“BBC incubatees to launch 10 products at BTS- 2018”
Dr Jitendra Kumar,
Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC)
Dr Jitendra Kumar, Managing Director, Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC) who was instrumental in setting up an Incubation Centre and Common equipment facility, was able to attract 29 potentially high impact start-ups in the Centre with a short time. Recently he attended BIO 2018 in the US. In an interaction with Dr Manbeena Chawla of BioSpectrum he shared his views of his visit to the US and his plans for BBC. Edited Excerpts-
Recently you attended BIO 2018 in the US. Based on this experience, what new ideas and plans do you intend to implement at BBC?
Participation in BIO 2018 has been a rich experience. There were large number of queries in relation to Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC) and various initiatives that Department of IT- BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka is taking to create and Innovation ecosystem in the state. I have been approached by Harvard University to initiate some collaborative works. So, basically participation in BIO 2018 has given good number of leads for collaborative work. Collaborations with top leaders in the field will bring best practices to the nascent and upcoming centres like BBC. The Collaborations would either be through establishing centres of excellence in niche areas or cluster to cluster collaboration to create a platform for startups to explore mutual market access etc.
What is the status regarding the setting up of the Med Tech Accelerator at BBC?
There are more than 10 start ups in the area of Med Tech, already operating from BBC. The state-of-art Med Tech centre is in the process of being set up. The Government of Karnataka has given grants for creating additional space to accommodate the large number of startups that are waiting to get Incubation support at BBC. The construction work has already started and is likely to get completed by the next year.
With Andhra Pradesh focusing extensively on Medical Device manufacturing through AMTZ, what are your views on developing a similar set up in Bengaluru?
While AMTZ initiative is great, every state and region need not follow same model of development. Bangalore already has some strengths and these strengths need to be leveraged. I think, in case of Bangalore, cluster approach to growth will be better. The Med Tech device and diagnostics could be part of this overarching cluster. At least two distinct Life Sciences clusters are already visible in Bangalore- the Northern Cluster comprising of NCBS-InSTEM-C-CAMP, with GKVK, IISc, JNCSR etc. in proximity and Sothern Bangalore Cluster comprising of IBAB-CHG-BBC with Biocon, Novozymes, Syngene and many other Bio-Industries adjoining it. The cross talk between the two clusters are already taking place. I think, the cluster approach to growth of Biotech is important, as the interaction between all stakeholders within the cluster would increase efficiency.
Please share your plans regarding the Karnataka Startup Advancement Programme, in association with Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms?
Karnataka Startup Advancement Programme (KSAP)50 is a mentorship programme envisioned by KITS, Department of IT- BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka. BBC is a nodal Centre for running this programme with the help of implantation partner C-CAMP. The idea is to select and mentor 50 startups within three years through a structured mentorship programme. While there is no dearth of infrastructure (plug and play laboratories and equipment), branding, networking and branding support but mentorship support is something that needs to be strengthened. Keeping this in mind KSAP Bio 50 has been conceived. The programme is on its way for implementation.
Are there any new products and technologies developed by the startups at BBC this year? Please share the details.
There are at least 10 products that have been developed by startups at BBC that are ready for launch. The same is planned to be launched during Bangalore Tech Summit 2018. These products and technologies are mostly in the area of healthcare and is expected to create a huge social impact. There patents some 40 patents that are at various stages of filing/grant. So in all, I think within short time BBC has been successfully steering towards its objectives.