Bangalore biotech park to be ready by next April

Wednesday, 16 April 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: The biotechnology park in India's tech capital is expected to be operational by April next year with the formal unveiling of the foundation stone by Karnataka Chief Minister S.M. Krishna Tuesday.

Named The Bangalore Helix and located in Electronics City on the outskirts of this Karnataka capital, the park promises world class infrastructure for biotechnology companies and research backup with the shifting of the Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB) there.

"The funding will be arranged. But I have issued instructions to the BT minister (D.B. Inamdar) and officials not to develop the park phase by phase but in its entirety," Krishna told IANS on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of Bangalore Bio 2003 during which he unveiled the foundation.

"I personally expect an investment of 7.5 billion in Karnataka in the next one year in this sector."

About 120 companies from 20 countries and half a dozen states in India are participating in the Bangalore Bio 2003 trade show with endorsements from the governments of France and Denmark and trade bodies of the U.S., Britain and the Netherlands.

Krishna's instructions come in the wake of a controversy that was created when he tried to set up the biopark on the campus of the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) two years ago. Students and staff of the university launched a protest, which stalled the project.

"This government is keeping its problems behind and true to its basic character is setting up the biopark in Electronics City. This foundation stone is a passport to walk into the new dimension of biotechnology," Krishna said at the opening ceremony.

"The response we have received in informal discussions with companies has been extremely positive. One cannot give details, but the first phase is more less booked," minister Inamdar said.

"The initial investment would be of 1 billion and we should get the biopark ready by next April when Bio 2004 takes place," said Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairperson of the Vision group on biotechnology for Karnataka and CMD of Biocon India.
Source: IANS
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