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Biomanufacturing and Bio-foundry to Drive India’s Bioeconomy: Dr. Jitendra Singh

Faridabad: Dr. Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State for Science & Technology, MoS PMO, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space, Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, inaugurated the 17th Annual International Biocuration Conference (AIBC-2024) organized by the Indian Biological Data Centre (IBDC) at the Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB) in Faridabad, Haryana. Dr. Singh emphasized the role of Biomanufacturing and Bio-foundry in driving India’s future bioeconomy, contributing to “Green Growth” and promoting a sustainable future.

Dr. Jitendra Singh highlighted the shift in policy where biotechnology research and bio startups have been prioritized and taken center stage. He announced a new scheme exclusively aimed at promoting biomanufacturing and bio-foundry, aiming to transform the current consumptive manufacturing paradigm into one based on regenerative principles. The scheme will support environment-friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals, and bio-agri-inputs, fostering Bio-Start-Ups and contributing to the bioeconomy.

During the inauguration, Dr. Singh launched ‘ICE’ – Integrated Computing Environment, a cloud-based computational facility for life science researchers. ICE, a dedicated supercomputing environment accessible across the country, aims to build a cloud environment for storing, retrieving, and analyzing genomic data. Additionally, he launched three data submission portals: Indian Nucleotide Data Archive – Controlled Access (INDA-CA) portal, Indian Crop Phenome Database Portal, and Indian Metabolome Data Archive Portal.

Dr. Singh highlighted India’s achievements in biotechnology, mentioning the development of the first-ever DNA vaccine for COVID-19 and ongoing efforts in creating a vaccine for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) to prevent cervical cancer. He emphasized India’s progress in the biotechnology sector over the last decade, with bioeconomy growing from $10 billion in 2014 to over $130 billion in 2024. India is now recognized among the top 12 biotechnology destinations globally, with nearly 6,000 bio startups compared to 50 a decade ago.

The Union Minister stressed the vast wealth of bioresources in India, including biodiversity, unique bioresources in the Himalayas, and the 7,500 km-long coastline. He highlighted the significance of bioeconomy, blue economy, and space economy in achieving value addition to the Indian economy, positioning India not only on par with the world but ahead in many sectors.

The conference, the first-ever Biocuration conference happening in India, saw the presence of foreign delegates, scientists, and officials from the Department of Biotechnology.

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