Friday, 21 March 2014

BIRAC Celebrates its 2nd Foundation Day

BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) - a Section 25 ‘Not-for-Profit Company’ of Government of India, registered under Indian Companies Act 1956, set up as Department of Biotechnology’s interface agency, which serves as a single window for the emerging biotech industries – hascompleted 2 years of incorporation today  20th March, 2014. These 2 years have been full of energy & activity and we have successfully reached out to a large number of stakeholders during this period, both national and international.

Inaugurating the 2 day celebrations here in New Delhi today Dr. K.Vijayraghavan, Secretary in the Department of Bio-Technology, M/o Science & Technology said now a days BIRAC engages through its network with nearly 300 companies, who have received financial and mentoring support from BIRAC, 10 agencies both national and international who are BIRAC partners for implementing the various activities, nearly 700 national experts from academia, industry, public & private research laboratories and government/ministries department who are involved as experts and resource persons and facilitate the decision making and monitoring of BIRAC activities. During this period, BIRAC has also interacted extensively with a large number of international partners at the government level and also with like minded funding organizations to explore opportunities to build affordable biotech products.

On this occasion a booklet “BIRAC i3” with sub-caption “BIRAC Enabling Transformation “brought out by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India was also released jointly by Dr. Sam Pitroda, Chairman, National Innovation  Council, Dr. K.Vijayraghavan, Secretary in the Department of Bio-Technology, Dr. MK Bhan, Founder Chairman, BIRAC & Former Secretary, DBT and Dr. Renu Swarup, MD, BIRAC & Adviser, DBT.

The Theme for the Foundation Day is “Promoting Partnerships - Innovation Research to Product Development”. The Foundation Day would bring together nearly 250 Scientists from industry and academia, public and private sector, policy makers and national and international organizations. All stakeholders would converge to discuss the priorities for “Making India Globally Competitive in the Biotech Sector”. This would also be an excellent opportunity to explore new partnerships and leverage existing strengths to build the enterprise.
The 1st day proceedings were marked by several sessions  on varied topics like “Setting the Scene: Successful Partnerships from Discovery to Product Development for Delivering Impact”, The BIG Achievers: Powering the Indian Bio-economy-Creating the ecosystem and connecting the dots – Talk on BIRAC Regional Creating the ecosystem and connecting the dots – Talk on BIRAC Regional  Innovation Cluster (BRIC) at IKP, Knowledge Park – Ms. Deepanwita Chattopadhyay , and Navigating Extant and Emerging Components of Successful National & Global Partnership Models.

The sessions focused on plenary talks from leading global experts on how partnerships  are evolving for taking discovery to product development and delivering impact. A Major role of BIRAC  being the planting of  green shoots of the future Indian bioeconomy by helping seed biotech  start ups especially through its Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) as well as several  SMEs through SBIRI & BIPP.  Hence the second session  highlighted  10 BIRAC funded start ups that are at the front end of bio-innovation. BIRAC also works closely with partners for creating the ecosystem. The BIRAC Regional Innovation Cluster is a step in this  direction.
The last session of first day focused on the key theme of Partnerships and discuss how successful partnerships navigate issues regarding technology licensing & sourcing, IP,  infrastructure, cross border regulations.  Perspectives from national & international partners were also  shared.

The speakers included Prof. Mike Ferguson, University of Dundee, UK ;Dr. Chris Wilson, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Dr. Ted Bianco, Wellcome Trust ;Dr. Wendy Taylor, USAID ; Ms. Deepanwita ChattopadhyayDr. Karlee Silver, Grand Challenges Canada; Prof. V Chauhan, ICGEB; Dr. Auli Pere, TEKES Finland; Dr. Shirshendu Mukherjee, Wellcome Trust and Dr. Suresh Jadhav, Serum Institute

Under the BIG Achievers Innovations, 03 minute each  presentations were made by Dr. Dhananjaya Dendukuri, Achira Labs Pvt. Ltd.’ ;Dr. Ashwini Nangia, Crystalin Research Pvt. Ltd. ;Dr. Rajeshwari,  Navya Biologicals Pvt Ltd.  Dr. Tuhin Bhowmick, Pandorum Technologies Pvt. Ltd.  Mr. Sidhant Jena, Jana Care; Mr. Dinesh Bindiganavale, Pradin Technologies Pvt Ltd ; Mr. Dinesh Kumar, Design Innova ; Dr. Uttara Joshi, Optra Systems; Dr. Nitin Kale, NanoSniff Technologies Pvt. Ltd. And  Dr. Vishwas Joshi, Seagull BioSolutions Pvt. Ltd .
The other speakers included Dr. Renu Swarup, MD, BIRAC & Adviser, DBT,  Dr. MK Bhan, Founder Chairman, BIRAC & Former Secretary, DBT, Dr. Sam Pitroda, Chairman, National Innovation  Council and Dr. Satya Prakash Dash. The second day will have more deliberations on newer subjects.

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