knowledge millennium iii: the business of biotechnology

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KNOWLEDGE MILLENNIUM III: THE BUSINESS OF BIOTECHNOLOGY


DAY
-
II, Saturday, March 22, 2003






It is my very proud privilege in welcoming all our distinguished dignitaries, distinguished
speakers, respected delegates, respected members of the press and me
dia for the
“Knowledge Millennium III Summit: The Business of Biotechnology”. ASSOCHAM was
established in 1920 and this is the oldest apex chamber of commerce in the country. It is
promoted through six regional chapters the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and I
ndustry,
Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cochin Chamber of Commerce and
Industry, Indian Merchants Chamber, Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry and
the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

ASSOCHAM represents interests of more than a 150,000

direct and indirect
members and it probably has a broad spectrum of membership representation from
trade, industry professionals, industry associations and various chambers of commerce.
ASSOCHAM through its various departments covers the entire gamut of e
conomic
activity in India and is being acknowledged as a significant voice of Indian industry. It
continues with its unflinching mission to impact policy and legislative environment so as
to force a balanced economic industrial and social development in In
dia. ASSOCHAM
acknowledges that the future wealth creation in India would be through knowledge
-
based industries. The chamber has therefore, repositioned itself as a Knowledge
Chamber of India. In pursuance of this direction, it has already celebrated Knowl
edge
Millennium I on Information Technology and Knowledge Millennium II on Biotechnology.
ASSOCHAM continues its focus on biotechnology with the current summit Knowledge
Millennium III: The Business of Biotechnology. ASSOCHAM has resolved for itself to
in
itiate Indian business into the exciting opportunities that lie ahead and create a dream
amongst all our young knowledge entrepreneurs to become bio billionaires. We once
again welcome you to Knowledge Millennium III:The Business of Biotechnology.

Ladies
and Gentlemen His Excellency the Honourable President of India Dr.A P
J Abul Kalam will be entering the stage from my door on my right hand side escorted by
the dignitaries on the stage. The moment I get a cue

from the President’s security, I will
request
you to kindly stand for the arrival of His Excellency and remain standing for the
national anthem. May I request you to kindly settle down in the hall and kindly please be
seated as soon as possible?

Friends His Excellency the Honorable President of India
Dr. A P J Abul Kalam
(Rashtriya Gaan).

Namaskar and Good morning. His Excellency the Honourable President of India
Dr.A.P.J Abul Kalam, Honourable Union Minister for Science and Technology, Human
Resource Development and Ocean Development Prof. Murli Manoh
ar Joshi,
distinguished dignitaries on the stage, distinguished speakers and special invitees,
respected delegates, respected members of the press and the media and ladies and
gentlemen. On behalf of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Indi
a it
is my very proud privilege in welcoming you to the inaugural session of “Knowledge
Millennium III:The Business of Biotechnology”. I now request President ASSOCHAM,
Mr.R K Somany to kindly give his welcome speech.



INAUGURAL PLENARY



Welcome Address

by

Mr.R K Somany, Pre
sident
-
ASSOCHAM


Respected Rashtrapatiji, honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Human
Resource Development and Ocean Development Prof. Murli Manohar Joshiji, our
distinguished millennium speakers Dr.J Craig Venter, Dr. Inder M Verma, Prof. of
Gene
tics, The Salk Institute
-

USA, Dr.Manju Sharma, Secretary Department of
Biotechnology
-
Government of India, Dr.R A Mashelkar, Director General
-
CSIR,
honourable Members of Parliament, Senior Central and State Government officials,
Excellencies, colleagues fr
om industry and ladies and gentlemen. It is a great honour for
me to extend a very warm welcome, especially the Bharat Ratna respected Dr.A P J
Abul Kalam ji, the honourable President of India, Dr. Murli Manohar Joshiji, Honourable
Minister of Science and
Technology, Human Resource Development and Ocean
Development, Dr.J.Craig Venter author of “Human Genome Sequencing” and President
of The Centre for the Advancement of Genomics, USA and an august gathering of
internationally acclaimed scientists, researcher
s and bio
-
entrepreneurs.

Since the unraveling of nature and structure of the double helix DNA by Whatson
and Crick in 1953, the biotechnology industry took a great leap forward with the
decoding of the human genome by the Dr.Craig Venter. Indeed the path
breaking
successes such as the complete mapping of human genome, commercial usage of
genetically engineered products, cloning of dolly by Dr.Alan Colman who is also
amongst us today and more recently an advances in the field of human cloning have all
under
scored biotechnology as the new sunrise industry. What sounded futuristic a few
years ago has turned into a reality by advances of biotechnology. It was with this
foresight that ASSOCHAM conceptualized the Knowledge Millennium series in 1999,
focusing on I
nformation Technology. Last year, the chamber pioneered the cause
spreading biotechnology as the new buzzword in the world of science and business by
organizing Knowledge Millennium II. Our unflinching commitment towards promoting
knowledge
-
based industrie
s is what brings us here today. The rationale to organize this
summit is to deliberate on the various facets of biotechnology and to map a strategy for
India and the world at large, a strategy that would help generate future wealth from this
industry.

Wor
ldwide, biotechnology is being considered as the latest pursuit for expertise
in knowledge intensive sectors. In 2001, the global biotech industry was valued at USD
35 billion and is expected to grow at 25% annually. Indian biotechnology industry is
curren
tly valued at USD 1.5 billion. Much of the credit for growth of the Indian
biotechnology industry goes to the government that created a separate Department for
Biotechnology under the aegis of the Ministry of Science and Technology. Our state
governments a
re also equal contributors towards making India an emerging hub of
biotechnology. Today, we have the benefit of having both Central and State
Governments partnering with us for this summit. India inherently has all the strengths, an
excellent network of re
search laboratories, rich biodiversity, well
-
developed pharma and
seed industries and most importantly highly skilled and trained pool of scientific
manpower. Today India is slowly but steadily preparing itself for the emerging
biotechnology revolution. Th
e success in this sector, however, depends on a number of
enabling factors like facilitating venture capital funding, technology absorption and
strengthening of links between the industry, academic and government institutions.

I am confident that by worki
ng together we can overcome the obstacles and
seize the opportunities presented by the biotechnology sector in the new millennium. I,
therefore, take this opportunity to call upon all stakeholders in this industry to join hands
and make the world a much be
tter place to live. Come, let us see the future the
biotechnology way.

Thank you.


Thank you very much Mr.Somany. I now invite Mr.K L Chugh, Chairman of the
ASSOCHAM Knowledge Millennium Committee to kindly deliver the theme address.


Theme Address

by

Mr
.K L Chugh

Chairman
-
ASSOCHAM Knowledge Millennium Committee


Most respected Rashtrapatiji, respected Prof. Murli Manohar Joshi ji, our honourable
minister of knowledge, Dr.Craig Venter world renowned author of “Human Genome
Sequencing” and our Knowledge Mi
llennium speaker Dr.Inder Verma, our knowledge
millennium speaker in the last millennium submit, Dr.Manju Sharma, Secretary
Department of Biotechnology and godmother of India’s biotechnology movement, Dr.
Mashelkar, Director General CSIR and Chairman ASSOC
HAM Knowledge Millennium
Council, excellencies, captains of Industry, past presidents of ASSOCHAM, farmers and
students from all over the country, members of media, President Somany and
colleagues on the dais, ladies and gentlemen. I join President Somany
in welcoming all
of you to the ASSOCHAM Knowledge Millennium celebrations. It is with utmost humility
that I welcome adarniya Rashtrapatiji, adarniya Joshiji and Dr.Venter who is here with us
along with his charming wife, Dr.Claire Fraser, a scientist of r
epute in her own right
disregarding all the clouds of war.

I bow before this awesome knowledge power assembled on this dais and in this
historic and majestic hall and wonder if god is not with us to light the torch of knowledge
millennium and bio
-
revoluti
on in the country. It is a moment ASSOCHAM has worked for
the past four years. Four years back, the world was celebrating the birth of the new
millennium. At ASSOCHAM we were deciding to celebrate the new millennium as the
‘Knowledge Millennium’. Millenniu
m when knowledge businesses will drive the world
economies, will fuel their GDP growths, will give birth to technologies that touch every
aspect of life on earth that empowers everyone equitably and thereby remove poverty
and secure happiness. We were sang
uine in our belief that knowledge will emerge the
biggest wealth creator and will give birth to a host of new businesses for the knowledge
entrepreneurs who may not have the money power but will have abundant knowledge
power to become knowledge billionaire
s in the new millennium, creating billions of new
jobs. Driven by this vision, in December 1999, ASSOCHAM organized Knowledge
Millennium I, the summit on Information Technology with Dr.Raj Reddy, Professor of
Artificial Intelligence, Carnegie Mellon Univer
sity and advisor on future technologies to
the then president Clinton, as the millennium speaker.

