Bangalore: After growing by at least 25% for five successive years, India’s biotech industry slowed to 18% growth in the fiscal ended 31 March, clocking Rs12,137 crore in revenues, up from Rs10,273 crore a year ago.
Announcing the industry’s performance at the annual biotech event, Bangalore Bio 2009, on Thursday, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairman and managing director of Biocon Ltd and chairman of the Karnataka Vision Group on Biotechnology, said Bangalore maintained its lead as the largest biotechnology cluster in the country, accounting for 21% of the revenue.
Among the emerging states, Maharashtra recorded the highest growth rate of 32%.
But neither the Karnataka government—which announced a biotech policy in 2001, six years before the central government did—nor the central government show signs of slowing down.
A new Bio-Information Technology Centre will be set up in Bangalore at Rs34.7 crore, in which the central department of information technology and Karnataka government have provided grants of Rs10 crore and Rs5 crore, respectively.
The Software Technology Parks of India, an autonomous body under the central department of electronics, has lent Rs8 crore and the remaining will come from internal accruals and the bioinformatics company Strand Life Sciences, which will run the centre as a commercial enterprise, primarily to house human genome sequencing technology and analysis.
Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said his government would not “rest on the laurels of the past” and announced setting up a bunch of new centres at a cost of Rs240 crore, including a marine biotech park in Mangalore and a phyto-pharmaceutical park in Mysore.
The Yeddyurappa government has requested the Centre to bear 50% cost of the new initiatives, which the Union minister of state for science and technology Prithviraj Chavan consented to. Besides Bangalore, Chavan said, two new bio-clusters are being developed in Mohali in Punjab and Faridabad in Haryana.
Yeddyurappa also announced granting 1,500 acres of land to the Indian Institute of Science to set up its second campus at Chitradurga, located 188km north-west of Bangalore, which is famous for old forts and wind farms.