To facilitate cooperation related to developments in critical and emerging technologies including biotechnology, The Quad set up a critical and emerging technology working group in 2021. The establishment of a Quad-led biomanufacturing hub in India will enhance this cooperation.


What is Bio-Manufacturing?

  • Biomanufacturing uses living systems, particularly microorganisms and cell cultures, to produce molecules and materials on a commercial scale.
  • It has the potential to transform the global industrial system, with up to 60% of physical inputs to the global economy expected to be producible using this technology.
  • Many countries, including the US and China, recognise the need to optimise this ecosystem and have designed specific policies to shape their bio-economies.
  • India’s National Biotechnology Development Strategy envisions the country as a “Global Biomanufacturing Hub” by 2025. As the strategy sets the target of $100 billion for the hub, this cannot be achieved without external support.


Why is India an ideal choice to become the biomanufacturing hub?

  • Existing infrastructure — India already has existing infrastructure in place which can be utilised for the purpose of biomanufacturing.
  • A major player in the global pharmaceutical industry — India has established expertise in manufacturing and quality control processes, which can be leveraged for biomanufacturing.
  • Competitive advantage in terms of cost-effectiveness:According to an analysis, the cost of manufacturing in India is 33% lower than the US.
      • With the potential to provide affordable scalability in biomanufacturing processes, India can meet the demand for bio manufactured products on a large scale.
  • Skilled workforce — India has a large pool of skilled professionals in the life sciences and biotechnology sectors.
  • Research capabilities — India has demonstrated its research capabilities in bio-manufacturing, ranking high in terms of the quality of research output and the share of research publications.
  • The country’s strong research base provides a solid foundation for innovation and advancements in biomanufacturing processes and technologies.


Quad’s complementary strength

  • Funding and advanced technologyThe U.S. has significant funding capability, while all three (Japan, Australia, and the U.S.) also possess advanced biotechnology innovation ecosystems and intellectual property.
  • Facilitate cross-Quad collaboration The biomanufacturing hub can house all current bilateral government efforts and establish a research collaboration office for this purpose.
      • The hub can harmonise language, regulations, and data-sharing regarding bio-manufacturing to secure supply chains for Quad nations and facilitate international collaboration.
      • Such streamlining will boost collaboration efforts within the Quad and create opportunities for collaboration with nations outside the Quad as well.


Why the biomanufacturing hub is important for Quad and the world at large?

  • China has also expressed its intention to capture this market, like how it dominated small-molecule active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).
  • Such dependence in the biomanufacturing sector will be detrimental to both India and the Quad.
  • The proposed hub can help facilitate technology transfer, connect investors, and establish a biomanufacturing fund that is administered through the Quad, to support India’s efforts to reduce dependency on China. 


What should be India’s strategy?

  • Improvement in workforce quality — Permanent training facilities with focus on commercialising research and development. Recent policy changes in India allow the establishment of foreign universities and can encourage scholar exchange programmes.
  • Scheme to check China’s dominance — India must formulate a scheme like the production-linked incentive scheme that allocated $2 billion to the pharmaceutical sector to make biopharmaceuticals, APIs, key starting materials, and related products.



The Quad should establish a biomanufacturing hub in India to benefit from the country’s economic potential and address supply-chain vulnerabilities. The proposed hub has the potential to transform India into a leading player in the field of biomanufacturing and to help the Quad to compete in this key area.


SourceThe Hindu


QUESTION – Discuss the significance of the Quad-led biomanufacturing hub in India in the context of critical and emerging technologies. Explain the reasons why India is an ideal choice to become the biomanufacturing hub.