India’s bioeconomy is likely to touch USD 150 billion by 2025 and over USD 300 billion by 2030, a report said on Tuesday. The India BioEconomy Report 2022, based on the data on biotech sector’s contribution to the economy, has been brought out by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
The report said the country’s bioeconomy has reached over USD 80 billion in 2021, registering a 14.1 per cent growth over USD 70.2 billion in 2020. It said that India generated USD 219 million of bioeconomy daily, adding USD 80.12 billion in 2021l. On an average, at least three biotech startups were incorporated every day in 2021 (a total of 1,128 biotech startups set up in 2021) and the industry crossed USD 1 billion in research and development spending. “A trebling within a year from USD 320 million to USD 1.02 billion,” it added.
On the vaccine front, India administered nearly 4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines per day (total 1.45 billion doses given in 2021), the report said, adding that the country conducted 1.3 million Covid-19 tests each day in 2021 (total of 506.7 million tests). Speaking at the launch of the report, minister of state for science and technology Jitendra Singh said, the number of biotech startups in the country has increased from 50 to over 5,300 in the last 10 years because of the growing enabling ecosystem and priority to the sector provided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He hoped that biotech startups arising from a strong talent pool is expected to further increase 2 times to reach 10,000-plus by 2025. He also informed that BIRAC/DBT has established a strong network of 74 specialised bio-incubation centres in 21 states/UTs, including 7 bio-incubators in the north east region — an emerging cluster. He emphasised that DBT/BIRAC should continue efforts to nurture a local vibrant bio-entrepreneurial ecosystem in the north-east to boost the local bioeconomy.
Singh said that India is among the top three in South Asia and top 12 destinations for biotechnology in the world, with approximately 3 per cent share in the global biotechnology industry. Moreover, India has 2nd highest number of USFDA approved manufacturing plants outside the US. The minister said the biotechnology sector has the potential to have multiplier effect on overall economic growth of the country. Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary, DBT, said that in case of sustainable bio-fuel, target year for 20 per cent ethanol blending has been advanced from 2025 to 2023 and this biotech sub-sector has shown two times growth.
The ethanol production of 3.3 billion litre capacity has doubled to 6.5 billion litres in 2021. With further growth, India would save its import costs, thereby, directly impacting the forex reserves and import-export imbalance in the favour of achieving USD 10 trillion overall economy target by 2030, the report said. Agriculture sector which employs nearly 60 per cent of India’s population has large scope of improvement. BT cotton, biopesticides, biostimulants and biofertilizers contributed to about USD 10.48 billion in 2021 for bioeconomy of the country, the report said.