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“Government of Assam is contributing a major financial support for infrastructure management/maintenance & recurring expenditure of the Incubation Centre,” Mr Vinod Seshan, CEO, Guwahati Biotech Park


Founded in 2007, the Guwahati Biotech Park (GBP) acts as an important platform to promote entrepreneurship in the Northeast India. GBP is promoted by the Government of Assam and supported by Department of Biotechnology, Government of Indias. Situated on the northern bank of the river Brahmaputra, surrounded by lush green environment and in proximity to premier Institutes of Northeast India, like IIT Guwahati, Assam Engineering College, Institute of Advanced studies of Science & Technology and Guwahati University and the Brahmaputra Industrial Park, GBP acts as a meeting point of technological innovation for knowledge-based biotechnology enterprises.

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The main objective of GBP is to act as an engine for the growth of the biotechnology, chemical and biological industry and to act as a facilitator and a catalyst in the process of the industry’s development. GBP’s multi-tenant facility is designed to help biotech companies in the early stages of development. It provides subsidized, specialized lab space and services for companies with new ideas and products, making it easier for innovators and entrepreneurs to unleash their innovative and commercial potential.

The head or CEO of Guwahati Biotech Park and GBPIC is Mr Vinod Seshan, IAS. He is currently also the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup (R) district of Assam. He joined as the CEO of Guwahati Biotech Park on July 10, 2015. He is a B.E in Electronics from Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Tumkur.

enABLE highlights the major developments at GBP. The interview was done by ABLE’s external content contributor, Anusha Ashwin, in Chennai under the guidance of Senior Editorial Consultant to ABLE, Srinivas Rao Chandan. Excerpts of the interview ...

Could you describe the salient features of this BioIncubator?

Guwahati Biotech Park Incubation Center (GBPIC) is the “first milestone incubator” of Guwahati Biotech Park, Northeast’s foremost Science and Technology Park. It welcomes future entrepreneurs interested in creating their own business plan, and cooperates with them to transform an innovative idea into a successful business.

The incubation center is the core of the Biotech Park. The park’s built-in incubation labs will nurture young entrepreneurs by providing them with ready laboratory space. The entrepreneur will be freed of the burden of investing upfront. The incubatees will be able to use the core facility in different stages like research & development/validation/scaling up/limited scale manufacturing of their business plan and validate their scientific ideas. On validation of the concepts these incubators shall create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods and commercialize critical new technologies. The incubator’s activities are aimed at creating and developing the new business and employment opportunities in Northeast India.

Critical to the definition of an incubator will be on-site management, which will develop and orchestrate business, marketing and management resources, tailored to a company’s needs. The Park shall also provide the incubators with the option to expand their operations by providing up-gradable rental space at flexible leases, shared basic office services, technology support services and assistance in obtaining the financing necessary for a company’s growth.

To whom does this center cater to?

Guwahati Biotech Park Incubation Center is targeted at:

· Entrepreneurs interested in diversifying their own activities with a view to setting up a new company in the Northeast region of India.

· Researchers at Universities and research Bodies interested in developing the results of their own research through the creation of a spin-off in Northeast region of India in the area of biotechnology.

· Young professionals interested in developing an innovative business idea

Apart from the prime facilities and services i.e. leasing of modular laboratories and equipment facilities, the park and the incubator is also offering training programs on instruments, internship programs for students, exposure visits by students, platform to ignite scientific temperament and innovative technology ideas in the form of talent search contests, newsletter etc.

How many startups and entrepreneurs can this incubator house and on what basis are the applicants short listed to be incubated?

We can have nearly 20 startups.

Applicants have to apply their project proposal through submitting a RFP document/Open Application Format which has a few important points like description & justification of the project, adequacy of approach & methodology, feasibility of the project, technical expertise & experience in relevant sector, project schedule, requirement of space & equipment, financial arrangements etc. A technical committee evaluate the proposals on the basis of the strength of those criteria and recommends the qualified & suitable applicant for considering accommodating as incubatee in GBPIC.

What kind of R&D does the incubator encourage?

