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Karnataka aims at USD 50 billion bio-economy by 2025: Report

PTI, Nov 20, 2020, 6:02 PM IST

Bengaluru: Karnataka aims to become a USD 50-billion bio-economy by 2025 from its present estimated USD 22.6 billion, according to a report released here on Friday.

The first Karnataka bio-economy report (KBER) 2020 was launched at the ongoing Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020, an event, presided over by Deputy Chief Minister of the state CN Ashwath Narayan and chairperson of Vision Group on Biotechnology and Biocon Limited chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw among others.

Karnataka is the first State in the country to measure the impact of the biotechnology industry, its products, and services on its economy, the report said.

The report estimates that the states bio-economy size is at USD 22.6 billion (Rs 1,67,240 crores) and growing, a release quoting the report said.

It said bio-economy has grown by 14-17 per cent in the previous two years and contributes 10.3 per cent to the gross state domestic product (GSDP) of USD 221.82 billion.

Nationally, the bio-economy valued at USD 62.5 billion contributed 2.3 per cent of the country’s USD 2.8 trillion GDP in 2019, it said, adding that Karnataka contributes more than one-third to the national bio-economy.

“We are aiming higher and our government has set a challenging task of more than doubling the value of bio-economy in the next five years. Our target is to raise Karnatakas bio-economy share to 50 per cent of the national bio-economy revenue target of USD100 billion by the year 2025,” said Ashwath Narayan, who is also Minister for Electronics, IT, Bt and S&T.

“Our confidence to achieve the target much earlier stems from the fact that the state already has a rich presence of over 35 state and central research institutes,” he said.

Besides the institutes, there are initiatives like the upcoming bio-industry cluster at Bengaluru Helix Biotech Park at Electronics City, state-of-the-art bio-incubators in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Dharwad, Bagalkot and Udupi, and seed funding support for more than 150 biotech startups under Elevate Idea2PoC opening new growth opportunities for the sector, he said.

With the current growth trends, the states bio-economy is expected to touch USD 42 billion by the year 2025. So to bridge the gap in likely revenues, the report recommends a series of strategic initiatives to overcome this hurdle and cross the target in time in the continuing spirit of the State’s industry, policy-makers and government working together with a visionary approach, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said.

The key recommendations of the report are: to establish a vaccine and bio-manufacturing hub, enable agri-tech eco-system by supporting the application of agri-biotechnological tools like CRISPR Cas9 (gene editing) and molecular breeding, among others; setting up of bio-medical cluster to make important diagnostic and medical devices; an integrated bio-refineries cluster to use available bio-mass, and value-added agriculture systems in Hassan, Dharwad and Belagavi areas.

The report has laid out the strategy to further propel the biotechnology sector that contributes more than 10 per cent to the State’s economy and the Department of Electronics, IT, BT and S&T looks forward to work with all bio-economy stakeholders to ensure that the challenging target of USD 50 billion bio-economy valuations by 2025 is achieved by the state, said Dr AV Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary to government.

The State is home to over 300 biotechnology and life sciences companies. KBER is said to be an attempt to capture the efforts that have gone into making Karnataka one of the country’s most sought-after biotechnology hub.

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