KIIT-TBI 9th Biotech Conclave: Experts call for collaborative industry-academia interface

The 9th two-day Biotech Industry Conclave-2023 with a theme “Biotechnology and its Expanding Horizons” began at KIIT School of Biotechnology.

Bhubaneswar: The 9th two-day Biotech Industry Conclave-2023 with a theme “Biotechnology and its Expanding Horizons” began at KIIT School of Biotechnology with the participation of more than 30 industry leaders, five-panel discussions, and 22 talks on the industry-academia interface and how to make students technology-ready for the ever-growing biotech sector.

In his Keynote address Sanjeev Vashishta, MD, Pathkind Diagnostics called for a vibrant industry academia cooperation to take the biotech industry to a new level. With India’s given credentials as a technology superpower and its strong base in the IT-driven sector, the biotech-digital collaboration would certainly make India a major player in innovations in healthcare, food production, building a knowledge economy, digital governance and ultimately bridging the socio-economic gap, as India still stands 139th in per capita income, though it’s the 5th major economy in the world with gross GDP, he said. He also added that Biotechnology in convergence with digital technology could bring in a sea change in creating a sustainable society in India.

The upcoming fields like genetic engineering, gene therapy, bio-medical research for better medicines, vaccines, and pandemic preparedness would make a new world and the students should take the opportunity during the two-day conclave to explore their potentials, he added.

Vaggu Raghavendra Goud, CEO, EMPE Diagnostics said, “Now India has 730 biotech companies with 500 plus indigenous products, but still the industry is hungry to have more innovations and ideas into the market and students can play a greater role by getting ideas from the conclave like this by KIIT-TBI.” Pharma and bio-pharma industry has the potential to become a Rs 5,000 crore worth sector in the near future, Goud urged the students to take a call as the future belongs to collaborative efforts, he added.

Prof Saranjit Singh, Pro Vice-Chancellor, KIIT-DU said “The future belongs to Biotech and Digital Technology ideas as currently automobile industry has become a 35 percent digitally-driven sector though it was primarily a domain of Mechanical Engineering.” Speaking on the development of intricate circuits (chips) through VLSI designs and future demand for the interdisciplinary projects would need biotech students, Prof Singh, a veteran in Mechanical Engineering, advised the students to hone their skills accordingly, to become “market-ready” so that they could grab every possible opportunity in future.

Giving introductory remarks Prof. Jyana Ranjan Mohanty, Registrar, KIIT-DU narrated how through a journey of 17 years KIIT-TBI has become a unique happening place for technology incubation, hand-holding of start-up ecosystem for making successful prototypes for production and contributing immensely in research and development sector.

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