• India
  • Aug 01

Explainer / What is bioeconomy?

India has a target of $300 billion in bioeconomy by 2030, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha. India registered a sustained growth in bioeconomy from $44 billion in 2019 to $80.1 billion in 2021.

What is bioeconomy?

• The bioeconomy means using renewable biological resources from land and sea, like crops, forests, fish, animals and micro-organisms to produce food, materials and energy.

• It is the production, utilisation and conservation of biological resources, including related knowledge, science, technology, and innovation, to provide information, products, processes and services across all economic sectors. 

The Indian biotech industry is aligned around five major segments: 

i) BioPharma

ii) BioAgriculture

iii) BioIndustrial

iv) BioEnergy

v) Combined segment of BioServices comprising BioIT, CROs, and Research Services.

• Bioeconomy is seen as a means to address societal challenges. For example, use of bio-mass or renewable resources in energy production processes, use of green chemicals and materials, biofertilizers, waste reduction, etc may impact and have a cascading effect on carbon footprint, food and nutrition, health, energy independence, and environmental sustainability. 

• New innovative solutions are expected from the biotech industry, research institutes and growing biotech startup ecosystem.

India Bioeconomy Report 2022

• The biotechnology sector has the potential to have a multiplier effect on overall economic growth of the country.

• The India Bioeconomy Report 2022, based on the data on biotech sector’s contribution to the economy, has been brought out by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

• India’s bioeconomy is likely to touch $150 billion by 2025 and over $300 billion by 2030.

• India generated $219 million of bioeconomy daily.

• On an average, at least three biotech startups were incorporated every day in 2021 (a total of 1,128 biotech startups set up in 2021) and the industry crossed $1 billion in research and development spending. 

• India is among the top three in South Asia and top 12 destinations for biotechnology in the world, with approximately 3 per cent share in the global biotechnology industry.

• India has the second highest number of United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approved manufacturing plants outside the US.

Major segments of bioeconomy:

BioPharma still accounts for the largest share of the Bioeconomy. BioPharma accounted for 49 per cent share of the Bioeconomy. The total economic contribution of this segment was estimated at $39.4 billion. Diagnostics accounted for 52.8 per cent share of the total BioPharma Market, while therapeutics segment stood at 26 per cent. The vaccines segment excluding COVID-19 vaccines accounted for the rest. Indian In Vitro diagnostics market is one of the leading segments in the diagnostics segment.

The BioIndustrial segment’s contribution to the Bioeconomy witnessed 202 per cent growth in 2021. The segment is estimated at $10.27 billion. 

BioIndustrial segment is categorised into two verticals:

i) Biofuels / Bioenergy

ii) Industrial Enzymes. 

Within the segment, the enzymes category showed a strong growth of 65.7 percent, while the biofuels sub-segment registered a whopping 138.8 percent growth. 

The Biofuels contributed $5.97 billion in value. The other important sub-segment of BioIndustrial, the enzymes market, reached $4.3 billion.

The biofuels market in India gained momentum due to the strategic push given by the Union government to encourage blended fuels (green fuels) and clean energy.

BioAgriculture (BioAgri) segment comprises of Bt cotton, biopesticides, biostimulants, and biofertilizers. The Bioeconomy value of BioAgri segment was estimated at $10.48 billion. BioAgri still accounted for 13.07 percent share of the total bioeconomy.

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