With IT becoming a mass movement entering almost every small town of India
and giving India a global position of knowledge leadership, we moved our focus to
biotechnology, which ASSOCHAM believes India has the knowledge capability and
wealth of gene bank to occupy global leadership position. In March 2001, ASSOCHAM
celebrated Knowledge Millennium II: Biotechnology
-

The New World, with Dr.Inder
Verma, Professo
r of Genetics, The Salks Institute, USA, as the millennium speaker and
presented policy recommendations to the government, industry and opinion leaders. We
are happy that some of our recommendations like the cultivation of the golden grain of
rice, BT cott
on and creating more congenial bio
-
climate have since been accepted.
There is certainly more awareness, more debate and more determination today to
position India as a frontline nation in biotechnology. The Planning Commission, The
Department of Biotechnol
ogy, ICMR, Ministry of Health, The Indian Agriculture Research
Institute and CSIR laboratories and some private sector companies are today working
more dedicatedly on biotech issues than ever before. Continuing the march,
ASSOCHAM is now celebrating “Knowl
edge Millennium III: The Business of
Biotechnology”. We are fortunate that the honourable President of India is inaugurating
this year’s summit with Dr.Craig Venter as this year’s millennium speaker.

The green revolution brought an enormous increase in fo
od production. It not
only made the nation self sufficient in food but also gave the nation her scientists and
farmers, immense amount of self
-
respect and the spirit
-
India can do it. By creating an
exportable surplus, it has launched an Indian agriculture
and Indian farmers into global
business. Though the green revolution did increase food production, the productivity
levels have remained low in global comparison and increase was achieved at a cost of
intensive use of water, fertilizer and other inputs whi
ch have caused problems of soil
salinization, ground water pollution, nutrient imbalances, emergence of new pest and
diseases and environmental degradation. To feed the ever increasing population globally
and in India more and more food has now to be produ
ced from less and less land, water
and other natural resources with the environmental protection. It is, therefore, apparent
that we have to do things differently and doing more of what we did yesterday would not
take us forward. With the advent of gene tr
ansfer technology and its use in crops, could
we achieve higher productivity, better quality, improved nutrition, improved storage
properties, increased pests and disease resistance and achieve higher prices for
farmers in the global market place. With the

new technologies:

-

Could farmers become producers of 100% biodegradable plastics from
potato?

-

Could transgenic banana become a waxing producing source and a
panacea for all diseases?

-

Could the white revolution sweep the villages of India further with
imp
roved animal health and breeding?

-

Could we launch a blue revolution and exploit India’s shoreline of over
8000 kms?

-

Is biotechnology then the new way to move forward?


With the advances made already it appears eminently so. Biotechnology would
appear to

have the potential of eradicating rural poverty and fuelling India’s GDP growth.
The revolutionary sequencing of human genome, the technologies that are developing
rapidly thereafter, the advances in bio
-
informatics, cloning technologies, molecular
medici
ne and associated gene expression resulting in new, more effective and safer
drugs development are the scores of new business opportunities biotechnology is
opening up. The changes that are taking place all around us are incredible, just
unbelievable and s
o are the opportunities incredible, just unbelievable. It is first time that
knowledge for potential new businesses rests with the scientists and the research
laboratories. Can we bring this knowledge to create new businesses?

Rich scientists
-

Rich India
.

Scientists rich in knowledge and rich in wealth could
become India's new wealth creators. Poor scientists would not make India a rich country.
Can we innovate to share this wealth creation with our scientists and professors? It
seems eminently possible. A
ll we need is courage to do new things in a new way without
fear and with conviction.

To rapidly create bio
-
scientists could we launch Indian Institutes of
Biotechnologies in the same style as the IIITs, the brainchild of Dr.Joshi?


-

Could we create a Nat
ional Institute of Biotechnology in the same style as NIIT,
carrying bio
-
education all over India?

-


Could we create a bio
-
knowledge movement when every mother wishes her
daughter and son to become a biotechnologist?

-

Could we involve all the Indian stat
es in this movement for there is everything in it for
everybody?


Exploiting our knowledge for information technology could we make India the global
center of bioresearch?

The creation of bio
-
knowledge biotechnologies, bio
-
businesses, bio
-

technopreneurs
, bio
-
farmers, bio
-
students and bio
-
billionaires ladies and gentlemen is
the theme of “Knowledge Millennium III: The Business of Biotechnology” and to light the
torch of bio
-
movement.


Thank you Mr.Chugh. I now request Dr.Manju Sharma, Secretary Departmen
t of
Biotechnology and Member ASSOCHAM Biotechnology Governing Council, the spirit
behind the biotechnology movement in the country, to deliver her address.


Dr. Manju Sharma

Secretary Department of Biotechnology


His Excellency our most respected honourab
le President of India Dr.Kalam, respected
honourable Prof.Joshiji, Dr.Craig Venter, Mr. Inder Verma, Dr.Mashelkar, Dr.Somany,
Dr.Chug other dignitaries on the dais, the distinguished guests and the media. In a
UNIDO convened Biotechnology Business Forum ab
out three years ago it was stated
that biotechnology industry is itself a double helix in which science and business, like the
paired strands of DNA, join repeatedly to form a productive goal and this is what is
knowledge millennium and biotechnology busin
ess. In this meeting, Arthur Condell, the
Nobel Laureate stressed the point that much has been said about the future impact of
biotechnology on industrial development but this does not yet apply to the less
developed countries that lack this infrastructure

and industrial strength. In view of the
current power of biotechnology and its even brighter future there is no question that the
less developed countries must now position and strengthen their status in biotechnology.
What a tragedy it would be if these
enlarged concepts of genetics, biology and chemistry
were available only to a small fraction of the world located in a few major centers of
highly developed countries.

World over the word biology is used in a very broad sense today. Biotechnology
represen
ts an interdisciplinary field integrating material science, biology, physics,
chemistry, information science and many other areas like agriculture and medical
research, is the backbone of bioindustry today. The advances in genetic engineering,
biochemistry

and bioengineering have resulted in a wide range of biotechnologies.
Bioinformatics and biotechnology are today intertwined. The latest throughputs systems
to the bioinformatic set up, high performance computers, DNA amplification and
sequencing, genome a
ssembly and gene production proteomics and mass
spectrometer, all these developments of biochips, better gene expression systems and
so on, these are the tools leading

towards the more exciting research opportunities. A
recent report from the United States
, Switzerland and many of the European countries
when a group of scientists met and said that they can make simple artificial cells from
scratch. These can metabolize, replicate and evolve i.e. fulfill the basic criteria for living
entities. While this wil
l only be synthetic, the scientists have said, this would mark the
beginning of the field of synthetic biology.

India has a well
-
established bioindustrial base where products are being made
by using conventional biotechnology. Presently, out of the total
production of biotech
items, more than 70% of the products are produced based on the local capabilities and
skills. It is estimated that with the proactive role of the government this capability will rise
in time and the Indian biotech industry would show
its impact in the global scenario. I
would like to summarize the core competence of the Indian biotechnology industry for
the benefit of the distinguished representatives from the industry as follows:

-

Handling fermentation based products.

-

Handling of the l
abile fermentation based compounds efficiently in downstream
processing methods.

-

Use of plants and animals for extracting the value added products of high purity.

-

Use of cell microbial culture techniques, plant
-
breeding techniques, plant cell and
tissu
e culture techniques and so on.


For a biotech business entrepreneurship the five factors, which are very important
are: creativity, ability to spot opportunities, the drive, the determination and the
willingness to take risk. This probably is the most imp
ortant factor. The biotech industry
in India has to move very fast keeping in view the developments taking place globally.
Government of India is always at the back of the countries entrepreneurs protecting their
interests in the process of globalization a
nd implementing at a faster pace the economic
reforms. In the future scenario biotech business platforms to be used would include the
huge data generated and mined with the use of bio
-
informatics. This includes
proteomics, pharmacogenomics, biochips, combi
natorial chemistry, geno
transplantation, tissue engineering and so on including the drug discovery. All these
techniques would require further various lead validation platforms. This is a very
important aspect. It is here that the industry has a very impo
rtant role to play. The
research leads, which are available and coming out from the research from various
national laboratories and universities there has to be a platform set up by the industry to
validate them.

