New Delhi, April 27, 2018: Towards strengthening the emerging biotechnology enterprise in India, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology has initiated the Mission programme entitled: Industry-Academia Collaborative Mission for Accelerating Discovery Research to Early Development for Biopharmaceuticals – “Innovate in India (i3) Empowering biotech entrepreneurs & accelerating inclusive innovation”. The National Biopharma Mission is being implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) – a Public Sector Undertaking of Department of Biotechnology (DBT). This Mission of the Department was approved by the Cabinet in May 2017 and formally launched by Hon’ble Minister for Science & Technology on 30th June, 2017.
The Mission has been approved at a total cost of US$250 million for five years with 50% funding through World Bank Loan, with an aim to make India a hub for design and development of novel, affordable and effective biopharmaceutical products such as vaccines, biologics and medical devices for combating public health concerns. This Programme of DBT would strengthen translational capability of academic researchers; empower bio-entrepreneurs and SMEs by decreasing the cost and risk during early stages of product development and also elevate the innovation quotient of the industry. The global experience of World Bank would be instrumental in building sustained global linkages, technical assistance and knowledge flow between public private partners for business promotion in biotech sector.
The Legal Agreement with World Bank for flexible financing arrangements for this Mission of DBT was executed on April 24, 2018 between the project implementing agency – BIRAC a PSU of DBT, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (on behalf of World Bank). This mission will mark the beginning of a new partnership between DBT and World Bank. It is envisaged that this programme will revolutionize the Biotech market. It will help deliver 6-10 new products in the next five years, create several dedicated facilities for next-generation skills, and hundreds of jobs in the process. It is anticipated that in the long term it would benefit the Indian population at large due to availability of affordable solutions and products relevant to Indian health needs.