Friday, April 25, 2008

Bangalore Helix first phase almost ready

Bangalore Helix first phase almost ready

Staff Reporter

Second phase of the biotechnology park will be completed in two years

— Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

taking initiatives: (From left) Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Ambassador of France Jerome Bonnafont, Nobel Laureate Sidney Altman and Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao at ‘Bangalore Bio 2008’ held in Bangalore on Thursday.

Bangalore: The first phase of Bangalore Helix, Karnataka’s first biotechnology park near Electronics City, has almost been completed, Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao has said.

Speaking at the inauguration of “Bangalore Bio 2008” here on Thursday, he said that the second phase, which would cost $100 million (Rs. 400 crore), would be completed in two years, under a public-private partnership initiative.

The biotechnology sector had achieved 35 per cent growth in the past five years, he said, and added that Karnataka had become a preferred location for foreign investment.

A regulatory body to set standards and lay down guidelines, much on the lines of the American Food and Drug Administration, would be set up in less than two years, said M.K, Bhan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology. The draft legislation was awaiting final approval from the Union Cabinet, he said. The authority would look into agriculture, animal sciences, genetically modified products and biopharmaceuticals, he added. A series of initiatives would be undertaken in the next two years to lay the foundation for life sciences, Dr. Bhan said.

“India will have 16 new Central universities and 13 new Research and Development institutes. These include a stem cell research centre in Bangalore that will be located on the campus of the National Centre for Biological Sciences,” he said. Nobel Laureate Sidney Altman, Sterling Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from Yale University, said that 80 to 90 per cent of new and fruitful ideas came from non-profit agencies and not from the corporate sector.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairperson of Karnataka’s Vision Group on Biotechnology and Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon spoke on the need for collaboration between laboratories and companies across the world for growth in biotechnology.

As many as 650 delegates from 15 countries, and 50,000 visitors attended the eighth session of “Bangalore Bio 2008,” which had as its theme “Global Partnering.”


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