Amrita School of Biotechnology hosted Biocrest 2015, an international mini-symposium, commemorating the school’s 10th anniversary. The day commenced with a welcome speech by Dr. Bipin Nair, Dean, School of Biotechnology. The benedictory speech was delivered by Swami Amritaswaroopananda Puri, President, Amrita University and the inaugural address was given by the honorary guest of honor, G. C. Gopala Pillai, Founder and MD, Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA). He mentioned that biotechnology meets the demands of our planet’s depleting resources which parallels the message by our Chancellor, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi. She strongly believes in research having a societal impact, and on building technology to benefit humanity. Dr. Gillian Murphy from Department of Oncology, Cambridge University, delivered the keynote address. She applauded the school on its achievements, while also commending the students in their intentions to serve their community. Her closing remarks reminded us that we are living in a very fast moving biological world, dependent on the input of information technology. She encouraged the students to aim “onwards the upwards, the higher, the fewer….appreciate your strengths and to build on them.”

The highlight of the day was a townhall meeting co-led by Dr. Bipin Nair and Dr. Anand Anandkumar, CEO, Bugworks. The theme of this meeting was ‘The Yin and Yang of Academia-Industry Synergy in Biotechnology’. Eminent scientists and entreprenuers from across the globe representing both academic and industry discussed issues, challenging one another on the present status and how we can work together to make strides in building stronger collaborations among academia and industry sectors. The expert panel included Dr. G. B. Nair,  National Chair in Disease Biology, RGCB, Kerala, Dr. M. D. Nair, Consultant, Pharma Industry, Chennai, Ex VP Spic Pharma, Dr. Taslimarif Saiyed,  COO, CCAMP  Bangalore, Dr. Shrikumar Suryanarayan, CEO, Sea6Energy, Bangalore, Dr. Hideaki Nagase,  Honorary Emeritus Fellow, University of Oxford, UK, Dr. Sharmila Mande,  Principal Scientist,  TCS  Pune and Dr. Gillian Murphy,  Professor Emeritus, Cambridge University, UK.

The interactive session took the form of a lively debate over how we can work towards utilizing biotechnology for a better tomorrow. Many of today’s biomedical challenges are too complex to tackle on a ‘go it alone’ strategy and one needs to fuse fundamental research to translation– Academia and Industry play those respective roles. Some of the concerns and challenges raised were who is going to own the IP, what does joint ownership mean, what we are lacking the mindset and/or culture of taking an idea and going forward. In actuality, academia can help make people industry ready. Some of the suggestions were to have our universities’ UGC reduce the required amount of contact hours for teaching, allowing more time for research and collaborations with others. Other proposals were to conduct Boot camps for final year students to trigger the thought process and to bring in accelerators to work with students. India is witnessing several paradigm shifts, can stronger academia/industry relationships also be part of this changing landscape. What frameworks can be prescribed to take baby steps in making this happen. It’s worth assessing the roles of DBT/BIRAC and Biotech accelerators in fostering Academia/Industry collaboration. 

The festivities continued on the second day with Bioscope, a science exhibition by students of Amrita School of Biotechnology, Alumni Meeting (Footprints) and Cultural Events (Bio-fest).


Dr. G. C. Gopala Pillai
Chairman, KELTRON
Founder MD, KINFRA

Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri,
President, Amrita University

Dr. Gillian Murphy,
Professor, Cambridge Research Institute, University of Cambridge, UK

Dr. Hideaki Nagase,
Honorary Emeritus Fellow, University of Oxford, UK

Dr. Shrikumar Suryanarayanan,
Chairman, Sea6 Energy, Bengaluru

Dr. Taslimarif Sayed,
Director and Chief Operating Officer, Center for Cellular and Molecular Platforms(CCAMP), Bengaluru

Dr. G. Balkrish Nair,
Former Executive Director, THSTI, Faridabad, Haryana National Chair in Disease Biology, Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Dr. Anand Anandkumar
External Director and Chairman, CellWorks Research India Ltd.

Dr. Sharmila Mande,
Principal Scientist & Head-Bio Sciences R&D, TCS Innovation Labs

Dr. P. Venkatrangan
Vice-Chancellor, Amrita University

Dr. M. D. Nair
Former Vice-President, SPIC Pharmaceuticals





Event Details
2015-01-31 08:30 to 2015-02-01 17:00