Since biotechnology cuts across all the di
sciplines of science, the future of biotech
industry is really exciting with various advances taking place in India and globally. Every
decade has experienced tremendous investment opportunities in new growth sectors. In
the 70s, it was oil, gas, silver an
d gold. In the 80s, it was mergers and acquisitions and
junk bonds. In the 90s, it was information technology and dot.coms and in the new
millennium, the 21
st

century, it is biotechnology.

The Indian economy recorded a growth of 5.4% during 2001
-
02 as com
pared to 4%
in the previous years. India’s pre
-
eminent role as a global software provider creates the
impetus to develop similar capabilities in the realm of biotechnology. A large reservoir of
scientific human resource, centers of academic excellence in b
ioscience, a vibrant
pharmaceutical industry and fast developing clinical capabilities collectively point to a
booming biotechnology sector in the future. The biotechnology sector although nascent
at the present time and accounting for mere 2% of the globa
l biotechnology market is
poised for an exponential growth over the next five years with an unexpected global
market share of at least 10%. Indigenous biotech products and services presently
account approximately 150 million US Dollars (USD). The current s
egmentation is
shared equally between human therapeutics such as vaccines, biogenetics contract
research services including the rDNA technologies, genomics, bio
-
informatics and
industrial products such as enzymes, diagnostics, bio processing equipment and
instrumentation. An emerging segment in agri
-
biotech, which is expected to realize rapid
growth over the next five years, will account for 15% of the total indigenous biotech
market. Thus, enormous potential awaits the industries that are interested in agr
o
-
biotech ventures. The consumption of biotech products in India is estimated to increase
10 fold to 1.5 billion USD by 2007 to 4.5 billion USD by 2010. These are estimates given
to me by the industry and also the PCI surveys.

There is a global economic d
ownstream downturn. However, the biotechnology
industry is optimistic about the future. No other industry sector is showing the similar
level of entrepreneurship and the funds needed for research and development in the
companies in the R&D set
-
up of the in
dustries continue to be available and continue to
increase. Given the biotech sectors volatility, it seems ironic to look for a safe
playground but the analysts are saying that while biotech is volatile, its up and down
nature is not linked with overall ma
rket products. Instead, the performance of biotech
companies is directed by factors that are very consistent, which will continue to grow in
the future also. Diseases like cancer, heart diseases, alzheimer’s and diabetes.
Researchers will always seek new t
herapies. Biotech has and will always have a very
unique place within our economy because of the demand for new solutions for the
current problems. Biotech companies offer both defensive and high growth opportunities
to the investors. They hold long
-
term p
romise and are a part of an industry with lots of
room to grow. They are defensive because they are making pharmaceutical products for
which there will always be a need. They are high growth because biotech is still an
emerging industry that has only being

commercialized for the last 10 years or so.

In the 1990s, the technology sector created unprecedented wealth for those who
were eschewed enough in the beginning to capitalize on the potential of what was a new
risky factor unlike the biotechnology sector
. Now, today is the time to take advantage of
the many new and exciting opportunities for research in modern biology and
biosciences. Taking advantage of an opportunity now, it has the possibility offering an
excellent returns in the future. Biotechnology
has witnessed the major scientific and
technological breakthroughs in the last century, especially the announcement of human
genome sequence, which was already mentioned, and subsequently the proposed post
genomic activities including what we are observing

this year, the celebrations of the
golden jubilee of the double helix discovery. It is just not the spirit of celebrations, but it is
a question how mankind is going to use this discovery for the welfare of the society as a
whole?

Areas where biotech ind
ustries will have a major role in the coming years would
include the nutrition and food including the nutraceutical items, high quality seeds,
extremely important for countries like India, herbal drugs, new vaccines and diagnostics
and bio informatics, esp
ecially the software. It is a research
-
intensive industry and in
India the consumption of biotech products has increased from Rs 71.54 billion in 1997 to
Rs 94 billion in 2000 and the projected demand for 2005 is something like Rs 146 billion.
To integrate

information and biotechnology revolution as a single technological and
economic force and establish a large number of biological databanks would facilitate
rapid progress. Transgenic as an important strategy in agriculture would produce

bio engineered cr
ops. We have examples like the transgenic tomato, transgenic potato
and nutritionally rich potato. Crops with resistance to biotech and abiotic stresses such
as salinity, drought and water logging, nitrogen fixation in cereals using more efficient
microbes

and value addition alongwith the nutritional enhancement of important edible
crops, this is the mission of the Indian scientists.

In vitro mass propagation of the desired plant and material genetic control through
identification and manipulation of genes

and its implication in the forestry sector would
help in rapid degeneration of forests and would also result in the enhanced production of
industrial timber. The examples I am giving are to show the close connectivity or the
close linkage between the high

quality basic research, which is being done and the
industrial sector benefiting directly from it. Development of a large number of diagnostics
for major diseases, genetic disorders, cancer, tuberculosis, HIV and malaria, better
understanding of the human

brain from molecular to systems level, to enable the control
and treatment of large number of currently incurable neurological disorders and
development of new generation of vaccines including the DNA vaccines are all moving
ahead, moving very fast in thi
s country. Some of the vaccines are in very advanced
stages of development entering into Phase
-
I trials or completed the Phase
-
I and entering
into the Phase
-
II trials. Our inherent strength of Ayurveda and traditional systems of
medicine would be optimally

utilized through biotechnological interventions realizing that
the present century would greatly depend upon medicines from plant based systems,
development of new molecules, drugs prospecting of new genes in the whole field of
pharmacogenomics has become

a mission for the Indian scientists. In fact, new areas
such as toxicogenomics, proteomics are all high priority for the country.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that systems that combine biological and
chemical molecules on the one hand and the phys
ical devices and electrodes on the
other have a huge potential for many applications. The biotech industry is just coming
out of its infancy. Its potential is being tested, realized and used. The public awareness
and acceptance will accelerate the process.

This sector is expected to expand at least
three fold by the end of the century and will still match or surpass the computer industry
in size, importance and growth. Currently these are being supplemented by private
individual entrepreneurs for developing

appropriate goods and services for local needs
as well as for the export market. Technologies are flowing into the country due to the
changed economic scenario. Very soon we can become global players in at least some
areas of biotechnology
-

herbal, agricu
ltural, microbial and genomics or may be in all. As
long as our basic objective is to harness this field and to use the knowledge generated in
this field for the human welfare, we will succeed.

Let me give you a message, which was sent as we can say the f
ather of modern
biotechnology and biology today Prof. James Watson. While we were celebrating our
double helix golden jubilee discovery he sent a message to Indian scientific community
and to all concerned with the development of

biotechnology and the mess
age is as
follows:

“I wish you every success as you come together for international dialogue in this 50
th

year of DNA’s double helix, the most important molecule of biology. Through working out
and later manipulating the sequences of it’s A,T,G and C lett
ers we will increasingly be
able to understand life at the molecular level and use this knowledge to improve the
quality of human life.”

This is a message received on 14
th

February in India from Dr.James Watson. The
very purpose of this meeting which is b
eing organized by ASSOCHAM and we have also
been associated with the organization of this to some extent, is meant to create an
awareness about the whole field of biotechnology, which is knowledge intensive, which
is skill intensive, which needs human reso
urce, which needs capital, which needs that
we can take risks and ultimately the fruits will be for the benefit of the entire humanity.


Thank you very much Dr.Sharma. I have the privilege in requesting

Dr.R.A.Mashelkar, Director General CSIR and Chairman

of the ASSOCHAM
Biotechnology Governing Council to deliver his address.



