Karnataka CM lays foundation for Rs 5,000 Cr Lifesciences Park; promises to make state a 'BT Hub'
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Wednesday said the government would take necessary steps to ensure that the state emerges as the 'BT Hub,' as he laid the foundation stone for the Rs 5,000 crore Bengaluru Lifesciences Park.
He also said the government would extend support on a priority basis to the Biotechnology sector, calling it the "power" of the state's economy.
The government would accord importance to the sectors of Information Technology and Biotechnology, which play an important role in the economy, as well as employment generation, Yediyurappa was quoted as saying in a release.
"We have already implemented many reforms and an industry-friendly environment has been created. We shall give more importance to commerce and industry," he said.
Equipped with best biotechnology infrastructure, the nine million square feet Bengaluru Lifesciences Park will come up on a sprawling 52.27 acres at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore.
The project is being set up under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the Government of Karnataka and private entity, Labzone Corp. The first phase will be completed by December 2022.
"The Bengaluru Life Sciences Park will help in expanding the perimeter of the state's Biotechnology sector. I am confident that this park will give a unique gift to Bengaluru, which is already known as the BT Capital of India. The state government has released a grant of Rs 150 crore towards this project," Yediyurappa said.
The park will house more than 150 companies and over 100 startups will be established. This would generate employment for more than 50,000 (direct and indirect) people, the Chief Minister said, adding that this project would make a significant contribution to the state's economy.
At present there are 380 companies and more than 200 startups involved in the Biotechnology sector in the state.
In Asia, Karnataka has nine percent market share in the biotechnology sector, while in India, it commands 35 percent.
"This percentage should increase significantly in the coming days and the government is ready to extend the required facilities in achieving the same," Yediyurappa said.
Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan, who is also the minister for IT/BT & Science and Technology department, said the time has come for setting up of the Bengaluru Lifesciences Park, which was envisioned 20 years ago.
"The state's BT sector, which has already emerged successful, will be further strengthened through this park. Research and Development will take place under one roof. This is becoming a reality by the will of this government. Once the project gets completed, Bengaluru's prestige will go up on the world map," he said.
The Deputy CM noted that the government has worked towards creating an investor-friendly atmosphere in the state by bringing in amendments to the Land reforms Act, APMC Act, and relaxing several Rules,
Legal hurdles that came in the way of research and innovation has been fixed, and the government has set up the Karnataka Innovations Authority and through 'Invest Karnataka', provided an open opportunity for investors.
The new life sciences park will be built near the electronic city area of Bengaluru and will be part of the existing space that already houses Biotech innovation centre and other facilities and will synergise both IT and biotechnology sectors, officials have said.
The park will have a dedicated incubation space with shared instrumentation lab facilities and customisable fully fitted lab and office suites, they said.