Karnataka the 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, had emerged as the hub of the sector thanks to various steps taken by the government.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Bangalore Bio-2008, the biggest BT event in Asia, State Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao said that of the country's total exports worth USD 1.5 billion, the state contributed 60 per cent. USD 500 million had been invested in the state, especially in the Bangalore city, towards creating infrastructure for BT research.

To encourage innovation in the BT sector the state government had focused on three classic approaches like Excellence, which interfaced higher education institutions like Indian Institute of Science to the industry, creating Hub and Charter model 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 is growing at 35 per cent, higher than the national average. Out of the 330 BT companies in India, the city housed a majority of 200 companies. "Bangalore has emerged as unique destination for companies dealing with life sciences. Out of 24 new companies that made the start up 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 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 in a 100 acre plot. "The first phase built at a cost of USD 70 million is ready and the work on the second phase costing 100 million dollars would be starting soon," he said.

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