June 23, 2009
School of Biotechnology, Amritapuri
Nobel laureate Richard Roberts was in Bangalore recently as key-note speaker at the 2009 Bangalore Bio, a high-profile biotech conference organized jointly by the Departments of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science & Technology of the Government of India.
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham was the only institution selected to present at the conference.
Nearly 1000 delegates representing leading universities and companies, both in India and abroad participated. Large delegations from western nations such as Germany, UK and Australia were present. “There were delegates from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), IIT Delhi, several NITs,” proudly stated Amrita’s Vice-Chancellor Dr. Venkat Rangan. “Yet Amrita was the only institution invited to present at the conference. This is undoubtedly a great honor for us, a recognition of the societally relevant research work being carried out here at Amrita under the direct guidance of our beloved Chancellor Amma.”
“The Indian biotech sector will be US$ 25 billion by 2020,” stated Shri. Prthiviraj Chauhan, the Minister for Science and Technology at the inaugural function. “Govt of India is working to make National Biotechnology Regulatory Authority a reality.” On Day 2, immediately after the plenary lecture by the Nobel laureate, Dr. Bipin Nair, Professor and Dean at the Amrita School of Biotechnology, delivered an invited talk as part of the parallel track on Medical Devices, Diagnostics and Informatics. Titled Medical Devices — News Technologies and Emerging Markets, Dr. Bipin’s talk provided an overview of innovative biomedical device development for emerging markets.
“The immediate necessity is for governmental and policy support,” Dr. Bipin stated in his talk. “There are several platforms with high potential for growth potential like Nanotech and MEMS based systems. We need to take advantage of these spaces and immediately work on those areas.” Dr. Bipin classified medical device markets into commodity and innovative medical products. The Amrita School of Biotechnology is currently engaged in a joint research initiative with the Amrita Schools of Medicine and Engineering and several industry partners to develop a low cost insulin pump that will be priced so as to be within the reach of the large numbers of diabetic patients in countries such as India and other developing nations.