Special Address

by

Dr. R .A. Mashelkar


Director General CSIR and Chairman of the ASSOCHAM Biotechnology
Governing Council


Our most respected president of India Dr. A P J Abul Kala
m, our honourable Minister of
Human Resource Development, Science and Technology and Ocean Development,
Prof. Murli Manohar Joshi, Dr.Craig Venter, Dr. Inder Verma, Mr.R K Somany, Dr.Manju
Sharma, Mr.K L Chugh, ladies and gentlemen. I stand before you as t
he Chairman of the
Biotechnology Governing Council of ASSOCHAM. I want to add my own words of very
warm welcome to all of you. To me this is a very special and a spectacular morning. Just
look at the dais and you will see so many symbols and so many signal
s there. We have
our most beloved President as a scientist. I am very proud that this great nation has a
scientist as its President. Sir, ever since you have taken over reigns of presidency you
have sent many inspiring messages and you have stirred the nat
ional conscience. One
of the most important messages is to ignite the young minds and not only the young but
that of entire India. We are a nation of 100 crore people 1/6
th

of humanity but these 100
crore people should not be looked at as 100 crore mouths,

they are 100 crore minds and
if they are ignited what a power it can generate and where this nation can catapult itself,
this is the message you have been giving. We are very grateful for this message. We
have our beloved Minister of Science and Technolog
y Prof. Murli Manohar Joshi. He is
not our minister we call him our guru. He has brought in new dynamism and a vision,
again an eminent physicist, who is our Minister of Science and Technology and Human
Resource Development. Strong messages on creating inn
ovative India and India that will
lead and not follow. On the dais we have Dr.Craig Venter and I call him innovator’s
innovator. Life science is looking very different today because it was your fantastic
initiative, which gave us an early entry into unders
tanding the science of life. Celera
Genomics, we want to tell you Dr.Venter, is not just another company for us, but it is a
symbol of this great human spirit of adventure, of innovation, of creativity, of daring. We
are also very proud to have our very ow
n Dr.Inder Verma. There is never a doubt about
the Indian genes, our only concern has been sometimes that those Indian genes don’t
express here, they express in Silicon Valley. But doesn’t matter, they are our genes
Inder Verma is someone that we are extre
mely proud of. Then we have my very dear
sister Dr.Manju Sharma. I was just telling her that we talk about bioactivity. What she
has done consistently for over last 20 years is to make India bioactive. Everyone she
touches, she actually talks about biotech
nology, says biotechnology, lives biotechnology,
breathe biotechnology. Finally, the great signal in this corporate world itself because
government can do several things but it is finally the public
-
private partnership, which is
going to make a difference,

and this tremendous initiative that ASSOCHAM has taken
actually speaks of this new spirit. Since we are running short of time I will confine my
remarks to something very brief.

The first point I want to make is that many people have said IT is India’s
to
morrow and IT is being interpreted as Information Technology. I would say, “Yes, IT is
India’s tomorrow but then IT has to be interpreted as “Indian Talent” because this talent
is absolutely supreme”. I also believe that BT will be
Bharat’s Tomorrow

becaus
e Bharat
lives in villages and it is not just a game of few elites but touching the lives of this entire
nation is something that biotechnology can do, whether it is food security, nutritional
security, health security, environmental security and I would s
ay even livelihood security
because the potential that this technology has to create jobs, is unbelievable. I am
already branded as a dangerous optimist. So, what I am going to say in the next three
minutes you will have to take it with a pinch of salt.

I

believe that India has tremendous opportunity in biotechnology and enormous
competitive advantages.

1.

Our rich biodiversity, whether it is human, plant and animal;

2.

Our undisputed rich human capital, particularly in the area of life sciences,
which have be
en built over decades;

3.

Our huge agricultural base;

4.

The established pharmaceutical industry, which can provide a platform for
sunrise biotechnology industry;

5.

Low cost manufacturing base, we can do things faster, better and cheaper
than anyone else in the wo
rld.

6.

We have this new phenomenon that technology always used to be driven by
the center, our states are rather inactive but they have become bioactive
now.

You will find in this very session you have number of states participating and telling
us what the
y are trying to do by setting up biotechnology policies, biotechnology parks
and so on and so forth. That means this technology is really percolating down and I
believe that’s great news.

Finally, we are building partnerships, partnerships of what? Partne
rships of our past
and present something that has been actually pushed and driven by our honourable
minister Prof. Murli Manohar Joshi. Combining traditional wisdom, biodiversity and
modern science. By creating the golden triangle between modern science, m
odern
medicine and traditional medicine, we are finding out that many programs that are
running today, for example, the one in CSIR there are unbelievable leaves that we are
getting. There is another unique partnership between the private sector that is em
erging
and the institutions. In the new millennium India Technology Leadership Initiative for
example and I am very happy to see Dr.Vidyasagar here who has driven this particular
program alongwith 20 other institutions, which is one of the largest networks

we have
created in bio
-
informatics. We have created what is called as Bio
-
suite, which will be
soon launched and it’s unbelievable that it is portable, it is versatile, it’s modular and it is
a unique product, which is typically Indian. We are going on ou
r own way bioinformatics.

I, therefore, do personally believe that the environment is absolutely right and finally
India is a destination as a global research, design and development platform mainly
because of Indian talent. Many of you may not realize th
at in the last five years 100
companies have come here and set up their R&D center just to tap this great intellectual
infrastructure. So it is destination India not for Taj Mahals or temples but the new
temples of knowledge and innovation, and that is whe
re the future actually lies. Ladies
and gentlemen on this spectacular morning I welcome you on this long journey, our first
steps into building our bio
-
future together.


Thank you very much indeed Dr.Mashelkar. Our Guest of Honour is Professor Murli
Manoha
r Joshi the honorable Union Minister for Science and Technology, Human
Resource Development and Ocean Development. It is indeed a privilege

in requesting
the honorable Union Minister to kindly give his address.



Prof. Murli Manohar Joshi

Hon’ble Minister
of Science and Technology, Human Resource Development and
Ocean Development


Dr. A.P.J Abul Kalam, the millennium address deliverer today Dr.J Craig Venter, Dr.
Inder Verma, Mr. Somany, President
-

ASSOCHAM, Mr. K.L.Chugh, Chairman
ASSOCHAM Knowledge Millen
nium Committee, Dr. Manju Sharma, Secretary
-

Department of Biotechnology, Dr. R.A.Mashelkar, Director General
-

Council of Scientific
and Industrial Research, captains of industry, distinguished scientists, participants to this
summit and friends from the m
edia.

I am indeed very happy to be amongst the participant of this conference, which is
being inaugurated by no less than our president Dr. A.P.J Abul Kalam who is a
distinguished scientist and has given India a lead in science and technology. I am also
v
ery happy to see the galaxy of scientists and captains of industry who have come here
to participate in this conference on the subject of “Knowledge Millennium III: The
Business of Biotechnology”. ASSOCHAM has aptly chosen the theme of this timely
meeting
to take stock of business opportunities in the wake of growth of biotechnology
driven industry in advanced countries. I am also pleased that eminent biotechnologists,
leaders of public and private R&D agencies and those of industry are participating in thi
s
conference to exchange their views on current and future scope of biotechnology based
business opportunities. My own rough calculations show that biotechnology can add
about Rupees One lakh crores worth of business in various areas over the next decade.
I have been informed that some indigenous biotechnology products are already in the
market place. I am also informed that many leads remain unexploited. I would like that
Indian industry should convert business opportunities created by biotechnology R&D in
to
profitable products both for national consumption and international export. India is
training and has trained large number of graduates at Masters level in various branches
of biotechnology. Thus, India will remain a source of young and talented manpowe
r in
biotechnology and production engineering areas. A character of biotechnology industry
is it is small and medium in size. These features make India a highly competitive place
for biotechnology business development in the world domain. I suggest that th
e vital
players including those present here should plan a multipronged approach to promote
biotechnology enterprises suited to our milieu. I agree with the view of the organizers of
the conference that new millennium will be millennium of knowledge. We al
so always
have been saying in India ”Pragyanam Brahm”. So, this knowledge is itself the
manifestation of the absolute. Indeed it will comprise of centuries of knowledge
generation and continuum of integration of all knowledge at a level, which will be a fe
w
to several levels of magnitude greater than that in the centuries gone by. It can be said,
“Knowledge will beget Knowledge”. Earlier people used to say from market to
supermarket. I have been saying it from mind to super mind. That should be the aim of
t
he 21
st

century where a mind evolves into a much better functionary for attaining more
knowledge, clearer knowledge, beneficial knowledge and converting knowledge into
wisdom.

