“BBC in­cu­ba­tees to launch 10 prod­ucts at BTS- 2018”

BioSpectrum (India) - - BIO CONTENT - Dr Ji­ten­dra Ku­mar, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Ban­ga­lore Bioin­no­va­tion Cen­tre (BBC)

Dr Ji­ten­dra Ku­mar,

Man­ag­ing Direc­tor,

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.

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