BioVoice News December 2016-January 2017 Issue 8 Volume 1 - Page 27

The conclave that hosted 17 sessions and 52 speakers , was attended by close to 300 delegates cutting across various industry verticals . The stakeholders debated , networked , and explored partnership opportunities to bring about the potential of transformative change in economic development through the power of biotechnology .
Biological knowledge and data crucial to realize market potential
In her speech , B Meenakumari , Chairperson , National Biodiversity Authority ( NBA ) emphasized on the need to safeguard the biodiversity of the country . Few years ago , only few were aware on this fact that there are biodiversity laws applicable in the country . There are exemptions to the Indian people using the country ’ s traditional knowledge . Accessing bioresources for Indian nationals is free but when it comes to specific biomolecules , patent laws apply . Yet the law enforcement is lacking in most of the cases .
Dr K Vijay Raghavan , Secretary , Department of Biotechnology , mentioned , “ Scientific churning of biodiversity data can be a step towards bioeconomy . Focused efforts to generate data . Industry and government institutes can assess that .” Calling market failure as a major challenge , Dr Raghavan said that it requires to be bridged . “ We require huge resources and capacities . CEPHI is an initiative that can make a difference in the times of Ebola and Zika . Our involvement depends on your competitiveness .”
In response to the question by Dr Kiran M Shaw on the inability of Gurgaon to attract the industry despite a huge incubator and how could government play a role to facilitate its leveraging , Dr Raghavan stated that there is a need to convert talent into innovative solutions besides moral bosting . “ Investments are required at multiple levels .”
On biodiversity laws , the DBT Secretary candidly pointed out that there is difference between desire and applicability . " Changing rules to make them favourable to industry has to go through checks and balances . DBT and environment ministry are working together on this ," said Dr Raghavan .