More than 6,000 delegates from over 50 countries are participating in the three-day meet

The true power, resilience and capability of India's science and technology had been unleashed in the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan said today.

He was speaking after inaugurating the second edition of Global Bio-India-2021 in New Delhi through virtual mode.

The Government through the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), its Autonomous Institutes and Public Sector Undertakings, Department of Health Research (DHR), DST, ICMR, CSIR had been working relentlessly to mitigate the COVID-19 global health crisis, he noted.

According to Vardhan, this had been achieved through the development of diagnostics, vaccines, monoclonals, novel protection equipment, support to Start ups, scaling up of diagnostic capacity and rapid regulatory response.

"A multi-pronged research strategy and action plan was evolved for immediate response including augmentation of COVID -19 testing across the country as well as for long-term preparedness to tackle the COVID-19 infection”, he pointed out.

Vardhan also commended DBT-BIRAC for supporting over 3,500 technology-driven Entrepreneurs, Startups and SMEs, and building up a network of 55 Bio-incubators with more than 5,50,000+ sq.ft of incubation space.

“These initiatives have helped innovators to create a pool of intellectual wealth (260+ IP filed) and have supported the launch of 200+ products and technologies in the market”, he said.

Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman, who joined online as a Special Guest, lauded DBT for its tireless efforts for nurturing Biotechnology and pointed out that the Bio-economy had grown to a scale of 70 Billion USD.

Referring to the efforts of the Biotech sector in the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic by delivering diagnostics, vaccines and other solutions in an unprecedented timeline, she said, “This response is the way to go towards AtmaNibharta being advocated by the Prime Minister”.

The Finance Minister also highlighted the Budgetary support to R&D and Innovation ecosystem in the country in line with the “Atmanirbhar” vision.

More than 6,000 delegates from over 50 countries are participating in the three-day meet. It has 24 knowledge sessions across different segments, including India's response to COVID-19. The theme for this year's conference is “Transforming lives” with the tagline “Biosciences to Bio-economy”.

It is worth noting that the Biotechnology sector has emerged as an integral part of the Indian economy over the past few decades.

Pointing out that the Government of India was playing a transformative and catalytic role in building a USD 150 billion bio-economy by 2025, the ministry said the sector is recognized as one of the key drivers for India to achieve its USD 5 trillion target.

The event is being co-organised by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in partnership with industry association Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE) and Invest India.