How Keystone Knowledge Park is powering biotech innovation in northern India
This article is sponsored by the Mayar Group.
India’s biotechnology sector is one of the country’s fastest-growing knowledge-based industries. The Indian biotech industry grew at 16.28 percent in FY14, and the total industry size was $7 billion in FY15.
India has a number of advantages such as scientific talent, R&D capabilities, and a thriving IT sector. With these, the country’s biotech industry is well-positioned to play a key role in giving the Indian economy the fillip it needs.
In fact, recognising the fact that India has the potential to become one of the top players in the global biotech sector, there is now an increased focus on nurturing innovation in the field of biotechnology to foster a new era of development with environmental recovery.
Today, India is among the top 12 biotech destinations worldwide, and the preferred destination for more than 350 top biotech companies, who have based their operations here. However, this biotech activity is largely concentrated in the country’s southern and western states. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Maharashtra have some of the earliest biotech clusters that have been attracting global companies.
Filling the gap
In this scenario, the Gurgaon-based Keystone Knowledge Park has emerged as the solution to the northern region’s pressing need for a well-developed biotechnology cluster. The first Lifesciences/ Biotechnology SEZ in North India, the Keystone Knowledge Park offers state-of-the-art facilities to research and innovation-driven companies.
The project envisions creating an integrated knowledge centre to attract research-driven businesses to northern India. It aims to enable companies to integrate innovation, development, and manufacturing at a single location for both the domestic as well as the international market.
With its strategic location, the Keystone Knowledge Park allows companies to easily recruit and retain top talent from across the world to build cutting-edge biotechnology innovation.
In view of the promising R&D accomplishments in biotechnology, pharma, chemical, and other areas of life sciences emerging from reputed research institutions and universities located in northern India, there is an imminent need to have a state-of-the-art facility to convert research leads into successful ventures. Keystone Knowledge Park is proud to be North India’s first and only Special Economic Zone (SEZ) dedicated to facilitate and contribute effectively towards the Government of India initiatives such as Make in India, Skill India and Startup India.
The Keystone Knowledge Park has been developed by Mayar Infrastructure Development Authority, a subsidiary of the Mayar Group. One of India’s leading business houses, the Mayar Group has a presence in seven countries and business interests in forest resources, international trading and shipping, and publishing. It has also diversified into new sectors such as hospitality and wellness, infrastructure, and oil and gas.
Spread over 170 acres, the first phase of the Keystone Knowledge Park project includes a 40-acre SEZ, housing a 250,000 square feet facility specially designed for research & development by India’s leading architects. The master plan for this world-class structure was created by Singapore-based Jurong International.
The knowledge park is designed to be a hub for R&D focused industries such as biotechnology, pharma, and life sciences. The structure combines aesthetics with functionality and is LEED Gold certified for its energy-efficient design. The ready-to-occupy, plug-and-play facility can accommodate over 2,000 scientists and offers laboratories, conference rooms, libraries, cafeterias, and adequate covered parking. An onsite customs office ensures ease in import and export of goods and services, and offers single-window clearance.
The entire campus is well-connected by a systematic network of internal roads. The Park’s robust utility infrastructure includes enhanced power with 100 percent backup to meet R&D needs; assured water supply; and a top-notch security and surveillance system. A sophisticated ETP and STP system is in place to handle bio-waste.
The Keystone Knowledge Park also includes a wellness resort and a 9-hole golf course. The 170-acre space also houses industrial plots reserved for expansion by non-polluting industries, and 100 acres of land for the development of a low-density, eco-friendly colony.
Being a notified SEZ, the Knowledge Park enjoys a range of tax exemptions and concessions as per government rules. Companies operating from the Park enjoy a 100% income tax holiday for five years. Other benefits include exemptions in customs duty, excise duty, sales tax, service tax, purchase tax, stamp duty and registration fees, and stamp duty on mortgages, and an exemption on electricity duty.
With all its statutory and regulatory procedures and approvals in place, operating out of Keystone Knowledge Park promises to be a hassle-free experience for companies. In fact, new companies will also have the added advantage of getting complete administrative support until they commence operations.
Its strategic location and proximity to leading schools and institutions such as IIT (Delhi) and AIIMS gives companies within Keystone Knowledge Park access to young scientific talent and quality medical care. They are also assured of a steady supply of trained, professional talent from other universities and research institutes nearby, and semi and unskilled manpower is available in abundance.
The Knowledge Park concept began in the United States about 50 years ago, and since then the concept has gained popularity in India with the first fully operational Indian biotechnology park, Genome Valley, commissioned in Hyderabad as early as 1999. Knowledge parks like Keystone that offer incubation, pilot plant, tax incentives, and venture funding, are crucial for boosting the growth of high-technology, innovation-driven companies, incubating small and medium biotechnology entrepreneurs, generating employment, and economic competitiveness.
More importantly, research parks foster an environment favourable for new ideas and innovative products by facilitating knowledge exchange and collaboration between academia and industry.
As more and more biotech companies establish their operations in India, the demand for knowledge parks that allow them to leverage local infrastructural expansion and professional talent is increasing.
After the surge of economic growth spurred by the IT sector in the 90s, India is ready for the biotechnology wave, which is expected to garner revenues of $11.6 billion by 2017, fuelled by rising investments from foreign companies, growing R&D, and improved clinical capabilities.
State and Central governments and industry, through public private partnerships, have invested significantly to establish biotech clusters and incubation centres so that India can cement its position as a force to be reckoned with on the global biotechnology landscape.
If you are a biotechnology startup that’s looking for a supportive ecosystem and access to R&D facilities of the highest quality, then your search ends with Keystone Knowledge Park. Give your business the headstart it needs by getting in touch today. Learn more here.