Can India Create 50k Biotech Startups?

31 May 2023 | Features

The new growth in biotech startups requires either scaling of existing bioincubation space or creating news ones. Following up on this, BioSpectrum announces the results of Bioincubator Survey for FY 21-22.

2021 was a landmark year for the startup ecosystem when for the first time biotech industry in India recorded over 1000 new startup registrations in a single year, as per the Bioeconomy Report 2022. Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of Science & Technology, Government of India, has revealed that the number of Biotech startups in the country has increased from 50 to over 5,000 in the last 8 years, because of the support and enabling environment provided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014. It is expected to cross the figure of 10,000 by 2025, he said.

Currently, there are around 95,000 startups listed on Startup India, out of which there are more than 5000 biotech startups. According to Dr Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India has the potential to move from 5000 to 50,000 in the biotech startup sector.

This clearly indicates the necessity of having a world-class bioincubation space in our country that can provide cutting-edge access for propelling innovative ideas towards productisation. The new growth in biotech startups requires either scaling of existing bioincubation space in current biotech hubs or creation of new bioincubation space at nascent hubs that have the potential to become bigger biotech hubs in the next decade. 

Further, the creation of new bioincubation space should address  the differential needs of the varied nature of biotech startups- especially medtech, biopharma, agri-biotech and biomaterials.

Over the years, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, has established many biotechnology parks and bio-incubators across the country to turn research into products and services by providing necessary infrastructure support.

Down south, one of the earliest incubators was established in Hyderabad in 1999 as a not-for-profit research park- IKP Knowledge Park. Hyderabad is also home to a bio-incubator facility at the University of Hyderabad. Likewise, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad has established the Atal Incubation Centre (AIC) within its campus. In addition, the first biotech park in South India was established in 2001 in Chennai, as the Golden Jubilee Biotech Park for Women, one-of-a-kind in the country.

Within Karnataka, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), a DBT initiative located within the campus of the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) in Bengaluru, has been garnering appreciation right since its inception in 2010. DBT has also put in liberal support to another Bengaluru-based biotech startup hub Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC). It was started in 2015 by Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology Services (KBITS), Department of IT, BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka.

Moving up to Central India, Pune is home to the largest science business incubator of the country- Venture Center, situated in the CSIR- National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) campus. Joining the league in the West is the Gujarat Government which has established a biotechnology park at the Savli Industrial Estate at Vadodara. On the eastern side, KIIT Technology Business Incubator (KIIT-TBI) has been incorporated as an initiative by the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) with support from the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board in Odisha.

Likewise, there are many more bioincubators and biotech parks supported by the private and public sectors that have been profiled and ranked in this edition, based on their achievements during FY 2021-22.


BioSpectrum Bioincubator Survey results-

Bhubaneshwar-based Private BioIncubator KIIT Technology Business Incubator continues its leadership position in the BioSpectrum BioIncubator Survey as it retains No 1 position in 2021-22 survey followed by Public sector BioIncubator, Bengaluru-based C-CAMP securing
the second rank and Private BioIncubator Entrepreneurship Development Center (Venture Center), Pune at third rank.


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