12 July 2017 | Interviews
The Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC), a centre for nurturing and promoting startups in Life Sciences, has been set up on a 10-acre campus next to Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB) and Centre for Human Genetics (CHG) within Bangalore Helix Park. Bangalore In an interaction with BioSpectrum India Dr Jitendra Kumar, Managing Director of BBC spoke about the achievements of the Centre and his plans for the centre.
What is the status of Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC)?
The centre is nestled between thriving academic institutions like Institute of Biotechnology and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB), Centre for Human Genetics (CHG) and the upcoming area for anchoring big companies/MNC. Thus, the centre provides a crucial link between Academia and Industry within the developing Bio- cluster- the Bangalore Helix Biotech Park. The BBC acts like a plug-and-play modular incubation centre with Incubation suites ranging in size from 200-600 sq ft with a flexible option of combining adjoining suites to bigger sized suites. The boasts of the state of art equipment facility and is setting up Med Tech Accelerator (MTC) with the help of BIRAC funding. The Centre has attracted many potentially high impact start ups within short time.
What support and services do startups receive in your incubator?
The centre is fully equipped with facilities such as Proteomics and Small Molecule Analysis Labs, Microbiology Labs, Molecular Biology Labs, Cell Culture Labs, FACS, Confocal Microscopy Facility, Histology Lab, Plant Tissue Culture Lab etc. by having equipment’s such as Mini Centrifuge, Magnetic Stirrer, Speed Rollers, Rotators, Vortex mixers, Rockers, Shakers and Water bath.
In addition to providing space to companies, the centre has been regularly organizing specialized workshops such as Intellectual Property Rights, Business plan writing, Companies Act etc. The Centre is actively involved with venture capitalists to share their experience with the startups and for possible venture funding possibilities.
Centre is keen on Providing Branding, Funding and Networking Support, In addition to the satte of art Infrastructure such as Uninterrupted Power Supply with UPS and DG backups and access to Central and Common Equipment facility to Incubatees. Besides The centre has sponsored delegation consisting representatives of startup companies to Bio Korea 2016 and Bio- USA 2016.
To create a strong startup ecosystem, with ideation at the bottom of the pyramid, the state government has launched Idea2PoC (Idea to Proof of Concept) scheme under its Startup Policy 2015.
The scheme enables technology innovators and entrepreneurs to pursue a promising technology idea, and validate proof of concept (PoC). BBC is an implementing partner for this scheme. It is expected that innovators and entrepreneurs advance an idea closer to commercialization in the form of creation of start-up companies, technology licenses or become venture ready.
Any target you have set for this year in increasing the number of Incubatees.?
We have already invited applications from entrepreneurs for Incubation at BBC. Soon we will be screening all these applications and before end of this year we expect more than 90% occupancy. In addition MTA is expected to start functioning and mentorship scheme will be initiated.
What kind of support BBC will offer to the big companies?
The common equipment facility can be used by Big Companies on pay per use basis. Also we intend to connect start ups to Big Companies to provide seam less flow of value chain. As the start up grows we would like to cater to their needs of more space to take upscaling activities to the next level (from pilot to manufacturing). Hope we will start these activities in next couple of years.
What is Idea2PoC scheme? How Idea2PoC is benefits to start up, Entrepreneurs & Individual?
This scheme is designed to facilitate proof of concept studies proposed by Innovators through grants. The scheme helps identify, mentor, and fund enterprising biotech startups in Karnataka that can create a deep social impact on the lives of the people of the state. The state not only supports startups with funding, but also becomes a partner in their journey. However, the state does not ask for any equity.
Under this scheme, the government has selected 26 startups and a sum of Rs 10.70 crore will be disbursed as grants to these innovative biotech startups to promote and nurture ideas that can bring about change in society.
What are your plans for BBC to take it to the next level?
We are looking at creating Mega Bio Cluster in Karnataka. The state government is looking at setting up many incubation centers across the state. Hence it becomes important to network and collaborate with each centre.
In this regard, we already held workshop bringing government officials, academicians, entrepreneurs, scientists and representatives from various Bio-clusters in Karnataka on one platform. Several discussions and brain storming sessions were carried out to uncover the gaps that are impeding the development of the Mega Bio Cluster in Karnataka and try to find solutions to cover them and strive to create the same.
Besides, we are planning to set up Med Tech Incubation Centre, for which we received generous grant funding from BIRAC. Creation of Med tech Accelerator will add the Med Device/Diagnostics part of healthcare domain to already existing Pharma/ Biopharma Infrastructure component.