Biotechnology is a global industry; one that has been in a rapid growth phase in recent years, around the developed world - providing solutions to health problems, life-threatening pandemics, food shortages and more recently climate change.
This article is more about Australia India Biotech partnership.
The Australian biotechnology industry has worked diligently to become the sixth largest biotechnology industry globally and an excellent country in which to conduct clinical trials. With India’s track record of fast growth, the largest offering of FDA-approved manufacturing facilities outside the US and strong government support with the "National Biotechnology Strategy", there are significant prospects and opportunities for India and Australia to work together.
AusBiotech, Australia’s biotechnology industry organization that represents more than 3,000 members, led two business missions to India recently. More than 30 companies and universities participated in a program of business seminars, site visits and networking events in Hyderabad and Bangalore.
AusBiotech is Chair and Secretariat for ‘BioNet Asia Pac’, a network of 10 countries, which was launched in 2007. Members include India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Australia. Corporate and institutional members of the related industry associations have access to a closed website, which details the biotechnology companies working in each country. The group works to centralize opportunities and strengths from the region into a connected network.
Of the 255 alliances announced in 2008 between Australian biotechs/medical technology firms, 70% were with overseas partners and 32 of those with partners in Asia.
Recent business deals
Currently there are a significant number of research collaborations between Australian and Indian universities, including programs at The University of Melbourne, Monash University, Queensland University of Technology and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. Also, Australia’s Deakin University (located in Victoria) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with India’s Biocon, for a joint multi-disciplinary research focused on biotechnology and biosciences.
The Australia-India Strategic Research Fund is a joint initiative of the Australian and Indian governments, and is Australia's largest bilateral research fund, providing $20 million over five years from 2006-07. In April 2009, $4 million of the fund was awarded, in the most recent round, to 15 collaborative projects on topics ranging from malaria vaccines and the impact of global warming on agriculture to nanotechnology, medical diagnostics, nutraceuticals, and micro-electronic devices and materials. Projects include:
Quality training and science
AusBiotech is drawing the attention of Indian investors to opportunities in Australia, as one of the lowest cost business locations in the industrialised world. Australia offers high quality science, capacity for international partnerships and a transparent and efficient regulatory regime. Australia also trains large numbers of Indian nationals in its biotech programs, which may assist with India’s challenge in accessing scientists trained in biotechnology and high-tech areas.
India is seen as a market, which offers a lot of potential for Australian biotechnology companies. There are complimentary strengths in India and Australia and we need to work together to leverage off those strengths for the good of both nations’ industries. AusBiotech CEO, Dr Anna Lavelle, said "We have been showcasing the opportunities of companies in both countries for several years and believe that the best is yet to come."