India, Finland biotechnology deal gets cabinet nod

The agreement will support long-term research, development and innovation collaboration mechanism as well as establishment and strengthening of cooperative network between Indian and Finnish organizations

February 6, 2019

Business Finland has tied up with India-based Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) for funding and implementing industry-led innovative and transnational projects

Government of India has focused on boosting the country's biotechnology sector, which is divided into five segments - bio-pharma, bio-services, bio-agri, bio-industrial and bioinformatics

Ties have been established with a number of countries and international agencies with a view to furthering collaborative research and development as well as skill development in the field

India now ranks among the top 12 biotech destinations globally and is the 3rd in the Asia Pacific. The sector, 3 per cent share of the global industry, is poised to hit US$100 billion by 2025

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on February 6 approved a preliminary agreement between India and Finland for collaboration in the field of biotechnology. The deal will facilitate funding and implementation of ambitious industry-led and transnational projects within the broad scope of research development and innovation. The agreement will support long-term research, development and innovation collaboration mechanism as well as establishment and strengthening of cooperative network between Indian and Finnish organizations. By funding need-oriented, ambitious joint projects of international standards, the two countries aim to help develop world-class innovations.

The deal will also facilitate knowledge sharing and knowledge generation among scientists, researchers and industry in the two countries. Identifying innovation as the cornerstone of the collaboration, India’s Department of Biotechnology and Business Finland have agreed to cooperate with India-based Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) for funding and implementing ambitious industry-led innovative and transnational projects. Based on their mutual interest, following research areas have been identified:

  • Mission Innovation – A global initiative of 23 countries and the EU to dramatically accelerate global clean energy innovation
  • Biofuture Platform – Biofuels, bioenergy, biomass products
  • Environmental and energy applications of biotechnology
  • Business development of start-up and growth companies
  • Education technologies and games in life sciences
  • Other fields of life science research and innovation

The agreement has been signed in accordance with an understanding reached between the Government of Finland and India on cooperation in the fields of science and technology in Helsinki in 2008. Riding on the back of strong research capabilities and a supportive knowledge ecosystem, India’s biotech sector is on a definitive growth trajectory. India now ranks among the top 12 biotech destinations globally and is the third in the Asia Pacific. Expected to grow at a CAGR of 30.46 per cent, India’s biotech sector is a prime avenue for investment, estimated to fetch handsome returns in coming years. The sector, which today holds 3 per cent share of the global industry, is poised to hit a valuation of US$100 billion by 2025.