Fifth Edition of National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition Launched
Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, launched on Tuesday the fifth edition of the National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC) organised by Bengaluru-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms – C-CAMP.
NBEC is India’s largest and most prestigious national competition for bio entrepreneurs held annually to identify and nurture deep science-driven business ideas in the life sciences domain that has the potential to break new ground in addressing societal challenges.
NBEC, which is conducted as a part of the BIRAC Regional Entrepreneurship Centre, established at C-CAMP in partnership with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), gives an unprecedented sum of Rs. 8.5 crore in cash prizes and investment opportunities this year for winners. Over 30 Industry and Investment partners have come forward to encourage and support bio-entrepreneurship in India through this competition.
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Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon, Mrs Anju Bhalla, Joint Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, and Dr Manish Diwan, Head of Strategic Partnership & Entrepreneurship Development (SPED), BIRAC joined Dr Renu Swarup in releasing the competition poster and opening the call for applications in the presence of several eminent national and international dignitaries from India’s biotech ecosystem during the virtually conducted event.
“NBEC is a wonderful example of how all stakeholders can come together in mission mode to energize the ecosystem. As the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi said at India’s 75th Independence Day celebrations, our innovators are the Nation’s global ambassadors. Beyond Aatma Nirbhar Bharat and self-reliance, our startups now need to train their eyes on global markets with solutions that address local challenges from a global perspective. The ecosystem must scale and consolidate to enable this,” said Dr Swarup in her address.
Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon, said “NBEC is a very exciting competition because it unleashes new ideas and entrepreneurial potential of our young people year upon year. I urge you all to leverage this window of opportunity to pursue your bio entrepreneurship idea and join the Nation in showing the world our rich talent pool of innovators and startups.”
NBEC in four years has created a repository of over 1,000 carefully vetted and expert hand-picked business ideas spanning all sub-domains of life Sciences, including healthcare, agriculture and environment, with a special focus on emerging areas like digital health, maternal & child health, antimicrobial resistance, water and sanitation, green chemistry, and personal care. This has built a steady pipeline of innovative technologies with demonstrated commercial viability, to address some of India’s most formidable challenges in healthcare, agriculture and the environment.
Mrs Bhalla emphasised the need to keep in account the issue of sustainability concerns. “While it is impossible to know repercussions and footprint of new technology for environment, we must be actively cognizant of the connection between technology & sustainability as a pre facto exercise rather than post facto. I request all stakeholders of NBEC 2021 – innovators, mentors, jury, industry partners to be mindful of this,” she said.