Odisha Chief Secretary Directs To Focus On Biotech Incubation & Production

Bhubaneswar: Because of IDCO’s smooth land allotment process and ‘ease of doing business’ reforms, the construction of a vaccine production unit has started at Andharua in Bhubaneswar. The required statutory clearances and permissions have also been granted for setting up the unit.

This was known from State level Bio-Tech implementation committee meeting held on digital mode under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra from Lokseva Bhawan wherein Secretary Science and Technology Sri Manoj Mishra outlined the administrative and financial issues for discussion.

Reviewing the progress made so far, Chief Secretary Sri Mahapatra directed to expedite construction of the anchor vaccine production unit and laying of other critical infrastructure.  Target was set to start the production of vaccine including Covaxin by June 2022. Sri Mahapatra also directed the department to set up a professional directorate of Bio-Technology for having a focused and fastened approach towards incubation and setting up new industries in the sector.

Secretary Science and Technology Sri Mishra appraised, “Government has made provisions for extending different incentives to biotech incubation and startups in the shape of the land allotment, exemption of stamp duty, land conversion, training subsidy, capital investment subsidy, interest subsidy, etc. under Odisha Biotechnology Policy of 2018. The extension of subsidies needs to be managed professionally for optimizing the outcomes.

It was decided that from the viewpoints of the ‘ease of doing business’ the institutional mechanism of IPICOL and Industries department would be authorized to monitor the implementation of these subsidies till operationalisation of a dedicated professional directorate of Biotechnology. Around Rs.15 cr rupees were allocated under the ‘Fund of Funds’ of the MS&ME department for providing equity support to the incubating units in the Biotechnology sector.

Chairman and Managing Director IDCO Sri Sanjay Singh appraised that IDCO has created a State of the Art O Hub incubation center near Infocity, Bhubaneswar. Sri Singh also said that two floors with around 28 thousand sq ft space can be made available in this center for incubation facilities. It was decided to further develop the center with modern facilities and house the incubation units of MS & ME, IT & Biotechnology in the same building so as to create an advanced and mutually-boosting eco-system of incubation. Chief Secretary Sri Mahapatra directed to decide the reasonable time period of extension of benefits like subsidized accommodation and other facilities in the incubation center for one unit.

Available data show that the startups in Odisha are doing well and many of them have already acquired patents of their innovations. As of now, around 775 startups are operating in various incubation centers out of whom around 65 incubates have acquired patents, trademark, and copyrights, etc. Around 75 startups are incubating in the biotech and health sector.

The anchor vaccine unit at Andharua is being set up through Bharat Biotech International Ltd (BBIL).  The company has experience of producing improved vaccines against severe rotavirus diarrhea, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, pandemic influenza, and drug-resistant staphylococcus aureus.  Its unit at Andharua of Bhubaneswar is scheduled to produce ten types of vaccines including malaria and covid vaccine.

Development Commissioner Sri Pradeep Kumar Jena, Additional Chief Secretary Forest and Environment Dr. Mona Sharma, Principal Secretary Industry Sri Hemant Kumar Sharma, Principal Secretary Finance Sri Ashok Kumar Meena, Principal Secretary Energy Sri Nikunjabihari Dhal, Principal Secretary MS&ME Sri Satyabrata Sahu, Secretary Skill Development and Technical Education Sri Sanjay Kumar Singh, Secretary IT Sri Manoj Kumar Mishra along with senior officers of concerned departments and industry representatives participated in the discussions.

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