Last few centuries were dominated by advancements in physics and chemistry. I
a
m a physicist. These have provided tools for research in biology and I am happy that
biology is advancing on the results and tools provided by physics although manjuji
doesn’t agree. In the last half of the 20
th

century biology superseded other streams of
science. This period saw sea change in the execution of biology research, which
became highly intellectual and experimental and thereby data rich and today I have been
one of those advocates that all physicists must read biology as all biologists must read

physics as well as mathematics. Biology research began to depend on such
sophisticated instruments as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, all these
subjects very dear to me, and x
-
ray crystography. The biology in 21
st

century will be
even more data r
ich when major challenge of science is to develop an integrated
understanding of how cells are organized into organs and organism function in
coordination for their survival and reproduction. In this context, the decoding of genome
sequence of humans and t
hat of model organisms, crop plants including rice and
pathogenic microbes has opened new avenues for biotechnology that was hitherto
unavailable. In the next decade or so major strides would be made to use this massive
information to create new knowledge
base. This would accelerate development of new
vaccines, new diagnostics, better crops and better and less toxic drugs. The data to date
relate to DNA, protein and metabolite analyzes in the cells of a wide variety of organisms
as varied as amoeba to man a
nd bacteria to wheat plant. The essential features of life
processes have been revealed. The genetic information carried in DNA from generations
to generations is transcribed into RNA and translated into proteins, which perform
biological functions. The ex
pression of genes located on DNA is regulated and protein
functions are organized into pathways for the synthesis of metabolites. The data that
need to be gathered in 21
st

century will come from investigations of interactions between
complex sets of molecu
les i.e. proteins in the performance of cellular functions. Human
body has 10
13

cells, which are of about 200 types. Crop plants are also equally complex.
The modules of functions performed in different types of cells in different organs and
interactions o
f modules in the life of organism under various environments are very
active fields of investigation. The combinatorial protein functions at modular and
organismal levels are being revealed using engineering principles and computer science
in addition to a

battery of sophisticated analytical instruments. Understanding of the
molecular determinance of biological organization will be critical to enunciation of
sophisticated biotechnological approaches for quantum improvement in agriculture and
human health. M
ore we know about living organisms better will be the biotechnologies.

What is biotechnology? There are several definitions of biotechnology. I would
like to understand biotechnology as direct utilization of knowledge of biology for clinical
medication, p
ublic health protection and production of useful materials and also assigns
to understand the life itself because the most important question before me, as a
scientist is what is life? What is consciousness? Who am I? What makes me living?
What is the purp
ose of my being in this planet? These are the questions, which have
also to be answered, if not today in some future but these are also the questions, which
are to be tackled by biotechnologists. According to this definition, biotechnology has
overlapping
past, present and future. The present biotechnology had a beginning in
1975. It includes the biotechnologies of pre
-
1975 period plus those based on genetic
engineering and cell tissues and organ culture technologies. The future biotechnologies
will incorpo
rate knowledge available uptil now and that gathered henceforth through the
kinds of investigations pointed out above and the past the mutation, the hybridization
and selection based biotechnologies rewarded as with the life saving antibiotics, amino
acids
, vitamins and high yielding crop varieties that heralded green revolution. Ancient
Indians in the early millenniums gave Ayurveda, which used pharmoco phenotypes of
patients for the prescription of herbal therapeutics, high yielding land races of food,
me
dicinal and fiber crops and curd, cheese and medicinal wines. I am here to again
request you to consider that ayurveda has a great potential for being examined through
the new biotechnological tools and providing perhaps world’s cheapest and best health
ca
re system without any side effects. It will be almost a renewable system, nothing
would be chemical in that in that sense that nothing is synthetic, everything is herbal,
perhaps 99% of it, and is all renewable. So, it has a great potentiality and India ca
n show
a lot of talent and potency in this field.

Recent advances that India is making in the area of biology are paving the way
for significant biotechnologies that will be of worldwide importance. I am pleased that
India is testing strands of potato, wh
ich carry large amounts of essential amino acids
whose availability will help alleviate malnutrition permeating the poor in India, Asia,
Africa and Latin America and wherever else such conditions will be prevalent. The
world’s population will be 8 billion
in the year 2020. India will have nearly 20% of them.
The requirement for food, medication and environment remediation will increase as the
time progresses. Biotechnology must be deployed to meet these challenges in view of
little likelihood of arable land

(land is fixed), development of resistance in infectious
pathogens and paucity of clean water. At any given point of time the advancements in
biotechnology will commensurate with the advancement in biological knowledge.

Presently, how biotechnology will
benefit mankind can be projected only in terms
of progress already made in biology. However, it can be professed that progressive
developments in biotechnology will help meet all the natural changes. Greatest changes
are expected in the profile of health i
ndustry. The stem cell research aimed at
understanding how growing cells can be differentiated into organs and standardization of
techniques for the storage of in vitro grown organs will allow replacement of burnt skin,
injured cartilage and bones and defe
ctive cornea, liver, heart and other body organisms.
Biotechnology will form the basis of next desired green revolution for food production.
The application of tissue culture, marker aided selections in genetic engineering are
going to be the essential inp
uts for developing crops that require reduced levels of
pesticides, have higher nutritive value and possess improved disease jolt, salinity and
low soil nutritive tolerance.

I would like to bring to the attention of the industry the above kinds of possibi
lity,
which will be talked about in greater detail by the biotechnologists who are participating
in this conference. I see enormous business potential since all aspects of men’s living
are going to be impacted by biotechnology applications. Biotechnologist
s should work in
close cooperation with industry so that biotechnologies that can be marketed
immediately are developed first. The interest of common man should be kept in mind.
Everyone should benefit that is the goal to be achieved. I also foresee many
r
evolutionary contributions towards improving the quality of life and redressal of diseases
when biotechnology and nano technology join hands with the path breaking discoveries
of information technology.

Ladies and gentlemen I, therefore, propose a close i
nteraction and a close
synergy between information technology, biotechnology and nano technology. The three
should now come together and should form the basis of future scientific research as well
as industrial development. At the end, let me end conclude
by reminding our industry
friends that the responsibility is no doubt to raise and strengthen economy that they
should keep before them the face of the poor, malnourished child or an underprivileged
population. Their basic minimal needs must be met and in
this task industry would also
benefit when we have a large healthy population as the main workforce. India can lead
provided we follow the path of sustainable consumption taking into account the equity
and gender issues. The 21
st

century will belong to Ind
ia with its vast diverse knowledge
base, the precious biodiversity and our rich traditions of humility and complete

dedication
to our responsibilities and wonderful human software.


Thank you very much indeed sir for your address. Our distinguished millen
nium speaker
ladies and gentlemen is the author of the “Human Genome” and Former President of
Celera Genomics, USA and currently, President, The Center for the Advancement of
Genomics, Dr. J.Craig Venter. It is indeed a privilege in requesting him to deliv
er the
millennium address.


Millennium Address

by

Dr.J Craig Venter

Former President
-

Celera Genomics, USA and currently President
-

The Center
for the Advancement of Genomics, USA


Distinguished guests and ladies and gentlemen. It is indeed an honour to b
e here with
you as the millennium speaker particularly in the presence of the honourable President,
Dr. A.P.J Abul Kalam and other distinguished guests, ASSOCHAM officials and many
other scientists and entrepreneurs who have come to participate in the Know
ledge
Millennium Summit. My wife and I have just spent a few days seeing some of the
beautiful sites of India including the Taj Mahal and Jaipur. This is our first trip to India
and that certainly lived up to his magical reputation. We have been captivated

by the
culture, the architectural wonders, and most of all the people that we have encountered
and I respect the people and specifically the leaders of a nation that determined the
prosperity and the direction of a country and I have been impressed by the

work that’s
gone on through ASSOCHAM and by the government leaders here in India over the last
several years to encourage growth and development in the field of science and
biotechnology. I recently read with great interest that India has increased resear
ch
funding nearly 10% this year following a 25% increase then last year. Even though there
is a very long way to go, this news is very encouraging because I believe we are living at
a time where research and development in science and medicine are more cru
cial to our
global well being than ever before and I believe that much of the excitement in science
today is because of the field of genomics.

India is the largest democracy on the planet and perhaps the smartest because
of the scientist in the government
. India has a unique opportunity to lead the way the
application of scientific innovation towards social and economic development to continue
commitment and funding for scientific and medical research. Many have been concerned
that genomics will progress i
n a way that precludes lesser
-
developed countries from
reaping the benefits of this promise field. I think quite the opposite is true. It is my belief
that genomics is a great equalizer both at the philosophical level and many branches of
the field that ca
n be tailored by individual country needs through their own innovative
ideas. India as a country has one sex of the human genomes on the earth and over 1
million minds to potentially harness.

