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R&D investment in Indian biotech tripled in 2021 to cross $1 billion, says govt report

Released by Union minister Jitendra Singh, 'India Bioeconomy Report 2022' says country's biotech sector attained $80 billion in value in 2021, 14.1% growth over 2020.

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New Delhi: The Indian biotech sector grew by 14 per cent with investments in research and development (R&D) trebling to $1.02 billion in 2021 from $320 million in 2020, according to the latest report released by the government’s Department of Biotechnology.

The ‘India Bioeconomy Report 2022’ — released by Union Minister of Science & Technology Jitendra Singh Tuesday — says India’s biotech sector attained $80 billion in value in 2021, a 14.1 per cent growth over $70.2 billion in 2020.

The report goes on to predict that India’s biotechnology sector is likely to touch $150 billion in value by 2025 and exceed the $300 billion mark by 2030.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Indian bioeconomy is estimated to have touched $830 million in 2021, an increase from $780 million in 2020, the report added.

According to the report, nearly 49 per cent of the Indian biotech sector is dominated by the pharma industry, while 18 per cent relates to Covid-related technologies, followed by the agriculture segment at 13 per cent.

Diagnostics accounted for 52 per cent of the pharma market in 2021, followed by the therapeutics segment with 26 per cent, the report said, adding that diagnostics and therapeutics together comprise over $30 billion of India’s bioeconomy.

Also Read: Covid to space & missiles, these women scientists are rocking Indian science and how

Vaccine makers, biotech start-ups

In 2021, Covid vaccines made in India alone accounted for $8.695 billion of the value of the country’s biotech sector, while other vaccines accounted for $8.672 billion.

In addition, BT cotton (genetically modified cotton variety), biofuels and biofertilisers are some of the many other sectors contributing to India’s bioeconomy.

Vaccine makers Serum Institute of India (SII), Bharat Biotech, Biological E, and Zydus Cadila, among others, have increased their installation capacity by three times since 2020, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the total number of biotech start-ups in India has increased to 5,365 in 2021, from 50 in 2010, with over 1,128 start-ups incorporated in 2021 alone — the highest number of start-ups incorporated in a single year.

Data suggests that the highest percentage of biotech start-ups — 18 per cent — are based in Maharashtra, while 13 per cent are in Karnataka. Delhi is home to 11 per cent of these start-ups, while another 10 per cent are based in Telangana.

While releasing the report at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Delhi Tuesday, Union minister Jitendra Singh also announced a special Biotech Ignition Grant for India’s Northeast Region (BIG-NER).

This grant will facilitate financial support of up to Rs 50 lakh each to 25 start-ups and entrepreneurs from the northeast region to develop biotech solutions.

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)

Also Read: SII to manufacture India’s first qHPV vaccine against cervical cancer after DCGI approval


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