India- Soaring Towards a $ 300 Bn BioEconomy

India is among the Top 12 destinations for biotechnology worldwide and 3rd largest destination for biotechnology in Asia Pacific. In 2022, India’s Biotechnology industry has crossed $80.12 Bn, growing 14% from the previous year. The Indian BioEconomy has witnessed a manyfold increase in valuation in the past ten years, with COVID-19 giving the industry a much needed push. Today, India is poised as one of the leading destinations for bioinnovation and biomanufacturing, and hence is identified as a sunrise sector and a key part of India’s vision of reaching a $5 Tn Economy by 2024. India’s Biotechnology sector is categorised into BioPharmaceuticals, Bioagriculture, BioIT and BioServices.

Biopharmaceuticals: India is one of the biggest suppliers of low cost drugs and vaccines in the world. India also leads in biosimilars, with the most number of biosimilars approved in the domestic market.

Bio Agriculture: With nearly 55% of Indian terrain under agriculture and allied activities, India is one of largest producer of Bt-Cotton and has the 5th Largest Area of Organic Agriculture Land Globally.

Bioindustrial: The application of biotechnology to industrial processes is transforming manufacturing and waste disposal across the country.

Bio IT & Services: India offers a strong capability in contract manufacturing, research and clinical trials, and is home to the most US FDA approved plants globally outside of the US.

  • Forecasted to reach $150 Bn by 2025, and $300 Bn by 2030 with a CAGR of ~17%
  • 5300+ biotech startups, estimated to reach 10000 by 2025
  • 760+ Biotech Companies
  • 750+ Biotech Products in market
  • 1 Mn+ Skilled Biotech Workforce

100% FDI is allowed under the automatic route for greenfield pharma.

100% FDI is allowed under the government route for brownfield pharma. Up to 74% FDI is under automatic route and beyond 74% is under the government approval route.

FDI up to 100% is allowed under the automatic route for the manufacturing of medical devices.

For further details, please refer FDI Policy

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    Expected CAGR (2022-2025)

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Largest Supplier of DPT, Measles and BCG Vaccines

Developed World’s First DNA Vaccine Against COVID-19

World's highest number of USFDA Approved Manufacturing Plants Outside the USA.

Industry Scenario

Valued at US$ 80.12 Bn in 2022, the Indian Biotechnology Industry is targeted to reach US$ 150 Bn by 2025 and US$ 300 Bn by 2030.

The growth of the Indian biotechnology sector is fuelled by rising demand at both a domestic and international levels. The rise in domestic demand is fuelled by intiatives such as Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Make In India, while overseas demand for Indian vaccines and biopharmaceuticals is due to the globally competitive efficacy of Indian products.

India exports vaccines to over 150 countries and is a leading destination for contract manufacturing and clinical trials. In order to contain healthcare costs, companies are leveraging generics and biosimilars, and India has poised itself as a hub to deliver affordable access to innovative and inclusive healthcare solutions. India ranks at the 7th position worldwide as the preffered destination to conduct clinical trials. India has the 5th largest area of organic agricultural land.

To promote sustainable agricultural practices nad innovation in agri technologies, Department of Biotechnology has funded 51 Biotech-KISAN (Biotech Krishi Innovation Science Application Network) hubs connecting Indian farmers with best scientists and institutions, empowering farmers, especially women farmers with information on soil health, irrigation and new agri-technologies. 44 hubs have been set up in 15 argo-climatic zones of the country and are conducting activities in 169 districts.

Under the Union Budget 2023, the government announced - "500 new ‘waste to wealth’ plants under GOBARdhan (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) scheme to be established for promoting circular economy". These will include 200 compressed biogas (CBG) plants, including 75 plants in urban areas, and 300 community or cluster-based plants at total investment of INR 10,000 crore.  

