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Vol. 19 No. 1 - January 2013

Biotech Park, Lucknow

By: Prof. P.K.Seth*


A frontier of Science, Biotechnology, offers enormous possibilities of its use as a premium precision tool for the welfare of society and creation of wealth for sustainable commercial and socio- economic development. The Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and several state governments have set up Biotech parks to support the growth of biotech industries by providing common shared facilities, ready to use laboratories and other infrastructures. There are  different models of the Biotech Park depending upon the resources, needs and priorities. The parks have been set up by state governments in partnership with industries, totally by industries or partnership between Central and State governments. DBT in most cases has provided  funds for setting up technology incubators in parks.

Biotechnology has become a household name in the state of Uttar Pradesh, with the declaration of Lucknow as “Biotechnology City” on January 03, 2002 during 89th Annual Session of the Indian Science Congress held at Lucknow.

Biotech Park set up by the Department of Biotechnology Govt. of India & Department of Science and Technology, Government of Uttar Pradesh, brings an enabling environment for upcoming entrepreneurs to set up their R& D units in Park. It serves as the nucleus for promotion and growth of biotech industry in the state and partnership with the centers of excellence of the city.

The Park plays an important role in the initial establishment of the startup companies by providing information about possible business avenues; facilities and incentives available under the Government of India and State Government biotech policies, availability of special grants, schemes and loans as well as information about requirements for registration and obtaining IPR. It also provides state-of-art plant tissue culture and biofertilizer facilities which it operates in public private partnerships. It has high capacity solvent extraction plant for obtaining phytochemicals and lead molecules from high value medicinal plants and their purification; molecular biology and analytical quality control laboratories and other common support facilities like bioinformatics, conference hall, cafeteria, effluent treatment plant, storage, etc. The Park also extends expertise to its incubates from scientists of Local CSIR and ICAR institutions apart from other institutions, universities and par excellence centers of learning in the town and not far away from the famous Indian Institute of technology at Kanpur.

The focus of the Park is on challenges and opportunities surrounding the current biotechnology issues related to technology development which would ultimately result in the development of the State and generate rural employment and social upliftment.

The park has leased out space to 18 carefully selected entrepreneurs which has led to creation of number of new jobs. The Biotech Park’s incubator II building has become functional and three companies have leased out space to set up their R&D laboratories. Besides the wet lab space, the incubator II has multipurpose meeting rooms / conference hall to accommodate 300 – 325 persons, offices and other related facilities.   

The entrepreneurs at Biotech Park are going to pursue innovative research and produce innovative products. In the Bio- pharma Sector, ABC Genomics, technically supported by a US based company,  is developing a hand held microarry for detection of pathogens and a WHO GMP compliant facility for R&D and production of Liposome based delivery fungi, a drug for kalazar treatment, and R&D center for diagnostics are coming up at  the Park.

The Park through its Plant tissue culture facility reduced the price of banana plantlets by about 30% leading to increase in banana cultivation in the State. The Park has made substantial contributions to the National Mission on Bio-fuels by developing four high yielding and oil rich varieties of Jatropha curcas and providing technical know-how for development of good nurseries and quality planting material. The Park is providing consultation to the companies in the field of bio-fuel and necessary technical guidance, planting material and monitoring of the plants and is helping Department of Rural Development in Jatropha plantation in 1000 hectares and has also helped farmers to set up 10 nurseries.

Biotech Park has the Quality Management System Certificate ISO 9001:2008/ISO 14001:200 Certificate jointly accredited by System of Australia and New Zealand. The Tissue Culture facility at the Biotech Park has been recognized under national certification of Tissue Culture raised plants (TCS- TCP) by the accreditation panel from BCIL.

More than 5000 students from about 40 schools / colleges and more than 1800 farmers visited the Park. The Park is playing an important role in generating the much needed human resource. It imparts training to young students and farmers from remote areas the park is actively involved in organizing the awareness program for farmers and stake holders. Recently Biotech Park has started a finishing school for the graduates and post graduates with the objective to make students employable in Biotech Industry by imparting additional skills through hands on exposure.

The park has changed the paradigm of how science, biotechnology and entrepreneurship can be clubbed for the benefit of stakeholders and the society. The Biotechnology Park, Lucknow has also been a trend-setter since it became fully functional in a span of three years from inception to maturity. It is a showcase of innovation industries and a model of active collaboration between industries, research institutes and academia. Besides holding hands of the start up companies, the Biotech Park has motivated local scientists to venture into Biotechnology. The setting up of Biotech Park has made Lucknow a new hub of biotechnology in North India and Biotech Park is a happening address in the city.

*Chief Executive Officer, Biotech Park, Lucknow-India, <ceo.biotech@gmail.com>

This article has been reproduced from the archives of EnviroNews - Newsletter of ISEB India.

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