Biotechnology Industry in Kerala: A view from the Trenches
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Biotechnology Industry in Kerala: A view from the Trenches

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Biotechnology industry in Kerala, as seen by a young biotech startup...

Biotechnology industry in Kerala, as seen by a young biotech startup

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  • 1.
    • A View From the Trenches
    • Biotechnology industry in Kerala, as seen by a young biotech startup
  • 2.
    • ubio Biotechnology Systems Pvt. Ltd. Is a start-up biotechnology venture that focuses on Development and manufacture of low-cost diagnostic Kits for clinical diagnosis
    • Started in 2008.
    • Target Markets: human , veterinary and industrial diagnostics
    • Research Focus on Biochip diagnostics for cancer , TB and tropical diseases.
    • Currently manufacturers 57 diagnostic products
    • Introduction
  • 3. The Triad of Industrialisation Regulations Education Market Industry
  • 4.
    • Is there a market for biotech products in Kerala?
    • What are our needs that can be addressed by biotechnology?
    • Waste disposal, low-cost healthcare, vector control, agricultural productivity, food preservation and processing, what else?
    • We need better studies:
      • Local need identification and market sizing
      • Assessment of economic value of social benefits
      • Scope of government participation and incentive creation
    • Self-sufficient healthcare – the Cuba example
      • Chikungunya, Dengue, Filaria, TB, Endosulfan
      • Who should be interested?
      • Why cant we develop diagnostics, vaccines, medicines and equipments?
    • The Biotech Market in Kerala
  • 5.
    • National and international markets
    • Diagnostics and medicines for tropical diseases
    • Low-cost instrumentation and medical software
    • Contract Research
    • Plant molecules – how to commercialize our biodiversity?
    • Preservation, processing and value addition of food products
    • The Biotech Market for Kerala
  • 6.
    • Quality of our biotechnology graduates is apalling
      • Only general theoretical knowledge
      • No practical exposure
      • Lack of well-equipped training labs
      • High cost of consumables
      • Best students do not come to biotech
    • Industry training and participation essential
    • Government should promote industry-education partnership through incentivised apprenticeship programs.
    • Kerala has the potential to become a biotechnology training hub like Singapore
    • Biotech Education
  • 7.
    • The cutting edges are now at intersections!
    • Innovation needs inter-disciplinary thought and focus
    • Promote ad-hoc education
      • Make it possible for individuals to subscribe to specific courses (say, just take immunology classes instead of an entire biotech course)
      • Relax pre-qualification requirements (say, any engineer should be able to take a biotech degree after taking a few preparatory classes).
      • Relax age bars in education
    • Biotech Education
  • 8.
    • Good Product Research is non-existant
    • Lack of accountability in research is a big problem
    • Project audits required
      • What was spent?
      • Why was it spent?
      • What is the outcome?
      • Performance rating based on cost-effectiveness of project outcome
    • Result audits required
      • What happened to the product/technology that was developed?
      • Was it commercialized? If not, why?
    • Biotech Research
  • 9.
    • Promote industry-academy collaboration
      • Allocate separate grant budgets for basic research and product development
      • Provide product development grants only to collaborative projects
      • Keep industry contribution low, but make it mandatory
      • Kerala Biotechnology Commission’s new scheme is a good example
    • The start-up challenge
      • Lack of access to expensive equipments, especially for infrequent use
      • Lack of expertise in specific areas
    • Biotech Research
  • 10.
    • Promote independent innovators and interdisciplinary teams
      • Create industry incubators in research institutions
      • Incentivise incubation and product creation
    • Open up resources in research institutions
      • Audit use, availability and status of expensive instrumentation
      • Create mandatory industry service cells
      • Provide access to expensive equipment at affordable rates
      • Create incentives to promote academic support given to industry
    • Biotech Research
  • 11.
    • Proliferation and internetworking of start-ups create innovation spirals
      • Examples: Japanese auto industry, US/German electronics boom post-WW2, Silicon Valley
    • Cost of supporting startups is lower than the cost of attracting huge capital
    • Knowledge based startups create high-value employment
    • Start-ups lay foundations for entire industries
    • Why promote start-ups?
  • 12.
    • To start-up or not? The dilemma of a well-paid technologist
      • Reduce start-up barriers, provide support systems, advertise and promote the start-up attitude
    • Compensate for lack of ecosystem
      • Most inputs have to be imported or transported from other states, leading to increased costs.
      • Provide tax holidays to biotech startups – follow the IT example
    • Facilitate easier financing
      • We need a working venture capital fund, preferably with government participation
      • Create a vehicle for easier loan disbursement for priority area startups
      • Make it easier for banks to provide loans – technical evaluation of most banks cannot keep up with technological innovations
    • Provide easy access to facilities and instrumentation
      • Technology parks, common equipment facilities, access to facilities in research institutions
    • What biotech start-ups need
  • 13.
    • [email_address]
    ubio Biotechnology Systems Pvt Ltd Kinfra Hi-tech Park, Kalamassery, Cochin