The GBPIC encourage R&D involved in the innovative technology development, commercilaizable ventures in the field of Biotechnology and allied areas.

What is the current status of this BioIncubator? Can the incubator house more startups?

The Bioincubator currently have ready-to-use modular laboratory space for leasing out to start-ups and a few specialized facilities like Central Analytical Instrumentation Facility, Bioprospecting Facility, Micropropagation facility, Fermentation Facility, Herbal Extraction Facility equipped with dedicated instruments & equipment.

At present the incubator is in a state to house a few more startups.

How many startups have been incubated?

Ten startups have already incubated.

What kind of mutual agreement does the Incubator have with the incubatees?

The incubatee and the incubator i.e. GBP undergo a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for a limited period (initially not exceeding 3 years). The MoA containing different terms and conditions regarding leasing out of modular laboratory space, use of equipment and other facilities etc. and the same is legally vetted by authorized lawyer and approved by the management of GBP.

What is financial assistance provided to its incubatees? Does the Incubator mediate external financial investors to participate?

There is no direct financial assistance provided to incubatees by GBP or GBPIC apart from the subsidised rates to utilize the laboratories, lab equipment at the incubation centre. However, GBP is in process of a fruitful collaboration with NEDFi which may help the incubatees by providing them with financial support.

Does the Incubator help in getting product approvals and clearances? If Yes, please elaborate on the support?

As of now GBP is not directly helping in getting product approvals and clearances.

Is there any support from the alumni of the Institute?

As far as mutual relations are concerned, we are always in touch with our alumni, trainees or interns who have been a part of this organization in various spheres. Therefore we receive support in terms of networking and technical help in various matters.

How has the Government of Assam supported the Incubation Program? Could you indicate the financial aspects related to its funding?

Government of Assam is contributing a major financial support for infrastructure management/maintenance & recurring expenditure of the Incubation Centre. Even though the Government of Assam is not directly providing any funding support to the incubatees at GBP but a Start-Up Policy and an Ignition Grant proposal is being actively considered by the Government. GBP is also on the process to collaborate with North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) as to build a platform wherein NEDFi might help in funding the incubatees who graduates from GBPIC based on their business plan and market opportunities.

Equipment and technologies provided for research at GBP

At present the incubator is providing the following equipment for research. Few more to be added soon to the list.

Instruments/Equipments

Make/Model

1. LC MS/MS

Agilent 6410 Triple Quad MS-MS

2. GC MS

PerkinElmer Clarus680 GC/600C MS

3. CHNS Elemental Analyzer

Eurovector EA3000

4. Mass Directed auto-purification system

Agilent 1200 Series

5. UV Spectrophotometer

Analytik Jena, Model: Specord 210 BU Plus

6. IR Spectrophotometer

Thermo Fisher Thermo Nicolet iS10

7. Speed Vac (Vacuum Concentrator)

Eppendorf Concentrator Plus

8. Ultracentrifuge

Beckman Coulter L100K

9. Digital Polarimeter

Rudolf AUTOPOL IV

10. Digital pH Meter

Mettler five easy TM PH Meter

11. Sonicator

Sonics VCX-500 Sonicator Vibra Cell Ultrasonic Processor

12. High Precision Electronic Balance (5 Digit)

Sartorius Semi-Micro Model:CPA225D

13. Millipore water filtration system

Millipore Ultrapure water Purification system- Millipore Elix Avance

14. Rotavapour (5L) with Pump & Chiller

Buchi R-215V (Rotavapor); JeioTech-6106M (Chiller)

15. Rotavapour (20L) with Pump & Chiller

Heidolph Lebrota 20(Rotavapor); Polyscience 6100M (Chiller)

