In the past few years, the expansion of the biotech sector has been phenomenal, this has further been fuelled by the Covid pandemic as the need for effective and affordable vaccines paved the path for extensive research.
But biotech is not just restricted to the medical or pharmacological industry, its wide influence includes sanitation, food security, population control, and even the catering and food industry. Especially in an agro-based economy like ours, the application of biotechnology has led to an increase in manufacturing efficiency, product quality, and optimization of transportation and trading processes.
Today the world is talking about artificial intelligence and augmented reality, these self-learning, adaptive technologies will only lead to further innovation. Data collection through automated body sensors and the use of machine learning algorithms to provide diagnosis can significantly reduce errors caused due to miscommunication or erroneous treatment prescribed to patients.
THE CURRENT SCENARIO
India’s biotechnology industry currently has more than 4000 biotech start-ups and is expected to grow to 10,000 by 2024-25. India accounts for less than 5% of the global market and aims to achieve a $ 150 billion bio-economy in the next five years compared to a global estimate of $725 billion by 2025. This will account for about 21% of the global market share.
Let's take a look at some interesting startups in the field:
According to WHO, blindness can be avoided in eight out of 10 cases with appropriate treatment or early prevention. Forus Health, A Bengaluru based startup aims to eradicate this avoidable blindness by reshaping healthcare delivery through technology. They develop highly advanced medical devices along with cloud-based digital healthcare platforms to raise Awareness and increase Access to provide Affordable treatment across 40 countries. By this, an optometrist can carry the device on a motorcycle and provide timely service, even to inaccessible areas.
Have you ever thought of farming on the ocean floor?
Sea6 Energy is a startup that strives to develop biofuels, bioplastics, and other products using seaweeds through ocean farming. Their products include animal feed and agricultural essentials produced by processing ocean plants.
Mapmygenome is a leading genomics company that conducts tests to decode DNA and predict the risks of genetic diseases. Growing further Mapmygenome has expanded to DNA-based nutrition and diet analysis, women's wellness, and early-stage detection of cancer.
“COVID-19 taught us that through strong global collaboration we can accelerate research to find solutions through science to save humanity. It also showed the world the gaping holes in healthcare systems and pandemic preparedness along with the need to build robust primary healthcare infrastructure and investing in R&D & pharma manufacturing.”
At the Biotech Startup Expo 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned that India’s Biotech sector has grown eightfold in the past eight years to reach $80 billion. Of the 5000 companies that make up the industry, 4240 are startups. With efforts from emerging startups to established industries in this sector, India has become self reliant in handling the adversities of the pandemic. Providing sustainable and greener solutions in the field of Life Sciences is a concern for the industry. Not settling, let’s aspire and work towards the success of Indian startups in yet another field of Biotechnology.