Karnataka, hub of Indian BT: Chief Secretary

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Bangalore, Apr 24 (UNI) Karnataka, which contributes more than 60 per cent of the country's exports of biotechnology-based products, has emerged as the hub of the sector due to various steps taken by the government, a top official today said.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Bangalore Bio-2008, State Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao informed that of the country's total Biotech exports worth 1.5 billion US Dollar, the State contributed 60 per cent.

As much as 500 million USD was invested in the State, especially in Bangalore City, towards creating infrastructure for Biotech research.

To encourage innovation in the sector, the State Government had focused on classic approaches like Excellence, which interfaced higher education institutions like Indian Institute of Science to the industry, creating Hub and Charter and the PPP model on which it had taken up construction of a Bio Park and set up the vision group on BT.

BT industry in Karnataka was growing at 35 per cent, higher than the national average. Of the 330 BT companies in India, the city housed 200 companies.

''Bangalore has emerged as an unique destination for companies dealing with life sciences. Of the 24 new companies that made the start last year, 12 have set up shops in the city,'' he said.

Mr Rao said the State was first to come out with the 'Millennium BT Policy' in 2001 and had set up an apex body called BT Vision Group to promote the industry.

The State Government had also set up a venture capital fund for the BT sector while it had taken up building of a Bio Park on a 100- acre plot.

''The first phase built at a cost of 70 million USD is ready and the work on the second phase costing 100 million USD will be starting soon,'' he said.

UNI RS MSP GM SB VC1944

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