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Biotech bug bites Bangalore

New Delhi, Nov. 11: After information technology, Bangalore is all set to be bitten by the biotechnology bug.

The city, which witnessed an investment of Rs 175 crore in the sector in the last one year, claims to be the country’s bio-tech capital with about 95 per cent of the BT firms making it their base.

Speaking at the third international ‘Bangalore Bio-2003,’ here today, E. V. Ramana Reddy, director IT and biotechnology, government of Karnataka said, “In the last two years, one new biotech company is being opened every month. Since the last Bangalore-Bio, there has been an investment of Rs 175 crore in Bangalore in BT.”

While agri-biotechnology, bio-informatics and contract research organisations and health each saw a 30 per cent investment, industrial and pharmaceutical biotechnology saw an investment of 10 per cent.

Industry estimates put the cumulative investment in bio-technology in Bangalore so far at around Rs 900 crore.

V. D. Nishchith, executive officer (bio-technology) in the state’s bio-technology and information technology services said, “Bangalore’s total BT turnover is about Rs 250 crore. The state and industry partners have set a target to take it to a level of Rs 900 crore by year 2007”.

He added that prime land for a bio-technology park in the city had already been identified. The park, to be launched by the end of this month, will be operational in about 14 months with a Rs 14-crore investment from the state government and the rest from industry.

Reddy said the $ 3-billion BT industry in India had potential for growth. Globally, the BT industry is estimated to be around $ 93-billion.

Eighty-one Bangalore-based BT companies and 18 bio-tech nations, including US, UK, Germany, France and Singapore, are expected to participate in the expo to be held from April 15-17 next year. The international trade expo will feature a tradeshow, a concurrent conference, a B2B forum and an academic pavilion.

The event will see over 150 participants, about 200 delegates and nine country delegations. Key topics at the conference will include clinical research and trials, bio-informatics, genetically modified crops and stem cell research.

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