Biotechnology skill enhancement programme will be conducted in 18 institutions in Karnataka, according to Mittur N Jagadish, Head of the Bio-Tech Facilitation Cell of the Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology Services (KBITS).

Speaking to presspersons in Manipal on Monday, he said that the Manipal-based School of Life Sciences (SoLS), which was one of the 12 host institutions selected all over the state, has successfully completed the first phase of the programme.

In the second phase, the programme will be held in 18 institutions this year. Of them, seven will be in Bengaluru and the remaining 11 in other districts. He said that institutions from Ujire and Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada district are also included in this list.

He said that Karnataka is one of the major investment destinations in the biotech industry. The state government has established Biotechnology Bio-Innovation Centre in Bengaluru. He said that the theme-based biotech parks are at various stages of implementation in Bidar, Dharwad, Mangaluru and Mysuru.

Giving details about the first phase, K Satyamoorthy, Director of SoLS, said the school provided opportunity in the field of cellular and molecular diagnostics domain. It trained students in advanced cellular and molecular biology, genetics, research and development, quality control, quality assurance, diagnostics approaches to infectious disease, cancer, cyto-genetic and various other disorders.

H Vinod Bhat, Vice-Chancellor of Manipal University, said the university has been in the forefront of biotechnology education, training and research in the field of life sciences and engineering since 2004.