16. Magnetic Stirrer with Hot Plate

IKA Magnetic stirrer with Hot plate, CMAG HS7

17. Microcentrifuge (Non Refrigerated)

Eppendorf Minispin Micro centrifuge

18. Flourescence spectrophotometer

Agilent (Varian) Cary Eclipse

19. Microcentrifuge (Refrigerated)

Eppendorf Model: 5424R

20. High Speed Refrigerated Centrifuge

Hermle High Speed Table Top Refrigerated Centrifuge Model: Z 326K

21. Continuos Flow Centrifuge

Hitachi High Speed Continuous Flow Centrifuge Floor Model CR 22G III

22.BOD Incubator

Scigenics-ORBITEK BOD-350L

23. CO2 Incubator

Thermo Scientific Forma series-II Water jacketed CO2 Incubator

24. Biosafety Cabinet

Thermo Scientific 1300 series Class II Water Type A2 Biosafety cabinet

25. Gel Dryer

Hoefer GD2002 Vacuum Gel Dryer

26. Horizontal Mini and Max Sub-Marine Electrophoresis Unit

Hoefer HE33 mini submarine unit & HE 99X Max submarine unit

27. Electroporator

Eppendorf Eporator

28. PCR

Agilent SURECYCLER 8800

29. Incubator/Environmental Shaker

Scigenics -ORBITEK-LEBT

30. Hybridization Oven/Shaker

Scigenics -ORBITEK- HiBi-2D

31. Autoclave (Vertical)

MAC MSW-101(FAD)

32. Vortex

IKA Vortex Genious 3

33. Slot-Blot Apparatus

Bio-Rad Bio Dot SF

34. Rotary High Vacuum Pump

MAC, MSW-RVP 200 ECO

35. Ice Flaking Machine

Simag SPR-80 Ice Flaking Machine

36.Bench Fume Hood and Walk-In Fume Hoods

Citizen

37.Laminar Air Flow

Sensocon/S2000-25MM

38. Deep Freezer (-40o C)

Haier Make/DW-40L508

39. Deep Freezer (-86o C)

Haier Make/DW-86L728

40. Stereo zoom Microscope

Carl Zeiss/Discovery V 20 with motorized zoom

41. Gel Documentation System

Syngene/GBOX F3

42. Hot Air Oven

OVFU

43. Water Bath Shaker

OVFU

44. HPTLC

CAMAG /Camag Lino Mat5

45. Lyophilizer

LABCONCO/FreeZone Freeze Dry System (-50DC)

46. HPLC ( Analytical) & HPLC (Preparative)

Agilent/1260 Infinity (Anal) & Agilent/1260 Infinity (Prep)

47. High Precession Electronic Balance (6 digit)

A&D Company(Japan) /BM-22

48. Heating Mantle (500mL, 1LX2, 2L)

REICO

49. Glass Distillation Unit

Borosil/3361

50. SS Water Bath (10L & 20 L)

DIHAN/WB-11&WB22

51. Hot air oven with built in blower fan & digital control

Thermo Scientific/Heratherm-51028153

52. Hot air oven

ACM-22066-I

53. Horizontal Autoclave

N-Biotek/NBSS210

54. Confocal Microscope

Leica/TCS SP8

55. Fluorescence Microscope

Carl Zeiss/AxioObserver Z1

56. Ion Exchanege & Fixed Gel Chromatography Unit

GE Healthcare Bio-sciences/BPG columns200/500, 140/950, 140/500

57. Pass box

ELS Instrument/SS Passbox (Static)

58. Microwave Oven

Samsung/MC28H5023AK

59. Refrigerator 400L

Samsung/RT45H5809SL/TL

60. Ice Flaker

Biobase/IME 100(FIM100)

61. Shaker

G-Bioscience/Benchtop Shaker-BT-GS-20

62. Weighing Balance (Readability:1g, Capacity:6 kg)

WENSAR/ECB-6000

63. Electronic Balance (5 digit, Readability:0.1mg, Max.Capacity:220 g)

Mettler Toledo/ ME-204

64. Mechanical Platform Balance 500 Kg

Scale-Tech/CWS-500

65. Digital Platform Balance 200 Kg

Scale-Tech/CWS-200

66. Stirrer Pilot Scale

Heidolf/MR Hei-End

67. BOD Incubator

Bio-Technics/BTI-06

68. Homogenizer

GEA Mechanical Equipment/ High Pressure Homogenizer/PandaPLUS200

69. Fermentor 5L

Major Science/WINPACT FS-01-A05P-220 double Jacketed


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