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Bio-manufacturing, bio-foundry initiative to boost bio-economy: Jitendra Singh

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NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said a new scheme of bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry will be launched soon to provide environment-friendly measures such as biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals, and bio-agri-inputs.

“This scheme will also help in transforming today’s consumptive manufacturing paradigm to the one based on regenerative principles,” Sitharaman said presenting the Interim Budget for 2024-25 in Parliament.

Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh emphasised the scheme’s importance saying it has potential to transform global economy.

“Bio-manufacturing can fundamentally transform the global economy from today’s consumptive manufacturing paradigm to the one based on regenerative principles,” he told PTI.

He said the DBT programme on bio-manufacturing and bio-foundries to support green growth was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047.

“This is for the first time a government has looked at the bio sector. In 2014, we were only a 10-billion-dollar bio-economy. Over the past eight, nine years, the bio-economy in India has grown to 140 billion dollars,” Singh said.

“We have the resources to become leaders in bio-economy. When we talk of the next 25 years to reach that pedestal of Viksit Bharat, value addition is going to come from bio-economy. Bio-economy is going to be a huge strength and an important component of our future growth story,” the minister added.

A senior government official said bio-manufacturing are versatile processes that have the potential to create bio-based products allowing efficient utilisation of resources in a scalable cost-effective manner with reduced environmental impact.

Bio-manufacturing can be used to produce biodegradable polymers, which naturally decompose over time and have a smaller overall environmental impact, the official said, adding, the new materials made from waste plastic through biotechnology routes have the potential to mitigate plastic pollution.

“The new scheme will provide a framework to empower Indian institutions, startups and industries to engage in transformative innovations by intensifying research, innovation, and entrepreneurship; boosting domestic bio-manufacturing capability by enabling synergy between science, technology, engineering and manufacturing,” the official said.

It will also accelerate transition to bio-manufacturing by promoting integrated use of artificial intelligence (AI) and digitalization with -omics and upstream biotechnology innovations.

It will also provide a framework for setting up ‘moolankur’ or bio-enabler facilities for scaling up and pre-commercial manufacturing and foster high performance bio-manufacturing, and nurturing a cohort of highly skilled workforce.

An integrated bio-manufacturing approach will create innovative solutions for fostering the growth of bio-economy by facilitating scale up and commercialisation of bio-based products; reducing, reusing, recycling of waste material and intensifying entrepreneurial momentum. (PTI)

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