As many of you know, I had led a team at Celera Genomics that s
equence the
human genome faster and more economically than many far possible. We had
accomplished this feat in nine months where the multidisciplinary team of scientists,
software and computer engineers, biologists, bioinformaticians for less than 100 mill
ion
dollars. Using new mathematical algorithms we have automated sequencing machines
and high performance computing infrastructure. Our experiments are so approved, what
I had long known, which is that single individuals can make a big outcome on world
eve
nts. We saw each step of the process to excel. If any of the individual team members
had failed to do extraordinary work, the whole project would have failed. I created an
environment where everyone was encouraged to think creatively and develop new ways
t
o solve huge technical challenges. This innovative spirit was allowed to flourish and
resulted in numerous advances and algorithm software computing in laboratory
techniques. Everyone at Celera believed that they were taking part in something larger
than t
hemselves in the historic sequencing of the human genome. What we had
confirmed to the world with this slow experiment was that no new advances or bold
ideas could be accomplished without a willingness to take risk and I think there in new
ways. I have bee
n called the maverick or a risk taker many times and I suppose in some
respects I am both of these, but if you are going to accomplishing your goals, it is only
possible by following your own intuition and be empowered to take risks.


So, what do we learn

from our sequencing of the genome and why did we feel that it was
necessary to go so rapidly?


Many of you now read some of the surprising findings from the human genetic code.
One of our biggest surprises is that we had far fewer genes than most imagined
. Many
scientists expected that there would be hundreds of thousands of genes and if you hold
a genetically deterministic view of life that there is one gene for every function then it
would have to be very large number. We only have approximately 40,000 g
enes, which
was a big challenge in interpreting and changing the thinking of even the scientific
community. Fewer genes means our biology is more complex than what we have
imagined but probably 99% of the discoveries in biology that will ever take place re
main
to be made. This is very different than what I was told when I was a PhD student in
1970s working on my doctorate at the University of California. I was told that it could be
very difficult to come up with a new discovery because basically everything
was already
known.

We also found that humans are nearly identical to one another. If we look at each
of our genetic code we find that we would only differ in one out of 1200 letters. This
means that out of the 3 billion letters of the genetic code there a
re only 2 to 3 million
differences and only one out of hundreds of those have any biological significance. But
clearly we are not all identical clones. So, some of the changes are significant. For
example, a few minor changes in a few genes can affect whet
her somebody is resistant
to HIV infection or will die more rapidly from the infection. Other small differences can tell
us who is more susceptible to breast or colon cancer. Genomics will allow each of us to
take a more active role in our health. The info
rmation will give each of us power over our
own lives and knowledge to intervene to healthier habits. I want to be clear though that
knowing your genetic code is an important part of the new arsenal to fight disease and
improve health but it’s just that it
’s a part. It’s not a crystal ball in to your future health but
a part of a set of data to help us understand our arts of getting a particular disease. Our
genome is also our recorded history about our evolution and our link to all other species
on this pl
anet. It is for these reasons that I didn’t want to wait 10 or 15 years for the
public program and to move genomics faster. I did not view in obtaining the sequences
as the end result but we viewed it as the first step in a very long journey to change our
understanding of human biology.

One of our not for profit interest is the institute, The Center for the Advancement
of Genomics. This dedicated further in the use of genomics tools to understand human
biology and explore the social and ethical issues are
a result in for genomic progress.
We are engaged in trying to lower the cost of sequencing from 100 million dollars to a
mere 1000 dollars challenging technology producers to generate the next generation
sequencing equipment. It is only by lowering the cos
t in this field can we make sequence
genomes available to world population. I predicted that within the next ten years when
babies are born in a hospital their parents would have the opportunity to leave the
hospital with a CD
-
ROM of your child’s genetic c
ode. This would be an important
component as part of an integrated genomic medicine. It will change the future of health
care around the world.

Genomics has the potential to aide in solving many other global health crises we
face today. For example, recen
tly we sequenced the human genome, the anopheles
mosquito genome and two malaria genomes. Now there is an opportunity to develop
new highly effective vaccines and treatments but more importantly we now have the real
possibility of the fact of developing ef
fective preventive measures against malaria.
Further treatments may be on humans or on the mosquitoes itself as we understand
what the genetic code reveals to us. Our team at the Institute for Genomic Research had
advised Dr. Claire Fraser. His sequence ha
d nearly half of all the genomes that have
been done to date including some of the most important human pathogens such as
streptococcus pneumoniae, haemophilus influenzae, vibrio cholerae, bacillo crescentus
and others. There are more than 40 microbial gen
ome projects currently underway and
these are going to impact global health and also provide to prevent bioterrorism. One of
the exciting examples of this is TIGR’s collaboration with Kyron in developing a new
vaccine against meningitis. Using the genome s
equence, the vaccine was developed in
less than a year and is currently in clinical trials. Another vital program on TIGR project
is being done in collaboration with the International Livestock Institute in Kenya to
sequence the
T. parva

genome.
T.parva

is

responsible for the East Coast fever in
cattles, which can have devastating economic implications for the farmers in Kenya.
Complaining the genome in this organism has lab researches to better understand how
to prevent the disease through vaccine developm
ent and protect the livestock and
livelihood of these farmers. These are just two examples but now there are thousands of
these breakthroughs happening everyday because of the rapid advances in genomics.

There are institutes for biological energy alternat
ives who are using genomic
tools to develop ways to tackle the growing energy issues. They receive grants from our
foundation and from US Department of Energy who are working on synthetic
chromosomes and organisms, carbon dioxide sequestration and hydrogen

development.
Where as by the earlier stages of research at IBF we believe that genomics could
provide some answers to the field that has not seen many advances in over 25 years.

I am encouraged by India’s commitment to explore any cleaner energy solution
s,
but we all need to do more and invest more if we are going to break free from our
dependence on fossil fuels. Imagine in the near future, if India makes the commitment of
small villages breaking the cycle of poverty through the application of biotechnol
ogy, I
can see the growth of a new bioengineered crops producing higher yields with modern
farm equipment powered by hydrogen produce locally from recyclable bio
-
converters
that produce water as a by
-
product.

I hope I have been able to impart some of the
great enthusiasm I feel about the
future through the use of genomics. Each time we add another completed genome to the
list we have one more potential key to the cure for a human disease and a better
understanding of our evolution as a species. This field
is still in its earliest stages and
while we have accomplished a lot in a short time, there is clearly much for us to learn
and develop. We need a massive collective global effort dedicated to funding new
research in sequencing genomes, computational biolo
gy in computing functional and
comparative genomics and basic biological research. We as scientists must be
dedicated to better science education throughout the world, so we do not deny our future
generations new treatments in cures for disease or a cleane
r environment because of
ignorance and fear of scientific advance.

It’s no secret that I have been often frustrated throughout my career by the slow
pace of research and obstinate resistance to new ideas. Dr.Sharma mentioned the
importance of risk. My suc
cess only happened because I was very often a great
personnel and professional cost to go against the brain and question authority. I was
willing to take risk because I believe that settling for the status quo was not going to
benefit me, my lab or the bro
ader field of science or society. I encourage all of you here
to faster the spirit in your colleagues and yourselves as you now enable India to become
a world leader in the application of life sciences to the betterment of humanity.


Thank you very much in
deed for your millennium address Dr.Craig Venter. Ladies and
gentlemen, it is my very proud privilege in requesting our honorable Chief Guest, His
Excellency the honorable President of India Dr.A.P.J.Abul Kalam to kindly give his
inaugural address.


Inau
gural Address

by

Dr.A P J Abul Kalam, Hon’ble President of India


Friends my greetings to all of you. Honourable Dr.Murli Manohar Joshi, Dr.Craig Venter,
Shri Somany, Dr. Manju Sharma, Dr. Mashelkar, Mr. K.L.Chugh, Mr. N K Sanghi, Dr.
Inder Verma and Anil
Aggarwal and all friends who have assembled here on the dais
and in front of me. I was thinking what to talk to you on such a very important subject. I
am indeed delighted to participate in the international summit on the “Knowledge
Millennium III: The Bus
iness of Biotechnology” organized by ASSOCHAM. I am also
happy to inaugurate the International subject. Friends, after hearing all that you have
heard since last one hour, including various presentations, I was going through my talk
what I had prepared yes
terday night on computer and I thought I must not read my talk
to you since it is available on my website. So, because of shortage of time I will not be in
a position to read my speech. However, I want to share a few experiences in working
with biotechnolo
gists and the type of challenges what we should work for.

The most important thing we did some work in India and I have a task team. We
foretold how India should look like in say another ten years’ time, a knowledge society
that is graduation from the enr
iching agricultural society to industrial society to
information technology society and then to knowledge society. Now, what is the
uniqueness of knowledge society? We found that the knowledge society will be driven by
innovation. Innovation is the foundat
ion for the knowledge society and there will be three
components in the knowledge society. The first and the foremost component is the
biotechnology, followed by information technology and the space technology. These are
the driving force as per our task t
eam and when we looked at on the core competence of
India we decided that a knowledge society would be reinforced in the combination of
three areas of technology. In turn, the knowledge society will reinforce the information
technology society, industrial
society and the agriculture society. It is one of the
recommendations we have given and how to go about in ten years’ time towards
knowledge society. Myself, Dr.Mashelkar and many of the other people worked on that
and we had given a report.

