Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said that India’s bio-economy has grown eight times in the last eight years from $10 billion to $80 billion” and that the country is “not too far from reaching the league of top-10 nations in biotech’s global ecosystem.”


What is ‘bio-economy’?

  • The bioeconomy, or biobased economy, is a new model for industry and the economy.
  • Bioeconomy is defined as “an economy where the basic building blocks for materials, chemicals, and energy are derived from renewable biological resources.”
  • It involves using renewable biological resources sustainably to produce food, energy and industrial goods.
  • It also involves breaking up plants into their component parts as completely as possible and converting them into valuable materials.


Size of India’s bio-economy

  • As per India’s Bioeconomy Report 2021, published by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), the country’s Bioeconomy size has grown by more than 12.3% in 2020 to reach $70.2 billion.
  • The Bioeconomy in 2019 was $62.5 billion.
  • The increase in revenues have mainly happened in the biopharma segment.
  • The share of Bioeconomy in the national GDP too has been rising steadily in the last few years.
  • The share now stands at 2.7% against 2.2 % in 2019.



  • BIRAC is a not-for-profit public-sector enterprise (under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013) , set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
  • ObjectiveTo act as an interface agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.
  • BIRAC is an industry-academia interface and implements its mandate through a wide range of impact initiatives such as —
      • Providing access to risk capital through targeted funding,
      • Technology transfer,
      • IP management and
      • Handholding schemes that help bring innovation excellence to the biotech firms and make them globally competitive.
  • In its eight years of existence, BIRAC has initiated several schemes, networks and platforms that help to bridge the existing gaps in the industry-academia Innovation research and facilitate novel, high quality affordable products development through cutting edge technologies.
  • BIRAC has initiated partnerships with several national and global partners to collaborate and deliver the salient features of its mandate.