The percentage share of the biotechnology segments is:

  • Biopharmaceuticals- 68%
    • Diagnostics- 33%
    • Therapeutics- 13%
    • Vaccines- 22%
  • BioAgriculture-13%
    • BT-Cotton- 12%
    • Biofertilizers, Biopesticides & Bio Stimulants- 1%
  • Bioindustry- 12% 
    • Biofuels- 7%
    • Enzymes- 5%
  • Bio IT & BioServices- 7%


  • Demographic Advantage

    1Mn+ Skilled Biotech Workforce. Pan India Star College Mentorship Program by DBT.

  • Infrastructure

    74 Bio-incubation Centers created through DBT-BIRAC and 4 Industry Clusters in Kalyani, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi NCR.

  • Government acting as an enabler to improve EoDB

    Critical Policy initiatives such as 'Make in India’, ‘Startup India’, ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (boosting domestic manufacturing capacity) and formulation of the National Biotechnology Development Strategy 2021-25.

  • Focus on Research & Development

    Favorable Government Policies like Draft R&D Policy 2021, PLI Schemes and Clinical trial rules have propelled India to be the ‘pharmacy of the world’. India has invested $1 Bn in biotechnology R&D in 2022.

  • Epidemiological Factors

    Increasing Population and Lifestyle Changes; Government expenditure on healthcare up to 2.1% of GDP in FY21-22, with a target of 2.5% of the country's GDP by 2025.


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Asked Questions

Does BIRAC offer any capacity building support for researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs?

Yes, BIRAC conducts roadshows and Intellectual Property workshops to sensitize the target audiences about the BIRAC support for the entrepreneurs and relevance of intellectual property. It also provides a platform for the aspiring entrepreneurs to gain knowledge about effective grant writing skills from the experts in the domain.

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Does the Department offer any support to researchers in this sector? If yes, then at which stage of the research are they supported in?

Yes, the Department does offer support to researchers across all the stages of R&D - Ideation/ very early stage (SITARE, E-yuva), ideation to early stage (Biotechnology Ignition Grant Scheme (BIG)), ideation to late stage (Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI)), (Biotechnology Industry Partnership Programme (BIPP)), translation (Promoting Academic Research Conversion to Enterprise (PACE)) and for social innovation (Social Innovation programme for Products: Affordable & Relevant to Societal Health) etc. This support is usually through awards, grants for research, provision of enabling platform for different stakeholders to collaborate and innovate. Usually, a researcher submits his/her proposal to Biotechnology Industry Assistance Council (BIRAC) based on which the support is provided.

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Does BIRAC also support in any exchange programs of researchers with other countries?

Yes, BIRAC and Centre of Entrepreneurial Learning (CEL) of Judge Business School, University of Cambridge have initiated a partnership that enables five BIRAC supported applicants to take part in CfEL’s flagship intensive entrepreneurial boot-camp programme called “IGNITE”, which is aimed at providing academics (PhDs, post-docs and scientists) entrepreneurial opportunities to explore their innovative ideas and transform them into a business project. CfEL provides one week intense mentorship and training to the BIRAC supported candidates and for second week encourage them to interact and learn from the Cambridge’s entrepreneurial cluster.

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What is Grand Challenges India (GCI)?

Grand Challenges is a family of initiatives fostering innovation to solve key global health and development. In 2012, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) signed an umbrella Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on mission-directed research and build Grand Challenges India to support health research and innovation which is the GCI. Under the GCI, proposals are called under various relevant topics on innovative solutions to help expand the pipeline of ideas to develop new preventions, therapies and interventions in this sector.

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Does BIRAC offer any support to start-ups?

The Bioincubators Nurturing Entrepreneurship for Scaling Technologies (BioNest) allows harnessing of the entrepreneurial potential of start-ups by providing access to infrastructure as well as mentoring and networking platforms that the start-ups could use during their fledgling days. So far BIRAC has supported twenty bioincubation centers across India on similar lines.

For relevant guidelines, access the link.

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