Now, today I
thought I would talk to you about some of my experience when I
was teaching at Anna University. I was a professor there and technology, how to use
technology for societal transformation was the subject I was dealing with. When I was
dealing with that subje
ct I came across a very good biotechnologist, very innovative
biotechnologist. Normally, a modern biotechnologist have there own boundary conditions
and there own dreams. He was very busy in discovering many molecules as every
biotechnologist dreamt of and

then he reached certain number of molecules. Then one
unique thing he did was he had a friend who was a traditional Vaidya. That is the
uniqueness of modern biotechnologist that he can frame up an idea. This Vaidya
claimed that traditionally for his grand
parents recently, he extracted some herbs and he
claims that it has cured some type of a cancer disease. Normally biotechnologists would
not believe what that vaidya says but this biotechnologist tried to understand that and he
got a herb extract and he ch
aracterized and he found that there are traces of anti
-
cancer
elements in it. Then he chemically synthesized the molecule and also synthesized the
herb molecule and compared, both of them went and patent it. The message I am going
to give you is these inte
rpretations of minds of a traditional knowledge and the modern
technology knowledge will give new information. Most of you experts know that a
molecule to the drug takes 8 to 10 years to put in the market but having the traditional
knowledge it will reduce

that number of years from a molecule to the drug cycle from the
multi centric test. By all these three to four years will reduce. This message I want to
give it to you. Particularly, in case of India, since our biodiversity is very high and the
traditiona
l knowledge is very high it is essential that modern biotechnologist look at what
is the knowledge bank what we are having in the traditional knowledge. This one
message I want to convey to you.

The second one is about agriculture area. In the same area I

happened to hear a
beautiful lecture by Prof. Norman Vorlax. He is one of our well wishers. He is a scientist
who worked with the Indian agriculture scientist and he is one of the architects in the first
green revolution. When he was giving his talk what
I observed was he said he was at
that time 87. At 87 years he has got a dream he has got a vision. We can all have a
beautiful vision. He said that today our planet has got 6 billion people and what we
produce, the wheat and rice, has got a certain type of

water and land availability. By
2020 the six billion population will become 8 billion and the area availability will almost
remain the same or it will get reduced. Water availability will be either same or will get
reduced. So there is a big challenge bet
ween the traditional agriculture cultivation and
therefore a new technology like biotechnology should see how much of the arable land
out of the 170 million hectares that we have today, we will have in the future. There is a
possibility that this 170 milli
on hectares of arable land might get reduced to 100 because
of the environmental requirements and the pressure on the population. That means with
this 100 million hectares of arable land what will be available to us in the future, we have
to double our foo
d production. At the moment, we are producing 200 million tones of
food, which we need to double to 400 million tonnes by 2020. That means a new
technology has to come in, new seeds we have to develop, which needs to be salt
tolerant and water tolerant and

also during the short
-
term growth it should need the
minimal water is a big challenge. So, it is for the biotechnology communities to see and
look at our problems. Where there is less of arable land and minimal water, it is the
biotechnology, which has to

give us a solution. It is a big challenge. I thought I would like
to share with you.

Third instance I remember is when I went to Bhopal. Bhopal has the biggest bio
-
chemical injury, where many of the people have lost their eyes. When I saw hundreds of
peo
ple I asked myself is there any solution to remove the blindness. Do we have any
technology on that? I had a very interesting personality with me when I went there. I took
Professor G N Rao of Veni Prasad Eye Institute and doctors were with me. When we
thr
ew the challenge fortunately they were working on the stem cell research. Stem cell
research is very important for India and this is going to be a beautiful area where we
have to work on and I thought I must share with you with that experience of mine. I h
ope
some of our people are working in the laboratories on that as stem cell is having a
tremendous potential. Stem cells, as you all know, are one of the most fascinating areas
of biology today. Stem cells have two important characteristics that distinguis
h them
from other type of cells. First they are iron

specialized cells that renew themselves for
long periods through cell division. The second is that under certain physiological or
experimental condition they can be induced to become self with special fu
nction such as
beating the cells of the heart muscle or insulin producing the cells of the pancreas or
even the high recovery of eyesight in retina repair.

So, biotechnology has quite a tremendous potential in these three areas viz.
agriculture, health se
ctor and also particularly stem cell research. Time has come for us
to prove our abilities in the field of bioscience and biotechnology for harnessing these
technologies in multiple fields for wealth generation and for societal transformation.
Technology i
s the most non
-
linear tool that can affect the most fundamental changes in
the ground tools of economic competitiveness. Science is linked to the technology
through application. Technology is linked to economy and environment through
manufacture. Economy a
nd environment are linked to technology through the society.

Friends, I think we will have a lot of presentations on bioscience, biotechnology,
research and how to put it in the business. On the business side, you must realize today
that service sector th
at includes information technology has become one of the core
competences of the nation, contributing 40% of the GDP growth rate. Information
technology has established and the export potential as you all know is of 10
-
12 billion
US Dollars currently and i
t has got potential to reach many folds in future. Information
technology by combining with health care leads to tele
-
medicines. By combining with the
education leads to tele
-
education. By combining with management and administration
leads to e
-
governance.

All are important for India. Also, the bio
-
informatics has emerged
out of the combination of biotechnology and information technology and bioinformatics
will assist in tracing, the protein synthesis by gene expressions. When I met Dr. Craig
Venter, I reme
mbered his statement in May 1998. As a genome project chief, he said
that we would make the human genome unpatentable by placing it in the public domain
he proclaimed. All I saw him, how he is dreaming and how he is going to do.

Now, in conclusion I am gl
ad to note that international summit is going to
deliberate on these important issues related to the business of biotechnology. I am
happy to inaugurate the summit and hope that the outcome of the summit will provide a
new impetus to the commercial applica
tion of the biotechnology for the national
development and enhance the quality of life. Also, this summit can suggest a framework
to the world a national biotechnology policy by giving an integrated focus to the
bioresearch development, production and mark
eting. The policy will have to lead to a
national mission for endemic diseases like TB and malaria. For a nation today what is
needed is a combination of technology and leadership using the technology to bring
economic prosperity. It is not only technology

but you need leadership too.

Now, a developed India and that is the vision of the nation can only be powered
by the economic strength. The economic strength has to be powered by competitiveness
and competitiveness has to be powered by knowledge power. Th
e knowledge power has
to be powered by technology and technology has to be powered by innovation and
business. Business has to be powered by innovative management and management has
to be powered by creative leadership. Now what is the creative leadership?

What is the
definition of creative leadership? What are the characteristics of creative leadership?
The creative leadership is exercising the task to change the traditional role from
commander to coach. The leader would be a commander but he has to become

a
coach; manager to the mentor; from director to the delegator; and for the one who
demands respect to one who facilitate self
-
respect. The higher the proportion of the
creative leaders in the field of biotechnology, the higher the potential of economic
s
uccess of biotechnology leading to one of the important instrument in realizing the
vision for developed India. My best wishes to all of you. God bless you.


Thank you very much indeed your Excellency for your wonderful inaugural address,
which resonated

with the subject, which is so contemporary and close to your thoughts. I
now request honorable Union Minister, Prof. Murli Manohar Joshi to kindly light the torch
of Knowledge Millennium. The light from this torch shall reach every Indian home and
fire th
e agni of Indian bio
-
enterprise. Thank you Mr.Jayant Bhuyan, Secretary General of
ASSOCHAM for handing over the torch to the honourable Union Minister. Ladies and
gentlemen the moment that we all have been waiting for has finally arrived. I request
Mr.Anil

Aggarwal, Vice

Chairman of the Knowledge Millennium Committee of
ASSOCHAM to kindly announce the ASSOCHAM Knowledge Millennium awards
please.








