An Insight into the Present Biotechnology Startups Scene


“I think the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning,”— Steve Jobs.
Biotechnology is the amalgamation of biological sciences with technology, to produce a solution to real-world disease and environmental issues. Over the years it has made major contributions towards making the world more sustainable, resourceful and environmentally friendly. It has helped us set up sustainable industries, by allowing us to design more efficient industrial production processes. Currently the biotech industry is valued at about $370 billion in 2017, according to the reports of market analyst Grand View Research, it is predicted that the global biotech industry may possibly grow to $727 billion by 2025.
Nonetheless, progress in technology, is not adequate to incorporate biotechnological methods into various industrial value chains. This integration should be widely accepted by society. The general public and decision-makers should accept these integrations, for the future expansion and commercialization of industrial biotechnology. Both are nurtured by the acuity and awareness of the economic, social and ecological benefits of industrial biotechnology. The last three years have seen a balanced development in the quality and numbers of startup movements, in India’s science and technology. Indian companies today have become pioneers in the plethora of domains, such as computer science, engineering, medicine, drug discovery and agriculture. This has led them to move briskly beyond their comfort zone of e-commerce ventures.
Many diverse bunches of entrepreneurs are setting up businesses for new methods of drug delivery, regenerative medicine, novel biocompatible materials, sustainable energy, molecular diagnostics, agriculture, and nutrition.
India a Fertile Ground for Biotechnology Startups
Twenty years ago when the first generation of Biotechnology startups arose, India lacked experienced personnel in the field. The earlier biotech startups industry was mostly service oriented, due to the lack of funding available to set up a product-oriented business. India wasn’t a big market for biotechnology then, making venture capitalist least interested in funding startups here. It lacked the infrastructure and experienced personnel for biotechnology research and development (R&D). However, the past few years have seen a drastic positive change in this scenario. The present generation of entrepreneurs has the zeal and courage to attack these problems head-on, with the financial backing provided by the government programs.
 “I’m an investor in a number of biotech companies, partly because of my incredible enthusiasm for the great innovations they will bring.” —Bill Gates

India has now become a biotech growth catalyst. Currently, it is one of the top 12 destinations for biotechnology in the world. Approximately, three percent of the global investment is currently invested in India. Comprising of about 800 companies, the biotechnology industry in the country is estimated to grow over CAGR of twenty percent to reach USD 100 billion, by 2025. It has the second highest number of USFDA-approved industrialized plants outside the US; having more than 53 USFDA certified drug manufacturing facilities.
The Indian biotech industry is divided into five major segments, namely bio-informatics, bio-pharma, bio-agro, bio-industrial, and bio-services. Out of these the biopharmaceutical and bio-services account for the largest amount of shares, amounting to 64% and 18% of the total revenues and market shares respectively. Clinical trials, contract research, and manufacturing activities are the driving force behind India becoming a leader in the bio- services sector.

India being agriculture based country; it has always invested a major part of its resources into the agriculture development. The Bio-agro sector accounts for 14% of the biotech industry. On the other hand, the remaining market is catered by bio-industrial and bio-informatics; having 3% and 1% shares respectively. In the past few years, there has been a lot of development in the biotech sector, thirty bio-incubators and biotech parks have been reinforced and established in India. The future of the biotech startup industry in the Indian subcontinent looks bright and promising.
Lacunae that need to Addressed
India may be moving fast towards development in this sector, but there are few key points that need to be addressed before it is able to leap to the zeal directly. A key issue that the Indian biotech startup industry faces is the link between the academia research and industries. There is a huge gap between the development of the technology and making it robust enough to implement in an industrial setup, and eventually bring to the general public. The research being carried out in institutes and universities is unique and outstanding, without doubt; but it never finds its way to the masses. The bond of startups to the industrial network also requires severe attention to the risk capital deficit in India.
The Propositions for Future
A substantial attention that has raised the eyebrows is the flow of scientific ideas to fuel startups. The advancements that take place daily in the sciences must reach the innovative process required for startups. Without this, India’s startup ecosystem will not be able to challenge global contenders efficiently. This will limit India’s innovations to reverse-innovating, and reverse-engineering.
Providentially, India’s scientific institutions are capable enough to deliver, as they are built on strong fundamentals. There is no contest that people of amazing talent do graduate from India’s institutions and in substantial numbers across various scientific fields. This is proof that high-quality research is being carried out in best universities and research institutions in India; putting this to good use is all that needs to be thought about. The future of India becoming the forerunner in the Global biotech startup scene cannot be denied. With the government initiating various programs to help biotech startups fund their ventures, they now have a powerful financial backing to realize their dreams.

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