The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote and accelerate the R & D investments in the Indian biotechnology sector.

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote and accelerate the R & D investments in the Indian biotechnology sector. The MoU was signed at the inauguration of India R&D 2007: Innovation-Advantage India conference & exhibition in the presence of Kapil Sibal, Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences.

In terms of the MoU, DBT and FICCI have agreed to develop a suitable institutional structure that will be responsible for the governance and management of the Industry Platforms, which will be chaired by Secretary, DBT. The unique feature of the platform will be that the steering committees of each platform will be led by the private industry. FICCI will manage all the activities of the “Secretariat” and also provide secretarial and administrative support to the Governing Board.

Industry Platforms are technology-based industrial groupings established with an aim of enabling the exploitation or dissemination of research results, encouraging public-private collaborations and providing their members with a means of voicing their opinion on research policies. It brings together all those who have an interest in a particular industrial sector to establish a vision of how that sector should look in the future, and identify the research needed to translate the vision into reality.

Industry platforms constitute an important element of the National Biotechnology Development Strategy. DBT has decided to spend 30% of its total budget on Public Private Partnership (PPP) programmes by the end of 11th Plan that would make available about Rs. 2000 crore for various PPP initiatives. This platform will enable the public-private collaborations through the formation of strategic alliances between the research community, industry and policy makers for exploitation and dissemination of research results, a means of voicing opinion on research policies, providing inputs in identifying and overcoming unnecessary regulatory and administrative barriers in commercializing the results of research and in shaping the future education and training needs.