Govt to revisit State biotech policy

Govt to revisit State biotech policy

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said the government would revisit the Millenium Biotech Policy. Inaugurating the three-day 14th edition of Bangalore India Bio, he said that since the Millenium Biotech Policy Version 2, announced in 2009 would complete five years, it would be altered. “Our government proposes to revisit the policy this year.

Inputs would be taken from Vision Group,” he added. IT, BT and Science Minister S R Patil said the revised policy would ensure further liberalisation. “You can expect more stimulus measures in the new policy. We are determined to wipe out bureaucratic red-tapism,” he added. 

“We have also requested the chief minister to increase the budgetary allocation for IT and BT department so that several unfinished tasks could be completed,” he added.The State has also announced the setting up of a US$10 million bio-venture fund to cater to high-tech areas with strong social relevance such as transiencies and stem cell biology. The trade show will see over 100 companies participate. Also, Bio Excellence Awards would be conferred in recognition of the contribution of biotech companies and individuals.

Clinical trials challenging

World Food Prize laureate 2013 Prof Marc Van Montagnu, in his address, stressed the need to debunk myths associated with clinical trials. Claiming that NGOs were spreading falsehood about clinical trials spreading fear in the minds of people, he said that conducting clinical trials continues to be one of the primary challenges. 

Patil too opined that clinical trials were one of the serious issues biotech industry confronted. “It is an international issue involving legal and ethical dimensions,” he added. Department of Biotechnology Secretary Vijayaraghavan said malnutrition, poor sanitation, maternal and child health were issues the country needed to address and advancement in science and technology would provide solutions for the same. 

Nobel laureate Sir John Gurdon said the dream to have man rid of his diseases with implantation of new cells in place of the dead ones would be a reality soon. As it involved ethical issues, scientists were in talks about the same, he said, adding that advancement in the field had enabled one to replace dead cells in the retina of a person, thus, enabling vision.

State IT, BT, S and T Secretary Srivatsa Krishna said the government has proposed to set up the country’s first biosynthetic technology institute by partnering with Association of Biotechnology-led Enterprises. When the institute comes up, it will help build structurised pathway for making sustainable products in the field. Further, he said, the State’s first bioscience and medical technology incubator would come up at the Electronics City shortly.   

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