Hyderabad: IKP Knowledge Park, which is celebrating its 20-year journey, has opened its agri-innovation translation centre at the newly developed 1.10 lakh sq ft Sustainability Innovation Centre (SINC) in Genome valley on Friday. The agri-innovation centre has been set up with an investment of Rs 40 crore.
N Vaghul, former chairman, ICICI Bank & IKP Knowledge Park inaugurated the centre in the presence of Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary, Industries & Commerce, IT & BT, Government of Telangana and Dr Renu Swarup, secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, who joined in by Skype.
In his address, N Vaghul remarked, “I see that the next ten years will be a decade of growth and scale-up in the areas of sustainability, health, agriculture and deep science. And I am glad that IKP has readied itself to rise to the challenges of tomorrow.”
Jayesh Ranjan said, “This high-end agri-innovation translation facility at IKP is all set to advance the innovation capabilities of not only Hyderabad and Telangana, but also of the entire country. This is indeed a proud moment for the Government, the scientific community and people of Telangana.”
“IKP has played a catalytic role in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. More than 500 startups have been benefited by the facilities at the Park so far. By partnering with BIRAC, Gates Foundation and other institutions, the Park is contributing to global research. The Park has enabled at least 60 per cent of its start-ups to significantly scale up to the next levels. IKP had set a benchmark for other research-oriented incubators. T-Hub has also drawn inspiration from the Park on several aspects,” he added.
Explaining the need for a facility of this kind, Deepanwita Chattopadhyay, chairman and CEO, IKP Knowledge Park said, “The Growth Labs at IKP’s Agri-Innovation Translation Centre have come up in response to this need, and are equipped with advanced facilities to take agri-innovations to scale. We are eagerly looking forward to seeing some high impact solutions emerging from this Centre.”
Telangana government is very keen to connect digital startups focusing on drug discovery and lifesciences to IKP, going forward as a part of IKP 2.0 growth, Ranjan added.
Cluster for innovation
Dr Renu Swarup, secretary, DBT, Government of India and chairperson, BIRAC, said, IKP should look at a role beyond an incubator. With its scientific and technical connects, IKP can also strengthen its investor network. Hyderabad has the right ecosystem for biotechnology in general and agri-biotech in particular.
“Centre is keen to create clusters for agriculture biotechnology in the country and the way Bengaluru and Faridabad have evolved, Hyderabad can also emerge as a national hub, with ICRISAT, IKP and other institutions operating here working together,” she added. IKP with the new innovation centre for agriculture can benefit startups by providing research and test labs.
She added, India needs to step up efforts to use emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and 3D printing in agriculture and lifesciences. Transition has to happen making technology applications a reality.