6th Innovators Conclave

September 25, 2017: Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a public sector undertaking of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) organized a two-day Innovators Conclave & Bio-Innovation Fair at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The theme for the conclave was BIRAC Bio-Innovations: Propelling the Bio-economy. The conclave was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, and attended by Guest of Honour, Mr. YS Chowdary, Hon’ble Minister of State (MoS), Science & Technology and Earth Sciences. The Conclave brought together nearly 300 innovators and startups, scientists from industry and academia, public and private sector, policy makers, and national and international organisations.

Inaugurating the conclave,the Chief Guest, Dr. HarshVardhan, Hon’ble Union Minister for Science & Technology and EarthSciences, said, “BIRAC ledby the DBT is playing a catalytic role in building a 100 billion-dollar Indianbio-economy. We are now effectively leveraging the research and entrepreneurialcapabilities of this sector to address the needs of our people by creatingaffordable products that have the potential to change lives and catapult Indiain to a brighter future. Our Government is focused on making India a global hubfor innovation and BIRAC is playing a crucial role in shaping the biotechinnovation ecosystem of India.”

 The Guest of Honour, Shri YS Chowdary,Hon’ble MoS, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences said, “Over the last 5 years, a foundation has beenlaid for making India a global leader in biotechnology research anddevelopment. We are ensuring that our innovators and indigenous productsreceive the encouragement and support to make their mark on the internationalbiotech stage. We are very proud of the impact that BIRAC has generated in sucha short span and this Innovation Conclave is testament to it.” 

BIRAC has provided financial and mentoring support tomore than 500 companies, and nearly 500 young entrepreneurs and startups.BIRAC’s partnership network includes more than 15 implementing agencies bothnational and international, nearly 700 national experts from academia,industry, public and private research laboratories, donor agencies and othergovernment departments that can contribute towards building the innovationecosystem of India. 

Prof. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, DBT andChairman, BIRAC during the event said, “The country’s biotech startuplandscape has shown immense growth over the last five years. BIRAC was createdto bridge the space between policy, industry and academia in the biotech sectorand bring all stakeholders together on one platform. Our impact on the biotechinnovation landscape is clearly visible.” 

The conclavewas host to a bio-innovation fair and an innovation market place and featured anumber of key panel discussions including “The Startup Conversation: Gaps, Opportunities and the way forward” featuringventure capitalists and angel investors and a discussion on “Pathways to create impact through BiotechInnovations to the power of Infinity” featuring decision-makers andexperts. The conclave ended with the bio-innovation fair awards. Thebio-innovation fair played host to more than 65 innovations supported undervarious initiatives of DBT and BIRAC. 

Dr.Renu Swarup, Senior Advisor, DBT and Managing Director, BIRAC said, “BIRAC hastransformed the biotech innovation ecosystem in the country. Our investments inthe Indian innovation ecosystem are bearing fruit and our innovations are nowshowing real impact and producing tangible benefits for society. ThisInnovation Fair is the perfect occasion for us to showcase what our up andcoming investigators are working on and how they hope to transform India. Thisfair also gives us the opportunity to showcase the potential for scale-up ofthese innovations to relevant stakeholders and decision-makers.” 

BIRAC playsan important role in the Startup India Action Plan, the Government of India’sflagship program to boost entrepreneurship in the country. Innovations backedby the DBT and BIRAC have also heavily contributed to flagship programs of thegovernment such as Make in India and Swachh Bharat. BIRAC has supported25 Bio-incubators and 2 Regional Centres for Entrepreneurshipdevelopment. The support for innovation and startups has today resulted inmore than 100 technologies and products at different stages ofcommercialisation.


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