Sector Survey: Biotechnology

3 Years agoIndia's biotechnology landscape is evolving significantly, steadily. Know more in our Sector Survey.

India’s biotechnology sector has evolved steadily and significantly in the last two decades1, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20%. An ambitious target to reach USD 100 Billion by 2025 has also been set. Indeed, India has always been a high-performer when it comes to this sector. India is counted amongst the Top 12 biotechnology destinations in the world and is the third-largest in the Asia–Pacific region. The industry holds 2% of the global market share. India is also the largest producer of recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine in the world. The country boasts of the second-highest number of US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approved plants, after the USA.2

The demand for biotechnology products and services is, to a large extent, being driven by India’s growing population, predicted to reach 1.45 billion by 2025. 3 On one hand, changing lifestyles will give rise to lifestyle-related ailments like diabetes, stroke and cancer, on the other, rising economic prosperity and growing consciousness towards physical well-being will accelerate the demand for healthcare services. Adding to the growth prospects is the role that the sector plays in addressing major global challenges in healthcare, agriculture and energy.

India’s pool of scientists and engineers and its reputed public institutes and universities that impart stellar education in the field of biotechnology are contributing tremendously to the nation’s capabilities in this sector. A supportive regulatory framework in areas such as Foreign Direct Investments and Intellectual Property also add value.

Government’s focus on innovation and R&D has been driving the sector further. The Government, driven by the objective of ushering a USD 100 Billion bio-economy by 2025, has launched a series of policies to strengthen the biotechnology landscape in India. The Government launched the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy in May 2016 to lay down processes to expedite IPR filings that are critical for the success of the sector.4 The Government has also been making consistent efforts when it comes to providing funding assistance to startups in the sector.

The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India acts as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower emerging Biotech enterprises to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.




A National Biotechnology Development Strategy (2015 - 2020) has been launched to realise the country’s vision of becoming a world-class bio-manufacturing hub. The Strategy envisions to create an ecosystem for development of new biotech products by creating state-of- the-art infrastructure for R&D.5

The sector has made significant strides in the last two years. In 2015, the Government launched a virtual centre across five Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) to promote innovation in biofuels. Also, 30 bio- incubators and biotech parks were set up between April 2014 to September 2016.6 Rotavac,the country’s first indigenously developed vaccine was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015.7

The Government of India has undertaken several measures to promote the growth and development of this mushrooming sector. To provide training in new areas of biotechnology, the government has enacted an Act for setting up of a Regional Centre for Biotechnology. This Centre will be established in collaboration with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and will serve as an institution of education, training and research.8 BIRAC has plans to set up five Regional Entrepreneurship Centres with a purpose of imparting training to entrepreneurs in the field and hence to aid them in turning their innovative ideas into successful ventures.9

With all of Government’s efforts and the potential that the sector presents, the vision to “create an innovation driven biotech ecosystem and amplify the growth of Indian biotechnology to global excellence” is likely to be achieved in the near future.10


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