the biotech field," Gowda said.

With the union ministry of science and technology coming out with a draft of the national biotech policy (NBT), the organisers have arranged a roundtable meet to discuss its pros and cons in the wake of the patent amendment recently.

Another highlight of the event will be a CEO Conclave where National Advisory Council member and MP Jairam Ramesh will give a talk on 'India in the Global Economy'.

In an interesting sidelight, Bangalore Bio will also see renowned painter M.F. Husain displaying his portraits on science and technology, with special focus on biotech at a sound and light show during the event.


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