Mr. Govind Hari Singhania

Director
-

JK Organisation and the Chairperson of the session


Students, farme
rs, media, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to this special session on
“The Business of Bio
-
Technology
-

Creating Bio
-
Technopreneurs”. Since yesterday we
have been discussing various aspects of biotechnology, which is very vast ocean
-

agri
bio, genetic enginee
ring, tissue culture, enzyme, hormone generation, biofertilizers,
biopesticides, vaccines, molecular breeding, livestock, fisheries, molecular medicines,
genome to drug pharma business. It touches the whole life of a human being and so it
becomes very inte
resting and it offers a great opportunity to all of us to be in this
business. One can have knowledge about biotechnology. We have many specialists who
have a lot of knowledge about biotechnology but in order to sustain the R&D efforts the
knowledge has to

be converted into a product or a solution and we must create a value
to that product and the value thus created has to be converted into wealth. The
biotechnology has to be meaningful to the society. One technocrat has to become an
entrepreneur. They have

wonderful ideas and they have huge knowledge. So, some
agency has to help them to make an interesting and profitable business out of their
knowledge. It is a risk business, but those who understand about this they can take the
risk.

I like to remind you
that the IT revolution has been possible because of the
funding by VCs or banks or individuals. Silicon valley has more than 100 units belonging
to Indians, which have been mostly helped by the VCs. We have to convert technocrats
to the techno entrepreneur

by providing them proper management and funding. A
partnership of technical experts in the business can create a useful business and a huge
wealth whether it is a particular product or a solution, which can transfer the way of life
as we are living today.


Some of the challenges to be overcome to realize the full potential of
biotechnology sector include a need for greater focus on research and development by
both the government and the industry. In this regard, linkages between academia,
industry and gove
rnment need to be strengthened. R & D should be meaningful and
create wealth. It is imperative to formulate an enabling fiscal regime that will foster the
growth in the Indian biotech sector. We need to sufficiently prepare ourselves to handle
the IPR scen
ario post 2005. We need to showcase breakthrough technologies and
cutting edge biotech initiatives that will take the Indian biotech sector to new heights. We
need to unleash the spirit of enterprise in our scientists and researchers and encourage

SPECIAL SESSION (Taj Palace, Durbar)

THE BUSINESS OF BIO
-
TECHNOLOGY
-

CREATING

BIO
-
TECHNOPRENEURS

them to
become entrepreneurs. In this direction we should discard stifling rules and
regulations. As somebody mentioned this morning, rich knowledge rich India and we
must create bio
-
billionaires, which is possible if we help them to become entrepreneurs
from scie
ntists.

I shall now request the distinguished Mr.Utkarsh who is the Head, Biotechnology,
Ernst and Young, India to make his presentation.


Mr.Utkarsh Palnitkar

Head
-

Biotechnology, Ernst and Young, India


Good afternoon and thank you Mr.Singhania. It is a
lways interesting to make a
presentation immediately after lunch and many of you are biotechnologists here. I am
not a biotechnologist myself. So all those enzymes working on the food that you just had
makes my job that much easier. What I would like to ta
lk about this afternoon is, is the
real money to be made in the business of biotechnology? If yes, how? How does one
encourage entrepreneurship in the field of biotechnology? Let’s look at some models
that have worked across the world. Are there any lesson
s to be learned from that at all?
How do we look at it in the Indian context and what is the way forward.

Obviously the overriding factor for any entrepreneur is the de facto conviction
that we are going to succeed come what may and if not today then tomo
rrow. At some
point of time one is going to succeed and of course optimism, which is a key attribute of
any entrepreneur, you need loads of it if you want to become a bio
-
entrepreneur. An
individual with patentable dreams and this is another definition of
bio
-
entrepreneurs. Bio
-
entrepreneurs face certainly very unique challenges. Like the pharma industry
biotechnology is easily one of the most regulated industries in the world. Before we
delve into this a little further, I think the fundamental difficulties

lies with defining what is
biotechnology itself. It means different things to different people and therefore when you
are often asked what is the size of the biotech industry, immediately you have to ask
what does biotech mean to you and depending on that

the size of the biotech industry
changes. Perhaps the most unique distinction of the biotech industry is the clash of
cultures. You have on the one hand people who have come from the scientific
community and they have this great quest for truth and knowle
dge and you have the
VCs and other people who put money in the enterprises trying to see if there is a dollar
sign attached to what comes out from this great quest for truth and knowledge. So, these
are the people who really can’t be bothered about mundane

things like return on capital
and the payback period.

Biotechnology industry at this point in time is still a fairly a young one and its
history is quite oral. Let’s take a quick look at bio
-
entrepreneurship across the world. In a
three
-
hour conversation

that has now become legendary, when venture capitalist Robert
Swanson persuaded Bayer to set up Genentech in 1976, which marks the beginning of
the first known biotech company. Now several such conversations have been carried on
across the world and the i
ndustry is well past its 30
th

year. Twenty
-
five years after that
conversation, the biotech industry is now a 35 billion dollar global industry.

If you look at the sheer number of companies, you see that the number of
companies in Europe has been growing f
airly rapidly. Of course if you talk in terms of
revenue, US is heads and shoulders above the rest of the world and its Europe, which I
would like to focus on this afternoon. If you see the growth of biotech companies in
Europe it has registered a three
-
di
git growth rate. Why has entrepreneurship flourished
in Europe? What were the critical factors that fuel this growth of entrepreneurship is what
I would like to examine this afternoon. These are some of Europe’s successful start
-
ups.
If you look at the num
ber of independent dedicated biotech firms across Europe the
largest number appears in Germany followed quickly by UK and France and not
surprisingly for Germany, as we would examine in the ensuing slides the kind of impetus
being provided by the German go
vernment to the biotech industry in that country.

Interestingly, when one looks at the distribution of biotech companies in terms of
public companies and private companies easily more than half of the publicly traded
biotech companies exist in the United
States. A very small proportion exists in Europe,
which is 17 as compared to the number of privately owned biotech companies. Most of
these companies in Europe have been formed after 1996. So, it is still a fairly recent
phenomenon. Another interesting fac
t is that most of these companies are still very small
or tiny, with a majority of them employing less than 20 people. Again if you look at the
niche or the areas in which the focus is on, it is fairly widely distributed and almost
covers the entire spectr
um of the biotech industry, as we understand it.

If you look at commercialization or if you look at the number of patent
applications that has been steadily rising from Europe as well. If you look at it in terms of
funding, biotech is still the smallest p
ie. If you look at it in absolute terms the number still
might seem large but if you look at the total fund that could be invested with venture
capitalists, it is still fairly small as compared to other segments. Having said that VC
funding for biotech has

been increasing and of course the year 2000 was a phenomenal
year in which biotech firms in Europe received their single largest funding. And the
funding for this interestingly, has been in seed and startup funding unlike what is known
as pipes in the US
where you know the funding from the VC communities goes to listed
companies. I was just mentioning a little while ago that this trend is still continuing. 2002
as well has seen large scale funding from European VCs to biotech companies. The first
six month
s of 2002 itself has seen 3.6 billion Euros investment. Glen Crocker, who
heads our biotech practice in UK, in his opinion this, is the best time to be an
entrepreneur in Europe.

So, what really made enterprises flourish in Europe and who made them
entrep
reneurs and what are the lessons to be learnt from it? While we were going
through the data that we had put together, there are certain distinct attributes which
emerged and the first and the foremost being a proactive government, both in terms of
initiati
ves that it took which were non
-
monetary as well as monetary incentives; the
university based science parks and clusters, which emerged in Europe; new capital
markets, capital markets that were tailored and designed for the biotech industry; the
role that
collaborations have played in Europe, in terms of pharma as well as industries
that use biotech products and of course the new entrepreneurial spirit.

Let’s look at each one of these in a little bit of detail. Let’s start with government
support. This rea
lly has been the foremost or the most significant aspect of the growth of
biotech in Europe and this spreads across Europe. If you look at what has been done by
the government in UK or the government in Germany significant, consistent handholding
for the b
iotech industry. If you look at the state of Germany and if you look at the
quantum of funds and in that if you look at the state loans that you get or the technology
development funds that you get and you compare them to the equity capital, it is almost
1
:3 is what you could raise from state controlled units in Germany. Interestingly in recent
times, now this has been questioned, and this has really been the move in the right
direction because there has been some remarks or some stories going around that t
his
has made the German biotech companies a little lethargic at this point in time. If you look
at UK, there are several modes for funding of biotech companies in the UK. The Medical
Research Council is one such key body and the other one is the London and

Biological
Science and Research Council. These again have played a very significant role in public
sector funding in the UK.

Now if you look at the proportionality of government funding in Germany, UK and
France and these are the top three
-
biotech countr
ies in Europe. If you may look at the
quantum of the government budgetary approval for R&D that has been obtained, and
what we have done that for measures of comparison we have converted this into terms